Tell us about your business/organization and what makes you stand out as an employer?
Our tagline is “support shelter safety” and these three words encapsulate the core of our work. We provide shelter and psychosocial support to Nanaimo and Oceanside residents who need it. We run crisis stabilization and assisted living programs along with supportive recovery and outreach services. In addition, our clients have access to our pre-employment and life skills programs. ICCS offers wages on par with or higher than most organizations in our sector, and much of our workforce enjoys the benefits of membership in the BCGEU. But where we really shine is our culture. Long term employees report that the clients they work with and the meaningful aspect of the work is what keeps them engaged and satisfied year after year. While the flavour of our culture differs somewhat from program to program, overall it shares a distinctive bottom line. While fiscal responsibility is important, we also measure our success by how well we contribute to making the world a better place. It is probably not an exaggeration to say that every employee joins our team because of the opportunity the job provides in this regard. Our employees feel like they are making a significant and meaningful contribution to improving the lives of neighbours and community members. They feel that way, because they really are making that difference. At the management level, there is a conscious focus on supporting our front line staff to face the challenges of the job with resiliency and strength. We emphasize empathy and compassion, alongside healthy boundaries and self-care. There is a genuine desire from the Board of Directors to our frontline staff to model therapeutic relationships and integrity. We are always working to secure the resources, partnerships, and expertise necessary to achieve our vision.
How many employees do you have?
As of 01 April 2023 we have 138 employees in Nanaimo and Parksville.
What do you look for in a new employee?
Our biggest category of employees is Support Workers. In Support Workers we look for relevant education that provides the skills and strategies for managing the difficult behaviour that some of our client’s express. We look for a natural temperament marked by empathy and resiliency. We look for integrity, ethical principles, and maturity. We hire from different ages, recognizing that each stage of life has a valuable perspective. We look for “people skills,” a healthy understanding of boundaries, and intelligence. Our most successful employees are ones who have some familiarity with people in crisis, or who have lived experience with mental health and recovery. We look for people who understand trauma and the way that early adverse childhood experiences shape perspectives and behaviour.
What advice would you give someone who wants to work for your organization?
Understand the job and what training and resources you need to be successful. In general this involves an understanding of yourself, your triggers, and the things that motivate and discourage you. Are you a good listener? Do you like holding space for people, being present? Are you good at offering empathy? Those qualities are essential to support work. As are healthy boundaries. If you are interested in one of the other jobs in our society, are you willing to work with the limitations of a non-profit environment? Along with our enviable work culture, goes the challenges of working with tight budgets. If a position you are applying for says it includes night shifts, spend some time considering if that is something you can really do for an extended period. If you don’t have experience doing front line work, and think you would like it, consider volunteering. We are developing a volunteer training program that offers some opportunities to work alongside frontline staff.
Do you anticipate hiring in the next 6 months? If so for what types of positions?
We will be hiring Casual Support Workers in the Oceanside area in the coming months. We’ll also be hiring for a variety of positions in Nanaimo, including Support Workers and several administrative positions.
What is the best way for someone to apply if they are interested in working for your organization?
Please visit our website and click on the “Join Us” tab. www.Islandcrisiscaresociety.ca