Posted: 22 February 2019
Debby Lamont is registered manager for Middleton Hall Retirement Village and a registered manager member of Skills for Care. For our ‘focus on recruitment’ month, Debby shares her thoughts on how being innovative with your recruitment selection can improve the delivery of care and staff retention. They involve staff, residents and their families to get the right person that reflects their person-centred culture.
We have five different care services at Middleton Hall and employ nearly 200 people. When we recruit, we firstly look at the role we need to hire for, what the needs of the business are and what skills are required. We also make sure that they share our vision and values and that they’re passionate about what they do and why they do it. We ensure from the outset that candidates understand how they fit into the wider team and the impact that their actions may have on other staff, residents and our services. Understanding our integrated approach to care is critical.
This focus on teamwork and integration supports our recruitment approach. We initially ask candidates to take part in an online behaviour and attitude screening. This provides us with a personality fit and job suitability for a role in care which we explore at the initial interview. We always try to involve our staff, who will be working with the new recruit, in the interview process, which involves our Living Well approach to activities and events.
Our staff and residents are mindful of the type of person we’re looking to recruit, so in the second interview we ask candidates to work with both staff and residents. This might involve supporting an activity or just engaging in a discussion. Throughout this process, staff will be looking at how candidates interact with residents. For example, are they actually engaging with them, actively listening and making conversation?
Throughout the selection process, from when a candidate walks through the front door and is greeted by reception, many staff members from across the organisation are involved to some extent in meeting and observing them.
Our integrated approach doesn’t stop here. It also extends to our residents, who enjoy taking part in the recruitment process. Sometimes the discussions they have with candidates are as informative as a formal interview. We’ll take on board their views, listening and documenting their feedback. It’s important that we put the needs of our residents first when recruiting people who will be involved in their care and support. They absolutely need to have a say in the process and know that their voices are heard.
We also involve relatives of residents wherever possible. When we set up Middleton Oaks, our small group living facility that helps support those living with dementia, we involved relatives of residents in our recruitment. Some helped interview, while some who could not attend submitted questions to pose to candidates at interview. This approach gives relatives an active involvement in our recruitment. Their views and comments are not just sought in a tokenistic manner but play an integral part of the recruitment process.
It was recently announced that Middleton Hall is to become an employee-owned organisation. I think this is a testament to the passion and pride of our staff in upholding our vision and values, and to our belief that our staff are our greatest asset.
For me, a win-win situation when recruiting is when a candidate really wants to work with us and we really want to work with them; when there’s excitement on both sides. It can often take a long time to find the right candidate. We can go through a lot of interviews and sometimes advertise a post two or three times to make sure we have the right person for the role. This can mean we have to rely on our bank staff to fill those gaps in the short-term, but we know that rushing to fill positions doesn’t pay off in the long run.
We have a low staff turnover rate; something I would attribute to the time we take over our recruitment and induction process, making sure that we have the right person for the role.
Find out more
Find out how to improve your recruitment selection here and follow our social media campaign on Twitter at #RecruitToCare.
You can also find out more about the benefits of registered manager membership here and how it supports managers.