BERA: On Finding a Great Intern in the Energy Ratings Business

February 07, 2018
By Robelen Bajar

One of the most effective ways employers identify emerging talent is through internship programs. Growing businesses, in particular, typically take on interns to help with overflow work. This allows the business to churn through projects and potentially spot a great long-term hire without going through an expensive recruitment process that can take up to 90 days.

The key to a successful internship is two-fold. The employer needs to find the right candidate - one who is eager to learn, has a specific interest in the industry in which it operates, and has loads of potential. Equally important is the need for interns to receive proper onboarding, training, mentoring and support throughout the internship.

Victoria Walker is director of BERA (photo supplied).

Victoria Walker is director of BERA (photo supplied).

We sat down with Victoria Walker, founder and director of BERA, an energy ratings consultancy based in Brisbane who recently used Paddl to find an intern for her growing business.

So tell us about BERA? What do you do?

BERA was established in early 2015 as a niche business focusing on providing domestic and commercial energy assessments for selected clients. We work with building designers, architects, homeowners, builders and certifiers to ensure their proposed build meets all the requirements of the National Construction Code in terms of building energy efficiency. 

What are some of the client projects your intern might be helping you with?

We work with clients like Black Ink Architecture, Paynter Dixon Qld, MV Designer Homes, Gold Coast Building Designs and many others. We love helping them obtain the outcome they require for a successful energy efficiency assessment. The buzz for us is in giving our clients what they need in a really efficient manner. The jobs we do range from helping people understand what type of insulation they need in their garage conversion project, right up to finding the most cost effective way of passing the Energy Efficient Requirements for a 10 story block of apartments or a 20 Room Child Care Centre. Recently we have been helping a client meet the BASIX requirements of building a yurt in an Ecovillage in NSW.

What do you look for in new talent?

Someone hardworking, eager to learn, and easy to get along with. 

Why did you decide to take on an intern? 

My business was growing rapidly, mainly through client referrals, and I wanted to be able to keep serving my clients with accurate and timely reports. I decided to try putting on an intern with the aim of providing training to someone in the industry as well as having someone on board to help me crunch through the work.

Why did you use Paddl to find an intern and what was the process like?

I didn't have much time to ‘muck around’ finding someone, and so when I came across Paddl's easy-to-use interface, I decided to give it a go! They're like an uber-type, peer-to-peer platform that quickly connects employers like me with the right candidates. I could get in touch directly with applicants without the need for the middleman.

I had looked at a couple of other intern-placement websites, but they were harder to navigate and it felt like the process was going to take too long. I wanted to employ someone yesterday! The team at Paddl were helpful and friendly with the couple of queries I had, and within minutes I had posted my ad. I received a good number of relevant applicants over the next week or so, and based on the information they provided, I was able to narrow it down to a shortlist of three. I interviewed my shortlist over the phone, and offered the position to an architecture student the next day. She has been all that I had hoped for, and I would highly recommend Paddl for businesses looking to place an intern in their business. 

Paddl has been great in connecting me with a bunch of people looking to work as interns with a business like mine.

If you'd like to connect with Victoria and her business, follow her below:
Facebook: @buildingenergyratingsandadvice

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