LANSDOWNE CARE SERVICES
LANSDOWNE CARE SERVICES
LANSDOWNE CARE SERVICES
With an average staff churn rate of 30% in the UK social care sector, care providers have a continuous need for staff, however a shortfall of more than 120,000 UK care workers means it’s increasingly difficult for providers to meet their permanent staffing needs.
As a result, social care providers are often caught between a rock and a hard place. They must rely heavily on agency staff to plug the gaps (significantly increasing staffing costs, decreasing profit margins and impacting on quality of care) or fail to maintain the required staffing levels and jeopardise their registration.
In this case study, we spoke to Ossie Machona, Operations Manager of Lansdowne Care, about how Recruitomate helped them meet their permanent staffing needs, significantly reduce their staffing costs and improve quality of care and staff morale.
Founded in 1985, Lansdowne Care provides care services in Bedfordshire for people between the ages of 18 and 65 with learning disabilities (such as autism), who may also have additional or complex needs. Employing around 90 staff, they operate six service locations in all. These include three residential care centres providing round-the-clock support, and three day care centres.
At the heart of Lansdowne Care’s values is a belief in putting people first. “We believe that people with a learning disability, as everyone else in society, should have the opportunity and an environment conducive to personal growth, independence and self-fulfilment.”
The managers at Lansdowne Care knew that hiring high quality and dedicated permanent staff was essential for providing the best possible care experience for their service users, but in common with many care providers, a shortage of care workers meant that they were struggling to recruit permanent staff.
They had tried everything to recruit directly for almost a year and half. As Ossie describes it: “If I say ‘hit and miss’, that’s most likely an understatement…it was just practically almost impossible… we tried all the usual places like ‘Indeed’, the local newspapers and…it has cost a lot without much success…it was just a frustrating process really.”
To maintain adequate staffing levels in the meantime, Lansdowne Care relied on agency staff, but at significant cost. “We have to have enough staff on the floor for the safety of the service users and for maintaining regulation, so we were block booking them, which obviously was costing us a lot of money.” explains Ossie. “With agencies, we don’t have an option. They’re going to charge us £30 an hour, because we’re desperate for a member of staff.”
As Ossie explains, relying on temporary staff also had a negative impact on quality of care and staff morale. – “It has a very huge impact on the quality of life for the people that we support… because one day they may be getting somebody who doesn’t know them, somebody who’s having to learn how to support them…and that person may not return again. So the impact is immeasurable.”
Reliance on agency staff is also likely to affect CQC inspections. As Ossie explains “If our CQC report says…’they are using a lot of locum agency staff to cover the floor’, that doesn’t read very well for our families, relatives and the commissioners…I needed to get staff that who would be permanent staff, staff that we would train our way, staff that would stay with our service, and we can turn around and say ‘these are our staff, they are trained and they know our ethos’, and we can be proud when we show them to the world.”
Having tried everything else, the managers at Lansdowne Care reached out to Recruitomate for help.
The team worked with Lansdowne to implement Recruitomate, a fully automated social care recruitment solution, customised specifically for their needs in just 10 days, which generated a continuous stream of candidate applications in their local area and automated most of the recruitment process administration.
The process automatically found candidates, gathered their information and sent out application forms. It then scheduled interviews with automated reminders and follow-ups.
The system was designed to get candidates to qualify themselves, and to put ‘the ball in their court’. This successfully filtered out the ‘no-shows’ and the ‘time-wasters’, so that Ossie and his team could spend their precious time speaking to candidates who were genuinely interested in the role.
Lansdowne Care have now recruited the permanent staff that they needed in just 4 weeks and, as a result, have been able to significantly reduce their reliance on locum agency staff which Ossie expects will save them £120,000 over the next 7 months.
As soon as the new system was implemented, Ossie started to see the results. “The next morning when I woke up, I think there were about 14 people interested in the position.”
He explains. “I rubbed my eyes and thought, ‘Is that 14 people or am I reading this wrong? I’ve had 14 people interested in jobs over the past year and a half, so that did strike me. I thought, ‘Okay, this is a good thing.”
One of the main aspects of using Recruitomate that Ossie appreciated was the convenience and how much time the process saved him. “The fact that I didn’t have to run into my office or to run to my computer to try and email an application or to go to the post box to post an application form to a person, to a candidate, that was just a deal-breaker for me, because that is the part that always takes a long time,” he explained.
Not only did Lansdowne Care receive 200 applications in 4 weeks, but the quality of candidates and level of interest in the roles was significantly better than applications received from other channels they had tried previously. ‘‘Considering that in the past year, I’d only got dribs and drabs…and they were not showing that much interest. These last few weeks, I’ve got people who are seriously interested in these roles…’’ says Ossie.
The quality of the candidates was also reflected in the show-up rates. Previously, Ossie found that candidate show up rates for interviews “…was less than 30%…I would sit there and I didn’t have any guarantee somebody would turn up or not”. But for the candidates recruited through Recruitomate Ossie says “…the show up rate was 95%, maybe 97%.”
As Ossie explains, having a full complement of new, permanent staff coming into the service is “…like a new blood infusion…something new coming into the system that hasn’t happened in a long time..and that’s been a positive thing. Everybody is looking forward to it, everybody’s talking about new people coming in…it’s been a long time coming!”
Now they have a full complement of permanent staff, Ossie expects that this will lead to better quality of care for service users, and have a positive impact on their CQC report. “This has gone over and beyond my expectations, I’ve got almost 200 people interested and I only have seven positions, so it’s been a revelation.” says Ossie. “It’s been really good, I wouldn’t actually ask anybody to think twice about it, I would just tell them to do it!”
And the most important result, at the end of the day, will be the improvement in the quality of life for the people receiving care and for the whole Lansdowne Care team.
Would you like to recruit more staff for your social care business and save £ thousands in the process? Book a call now and start to hire staff in as little as 10 days.