“Contrary to popular belief, there is no problem recruiting staff to work in health and social care.” The problem lies with the type and quality of staff being recruited. The constant demands from regulators, councils, social work and hospital teams has created a self-perpetuating problem of poor retention, which places ever more pressure on recruiters.
SMARTER – “Breaking the cycle of poor recruitment means going back to basics.”
For many that will mean assessing the needs of current service users as well as those envisaged over the coming year. Recruiting staff that can cope with your future needs will improve quality, retention and staff satisfaction. If you havent completed a service assessment recently then this is most valuable exercise you can do today.
A comprehensive assessment will help you review Job Descriptions and Person Specifications. Taking the time to write a clear, open and honest description will save wasted days trawling through unsuitable applications.
Before placing an advert there are 3 key opportunities to consider:
• Current staff– Who meets the revised job description and person specification? Undoubtably there will be a need for learning and development within the existing team, which brings opportunity to improve retention. An investment in existing staff reduces the number of new hires required.
• Can’t Lose– Which of your staff team would you most fear to lose? Retaining the most experienced, skilled and reliable staff maintains continuity, company values and structure. If there are opportunities for promotion, or better terms and conditions of employment then approach this group first.
• Reviews– Like it or not there are numerous services collating the views of existing or past employees from your company. Don’t consider advertising before you have reviewed each of these and asked existing staff to post their positive experiences. Good PR just prior to advertising will encourage quality applicants to apply.
FASTER – “Anything other than a digital solution is not worth considering.”
Compliance with the Care Inspectorate, Care Quality Commission, GDPR and numerous employment acts means paper-based recruitment is next to impossible.
If you count recruitment in weeks, then you are losing the best staff to your competitors. A recent review by Novacare saw 87% of all applicants applying via mobile, with the typical applicant aged between 25–35.
If your aim is to target skilled, qualified and experienced staff, then the chances are they are already employed, even if not within the care sector. This means being accessible to applicants outside office hours. Digital solution allow recruiters to work form home, or applicants to be processed automatically without the need for staff intervention.
The best ways to speed up recruitment are:
• Standard Applications – No matter how tempting it is to accept a CV, don’t. Our experience shows that candidates who submit applications are far and more likely to complete the recruitment process. You will immediately reduce spurious applications and be more able to compare one candidate against another.
• Automation– There are many applicant tracking systems available. However, there are few similarities to recruiting an engineer compared to a nurse. So why would the ATS would be the same?
BETTER – “Live management reports are indispensable.”
Data is only as good as the time it was collected, making good management decisions comes from accessing LIVE management reports.
Being the best at recruitment is knowing every applicant at every stage of the process. Pushing the candidates which match your assessed need through as quickly and professionally as possible. A good management report will show you not just the numbers of applicants, but their gender, qualifications, experience, professional registration, equality data and more.
Your return on investment should not be measured by the number of applications, rather the number of successful hires. Use your management report to identify where employees came from and review job boards, pay per click, adverts and refer a friend scheme dispassionately.
Finally ask yourself Who did I want to recruit but failed? It is in this hidden data that improvements to processes will be found. It gives insight to your competitors and help focus future campaigns. Remember it is better to use this to improve your staff retention before they are enticed by others adverts.
BEST – “Break with convention and collaborate.”
What makes the better recruiters the best is their adoption of all the tools available to them. They never rest on their laurels and are open to trying new ways to capture the very best talent.
A recent project in Edinburgh saw providers across the city partner with Novacare. Together a dedicated recruitment site advertised available positions geographically to candidates. This had several benefits including:
• Providers reduced advertising spend
• Applicants chose jobs in the area they lived.
• The time taken to recruit staff fell dramatically
• 1000 unique applicants sought employment in the first 6 weeks
• Unsuccessful applicants were offered places with other providers
• Providers had a better chance of recruiting as applicants applied to fewer vacancies concurrently.