Parks looking for personnel

Four trailer parks in Echuca and Moama are using extreme measures to lure staff in the post-COVID rush to fill positions that have been vacated amid a lull in tourism activity in border towns.

With a constant flow of inquiries to caravan parks in cities, there is a sense of urgency within the Discovery Parks group to find cleaning staff.

So much so that Regional Operations Manager for Discovery Parks Victoria and Tasmania, Sean Goggin, resorted to what he likened to a speed dating version of a ‘job interview’ to fill seven of his positions. vacancies in the parks of the twin cities.

“We made 15 appointments and seven were appointed, some on the spot,” Goggin said.

The four parks are struggling to fill multiple cleaning staff positions and now offer free on-site accommodation and “as many hours as people want” to find the right candidates.

“Despite the success of the open house and the appointments we made, we still have a lack of housekeeping,” he said.

Mr Goggin is responsible for northern Victoria, southern New South Wales and Tasmania, explaining that the parks had been able to find people to fill the roles of administration and gardener – leaving a void in the housekeeping space.

The four discovery parks in the two cities are Discovery Park Echuca, Maidens Inn, Moama West and Horseshoe Lagoon.

There are around 65 employees working at the four sites, but there are still vacancies for six or seven cleaning employees.

“We had to lay off some people during the COVID lockdowns,” Goggin said.

“We were able to bring them back earlier than expected by carrying out a few projects around the parks to improve them.

“But we just didn’t have the hours for our casual staff. Therefore, we came out of lockdown with these vacancies. “

Mr Goggin said the National Park Caravan Group planned to be busier than ever for the next 12 to 18 months.

He said the mass interview process, which ended in Echuca just a week ago, was taken from the model used at the company’s Nagambie site.

“We did one in our Nagambie park the week before,” he said.

“It was a bit like speed dating, but for interviews.

“There were panels of investigators, some were hired on the spot, the others were put in the next day.

Discovery Parks Australia saw an 80% drop in bookings for the 12-month period of COVID-19, but rebounded strongly.

“All of the Echuca and Moama parks are pretty much reserved for the summer period now,” Mr. Goggin said.

“In Moama, they were inundated with phone calls and it’s the same with Echuca.

Mr Goggin said the live roles were designed to enhance the attractiveness of the cleaning roles for applicants.

“Accommodation for workers will be free,” he said.

“They will have at least five days a week of casual work, but could work about as many hours as they want at the moment.

“We are so busy.”

Quick Interviews: Sean Goggin, Director of Discovery Parks in South Australia, recently held an open house to fill several vacancies.

Mr Goggin said the company even contacted professional cleaning contractors, who were in a similar boat and were unable to take on additional responsibility for cleaning up the park.

“We don’t necessarily need experience, just a good attitude, reliability and people who can work as a team,” he said.

“It’s a good place to spend the summer.

“It will be a little more than summer, in fact it will probably go until Easter.

“Someone could apply and live in the park, work, until mid-April next year.”

He said the organization offers strong career progression no matter where people started.

“We have seen housekeepers in leadership positions,” Goggin said.

“We now have 380 parks in Australia, there are opportunities in every state and we are gaining a lot more over the next 12 months.

“A lot of our employees are on the move.

“Some are semi-retired, it’s a good way to earn some extra money while traveling in Australia.

“We recently purchased large resorts, including El Questro Wilderness Park in King’s Canyon, at the top of Western Australia.

“People often go to parks like Rottnest in high season and then come back to us. “

For more information about the opportunities in Echuca and Moama, people can call one of Echuca’s four discovery parks at 5482 5500 or 5482 1533.

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