Connecting with inclusive employer the breakthrough Mdad needed

Mdad at table in office talking with Mattie from Downer and Parineeta from MatchWorks

Finding an inclusive employer who values Mdad’s skills and experience has given the former job seeker the opportunity he deserves. 

The Bangladesh-born father-of-one is highly valued for his calm and professional approach with customers, and the warmth and positivity he brings to his team. But in 2021, he was out of work despite having an impressive resume and education.

“I speak seven languages including Japanese, Thai, Bengali, Hindu, Urdu and English,” he said.

“Recruiters said I had lots of skill and talent. They gave me lots of hope and confidence, but the problem was, I was never sent for interviews.”

Mdad had previously owned and operated a successful grocery market in Sydney’s West that employed fifteen people. After a traumatic armed hold-up in 2016, Mdad was unable to return to work and the business was forced to close.

Support from MatchWorks opened new employment opportunities

Unwilling to give up, he continued to try new approaches, including changing his Disability Employment Services provider to MatchWorks and attending a Downer information session organised by MatchWorks Employer Engagement Partner, Parineeta Ubhiryane.

“We hosted the information session so that suitable job seekers could learn about the organisation and ask questions in an informal group setting,” Parineeta said.

“These sessions also gave recruiters a different way to meet potential candidates and get to know them.”

Downers’ Head of Customer Contact, Mattie Minas said they needed mature and dependable candidates to fill the roles.

“Reliability in the contact centre industry can be challenging,” she said.

“I just knew that Mdad would be reliable, come to work and be 100 per cent committed to giving it his best every day. The thing that stood out in the session was his desire to be back in the workforce and be given an opportunity.”

After the positive meeting, Mdad moved forward to interview successfully and became one of two MatchWorks job seekers to secure a contact centre role. He commenced work in

September 2022, assisting tenants and tradespeople as part of Downer’s social housing maintenance contract in NSW.

Team Leader, Danielle Skelly values Mdad’s composure on the phone. His Bangladesh-inspired cooking and natural networking skills to connect with colleagues also makes him an asset to the team.

“It’s maturity; we are dealing with tenants and he has had that life experience. He does not take things personally, he works with the customer to resolve the issue,” she said.

“He gets other teams involved and is a real team player,” Danielle said. “He is determined to feed the masses and ensures no one misses out.”

Downer’s commitment to diversity and inclusion

Mdad credits Downer and his team leaders for investing additional time in his training, helping him to overcome some initial obstacles and settle in successfully.

He also appreciates the stability that his job brings and being able to utilise his strengths at work.

“I like to talk to people,” he said. “To get to know the people. To help the people, that is my end game.”

Downer’s innovative approach to recruitment has helped build a diverse and highly engaged team, according to Mattie Minas.

“I feel really proud of what we’re able to achieve, giving people a real opportunity,” she said.

“And in return I have two really committed staff members who attend work every day and deliver a great experience.”

“Downer is committed to creating a culture of inclusion, and working with MatchWorks has been a great demonstration of this. This is what diversity and inclusion means to me, to bring in the person with the best fit for the role.”

Find out more about MatchWorks Disability Employment Services