(3 minute read)
In this latest Talking Housing blog, Anna Griffin from Newport City Homes shares her 3 top tips for getting started in the sector. An experienced recruiter, Anna, discussed the importance of research, values and networking to make yourself stand out ahead of the competition.
So you are thinking of getting into the social housing sector? First of all, this is a great decision, it is a very rewarding place to work and there is a huge variety of roles too, so there is opportunity to grow a career and move around within organisations too. You might, however, feel a little unsure of what housing associations are all about and what questions they might ask of you, so here are my top 3 tips to get you started…
1. Do your research: This is important for any role you are applying for but understanding what a housing association is and what we do is so important. Most housing associations are separate to local authorities and so answering the “what do you know about us” question with “you provide council housing” probably won’t get you off to the best start! This is Housing provides a great overview into housing associations and will demonstrate you have done your research, that’s the start to an interview you want! Also, keep an eye on policy updates (number 3 will help with this)- there’s so much change happening at the moment so if you can reference this then great!
2. Think about how your values match ours?: There is no arguing that the housing sector has a huge impact on the lives of our customers and communities and this is the main driver behind most colleagues within the sector. Whilst the housing sphere is changing and having to become more commercial, our values are still at the heart of what we do and it is imperative our employees share these. Wanting to make a difference is key, demonstrating how this drives you is more important. Giving back to the community and working for a socially driven association is not a career tick box, we are looking for genuine individuals whose personal values match our organisational values and mission.
3.Network as much as you can: Many housing associations are growing, we’re looking at skills for the future and we’re committed to providing employability support. If you have the passion to work in the sector but you’re not quite sure what you want to do yet- that’s fine! Keep an eye out for trainee opportunities (there’s lots of Kickstart roles at the moment!), show your passion and highlight those values we’ve discussed and you can go far! Follow people on Twitter (contact details), reach out to hiring managers and recruiters, start your LinkedIn page- remember we all started somewhere and one conversation could spark your career!
Don’t forget, This is Housing has lots of case studies demonstrating how many colleagues have climbed the ladder quite quickly and have also ‘fallen into a career in housing’- just because you didn’t actively pursue a career here, as long as you do your research and share that passion, I’m sure you’ll do great! We always need fresh ideas and fresh perspectives.
If you’re ever looking for career advice or interview support, please reach out and I’ll be more than happy to support (whether it’s at Newport City Homes or not).