A leading provider of specialist nursing care for adults living with complex and high acuity needs approached Cogito to provide expert insight into their recruitment model on a national scale.

Our client was experiencing significant challenges attracting candidates and was struggling to convert enough applicants to interview. The HR Director believed that the business was not promoting their roles effectively enough whilst simultaneously losing members of their recruitment team to other companies. Although their previous recruitment model was effective, our client implied that improvement was needed to ensure that the business could continue to grow.

Our client enlisted the help of Cogito to perform a comprehensive, strategic audit, specifically focusing on Healthcare Assistants and Nurses. It was apparent to Cogito that there was a clear appetite for change from many stakeholders. However, the immediate drivers for change are needed to ensure that our client can attract and retain a diverse workforce of Healthcare Assistants and Nurses in the short, medium, and long term. 

Cogito was asked to pay particular attention to:

  • The recruitment team; the roles, the structure and capability.
  • The employer brand and attraction tools.
  • Recruitment system.
  • Selection and assessment.
  • Care Assistant pay

Building A Great Talent Acquisition Model

For our client, Cogito conducted an independent review of the recruitment model and the methods adopted by our client to attract and select candidates and gain insight into the effectiveness of their talent brand. Existing data was analysed, engaging with a selection of Leaders, Hiring Managers, HR and new starters to understand the process and experience. 

To support our client with a high quality, progressive and best-practice recruitment model, Cogito analysed quantitative and qualitative data to create a clear, fact-based plan. 

Cogito reviewed data, documents and processes currently in operation, focusing on the following:

  • candidate sources and attraction costs – where applications come from, i.e. referral, direct and the specific methods; and the return on investment of each attraction channel.
  • recruitment timeline and trends – the length of time to successfully recruit new staff from requirement identification to onboarding; and the risks associated with extended timelines
  • assessment criteria and tools – a review of all recruitment documentation, including shortlisting criteria, interview plans, scoring matrix’s etc currently in use, highlighting inconsistencies, non-compliance and gaps;
  • vetting process – identified by our client as a current bottleneck within the recruitment process;
  • hiring manager training material and recruitment guides – a review of existing content and ways in which Hiring Managers are prepared to conduct a practical assessment of candidates;
  • the ultimate outcome of new starters – the tenure of those hired in the last 12 months to determine trends in candidate quality, selection criteria and the attrition levels per job role. 

Our Solution

Through a combination of interviews, research, data analysis and documentation review, Cogito has:

  • conducted calls with employees from Executive to Operational levels, gaining their view of recruitment;
  • issued a new starter survey, analysing responses;
  • designed a Recruitment Agency survey, analysing responses;
  • conducted calls with prospective candidates;
  • performed employer brand perception research;
  • researched and analysed the competitive landscape;
  • researched and analysed pay and broader labour market trends;
  • studied Adverts, Job Descriptions, Assessment and Selection guides, Line Manager Recruitment Training and Recruitment Policy;
  • analysed data relating to applications exported from the ATS.

The research carried out by Cogito discovered that there is great potential to improve our clients’ recruitment performance. Based on our findings, our recommendations for improvement focus on:

  • Producing a strategy and service proposition – create a process to deliver what needs to be achieved and provided to candidates and managers.
  • Improving candidate experience and brand awareness – understanding what previous candidates like/dislike about the recruitment process.
  • Evolution of attraction methods – getting the basics in place using a phased approach.
  • Assessments that improve selection – building a framework based on competencies, skills, and behaviours.
  • Offer and pre-onboarding – a full review of the communications in place.
  • Improving the capability of those who recruit – consider the structure of the recruitment team, ensuring mandatory training for anyone involved in the recruitment process.
  • Utilising technology to deliver the service proposition – what role will technology play in the process.

Putting It Into Practice

Cogito presented our recommendations to our client – both in person and in report form – and a transformation plan for putting them into practice. The interactive feedback session included practical and achievable examples of how our client can improve recruitment to benefit from a highly effective in-house recruitment model, including a timebound action plan and the probable risks. Benchmarking was also included to support an understanding of what can be achieved.

The recommendations should be incorporated in the following sequence:

Step One: Design Establishing the service proposition and mapping out the journey for the employee.

Step Two: Build Creating an effective attraction strategy with a complete review of assessment methods and selection.

Step Three: Develop Training and implementation of changes to the skills process.

Stage Four: Embed Implementing the agreed processes, ensuring consistent review.

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