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Emerald homecare

If you regularly get frustrated hiring new staff members then don’t despair. Take a step back and consider new ways of recruiting, as Essex based Emerald Home Care decided to do with great success.

Emerald Home Care was founded in 2013 by two highly experienced Care Assistants, Sandra Holder and Emma Hussain, and it has grown steadily ever since bringing with it the need to hire more Carers. But as new business owners Sandra and Emma had limited prior experience in recruiting other Carers, which meant studying and implementing established recruitment strategies and processes, including employing an HR company to help them.

“We spent a lot of time taking advice and getting the process right before we started advertising for staff on the large recruitment web sites,” explained Sandra Holder, Director at Emerald Home Care. “But we weren’t prepared for the amount of no-shows and people who were happy to waste our and their own time as they weren’t actually very interested in the job. And at this stage in the development of the business time is a luxury in short supply, so we knew we had to do something differently.”

Already familiar with the National Skills Academy for Social Care as a source of advice and help, Emerald Home Care signed up for the Values Based Recruitment Toolkit which was being promoted on the Academy’s web site.

“Studying the Toolkit made it clear to us that while you can train for skills, you can’t train for attitude. So we decided to focus on attitudes and values first and placed a small advert in a shop window locally to enable us to test the theory,” said Sandra Holder.

“Our first candidate through that advert was Louisa Oldham who had no prior direct experience in Caring but from talking to her and the results of the Profiles4Care assessment, which is part of the VBRT, her attitudes and values are ideal for what we knew was important in our Carers dealing with clients and for the company.”

Louisa herself had considered a career in nursing previously but had concentrated on raising her family first and then had a number of administrative jobs before the Emerald Home Care advert was brought to her attention by a close relative.

“With the kids now grown up and with no previous experience or qualifications in Care work I didn’t think it was going to happen. Sitting at the interview, the first I’d had in many years and for a job I hadn’t done before, was daunting but I knew I wanted to do something meaningful and I am always keen to learn and take on new challenges,” explained Louisa.

Using the Value Based Recruitment Toolkit has changed the way that Emerald Home Care conducts its recruitment process for the better as Sandra Holder described; ” The assessments have given us confidence to make decisions more based on values than someone’s previous experience alone.

“We’ve seen quite a few people with lots of experience but the assessments have told us things like, they prefer working for larger organisations or perhaps were not such great team players. It has also highlighted whether people were likely to stay in the job or not, which in any new business can damage momentum at a critical time. So in taking Louisa as a prime example, we have been thrilled with how well this new approach is working.”

Louisa has now completed the company’s in-depth induction process and embarked on the first steps of her lifelong training in Care and she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I have honestly never been happier than I am now working as a Carer,” said Louisa. “Helping people and learning about their lives is more fulfilling than I’d even hoped for and I can genuinely say that I bounce out of bed now on a Monday morning.”