Advertising and recruitment is an important step in partnering with consumers.
Once you are clear on the purpose, type of engagement and the mechanisms you will use, you will have thought about the consumers you want to work with – their skills, their lived experience and other requirements that you have determined are necessary. This information will help you decide how and where to advertise and recruit your consumers to be involved.
Recruitment steps required for all consumer partnership
Advertising and recruiting for consumer partners is driven by a process. Below are a list of key steps and considerations designed to guide you through the recruitment process.
Think of any organisation or group that may have networks of consumers who may be interested in participating in health-related projects/activities. Many of these organisations will have their own EOI process – it is always a good idea to liaise with them and use their templates and advertising systems. For example:
- Health Consumers NSW
- Consumer Health Forum Australia
- Local health district (LHD) consumer and community participation managers
- Multicultural Health Service Managers within LHDS
- Aboriginal health services
- Specific community organisations (e.g. Disability Works, Wesley Mission)
- National peak bodies (e.g. Cancer Council, Vision Australia, Diabetes Australia)
Further steps for short-term partnership or co-design activities
- Prepare the consumer information sheet and participant consent form.
- Receive EOIs to become involved and liaise with all applicants about next steps, including scheduling meeting times and completing consent forms.
Further steps for mid- and long-term consumer partnerships only
- Receive EOIs, shortlist and respond to those that have not been successful this time.
- Hold an informal group interview/information session for all the consumers you want to bring on board, now and into the future. Group sessions provide community, safety and preliminary networking for consumer partners that will be working together.
- Decide on appointments and offer positions.
- Develop a partnership agreement and establish group administration processes (e.g. email lists).
- Connect consumer participants with each other and the project liaison in a warm ‘meet and greet’.
- Hold the first meeting between consumer partner and broader group (committee/project team). This should focus on introductions, story and sharing experiences, and the purpose of desired intent for the partnership.
- Set a calendar alert for a quarterly consumer partnership review.