Recruiting Consumers: Recruitment Process

Planning and preparation

Laying the foundations for a strong consumer partnership

How we can help

See what support we can offer your consumer recruitment

Recruitment process

Guiding you through every step along the process

Paying consumers

The how, why and when of remuneration and reimbursement

Writing a position description and application form

Once all the details of the consumer activity have been confirmed you are ready to write your position description and application form. You are welcome to use the template in the Resources list which will help you include all the necessary details.

Writing your position description and application form in consumer-friendly language will help you to reach the widest audience possible. Asking someone who does not work in health to proof read your position description can be a useful way to make sure that that language you are using is not too technical or full of jargon.



Promoting your activity

We can help you do this by adding it to our Consumer Opportunities webpage. We also promote consumer opportunities via our weekly eAlert newsletter and via social media.

You can promote your opportunity via your own networks, and by approaching relevant organisations for help. These might include a health-related organisation that relates to the activity, or an organisation that supports people in your target demographic. Don’t overlook your own organisation – is there a health unit whose patients might be suitable for your activity? Consider how you could get the word out to those groups. Any newsletters or notice boards your organisation operates could be a helpful way to promote your activity too 

Monitoring application numbers

Monitor the number of applications coming in, and make sure the ones that are coming in are suitable. If numbers are low or the applicants are not a good fit, you may need to take a different approach.

Are there other ways you could reach your target audience?

Is there something about the description and application that is turning people away?

We are happy to discuss options with you if you need some help.



Making a selection

Review applications at the closing date, and check referees if appropriate. Ahead of selection day, think about the key criteria you will be basing your selection on.

Do you want a range of demographics?

Are you looking for people from different parts of the State?

Draw yourself up a matrix of criteria to give yourself a clear view of your applicants.


Contacting applicants and letting us know

Email all applicants of the outcome of their application. Contact your successful applicants first, to make sure they are still available and interested. Once they have accepted, you can contact the unsuccessful applicants. From this point, you are the key point of contact for your new consumer representatives. Use the email templates to guide you.

Let Health Consumers Queensland know who the successful consumers are, and we can provide any support the consumers may need during their involvement in your project. Our support will complement the support you are already giving them. Health Consumers Queensland will connect the consumers to our Statewide Network where we offer consumer opportunities, training and capacity building and resources to support their roles.

You can let us know in two ways: by sending the successful consumers’ completed application forms to us and we will add them to our network. Alternatively, you can send their contact details and name of project to



Onboarding and orientation

Supporting consumer representatives means enabling them to be more effective in their role. Lay the foundations for successful partnerships before consumers begin in their roles.

Always ask the consumer representatives about their needs – some needs may not be obvious to you. By simply asking “Is there anything else you need?” you are demonstrating your support and desire to help them succeed.



Keeping it consumer-friendly

Throughout the course of your consumer partnership, keep the needs and circumstances of consumers at the front of your mind. Remember that consumers do not work within Queensland Health and so do not have the same inside knowledge of the way it works, or the jargon used by its staff. Other things to remember:

  • Consumers may not be accessing email as frequently as your colleagues do. Allow at least 24 hours for a consumer to see an email.
  • Ask consumers their preferred mode of communication. While email may be the most efficient for you, for some consumers a quick phone call is a better way to communicate. Asking will make it easier for both you and the consumers.
  • If consumers need to read material before a meeting, be mindful that their reading time may not be in regular work hours. For many consumers, evenings and weekends are when a lot of their consumer work is done. Factor this into your timelines.
  • For a consumer on a low income, the payment they receive for their partnership work is significant. Always ensure they are remunerated as quickly as possible and pay particular attention to reimbursing any costs they have incurred during the activity.


Video: What can health services do to partner with consumers more effectively? (3:57)