The Covid-19 pandemic has sent shockwaves throughout the entire economy, with many sectors quickly having to adapt to the ‘new normal’.
Working on the frontline of the crisis, the social care sector has had one of the hardest challenges, faced with increased care demands for a particularly vulnerable group of the population.
However, continuing to provide an excellent level of care has required a dramatic increase in recruitment for all roles in the social care sector. The need for more staff has been further compounded by many having to take time off work to self-isolate after experiencing symptoms themselves or through living with others who have shown signs of the virus.
At Ashton Manor, over the last few weeks we’ve started our hiring process to recruit for all departments in our new care home. Unable to conduct interviews face-to-face, we’ve had to implement new ways of screening applications to fill roles. We have been holding all interviews virtually, first through an initial phone screening and then a comprehensive interview via Zoom and Microsoft Teams.
Our new normal
It is said that in crises come opportunities, and this is true for the recruitment process at Evermore Care.
During this difficult period, we’ve strengthened our processes and centralised some aspects of our recruitment activity, such as having an initial telephone screening and the virtual interviews. Once ‘normality’ resumes, we are planning to keep telephone screening at the front-end before the face-to-face interview. This adds another layer and helps us invite only the strongest candidates to the face-to-face interview stage.
As part of our virtual interview process, we’ve also built in some behavioural competencies which we score and assess. These will also be included as part of our face-to-face interviews in the future. This allows us to recruit the right people with the right values – especially as we have seen a rise in applications from people who have never worked in the care sector before.
We’re learning every lesson to improve the working lives of our current team members, whilst also refining our recruitment process for new team members. As such, while the Covid-19 crisis has been the biggest challenge to the sector in a generation, it may well be a moment for positive change in many HR and recruitment departments across the social care industry.