You don’t have to work in the healthcare sector to know that recruiters are facing huge challenges. For Circle Health Group things were just about to get tougher and as one of our long-term clients, we were right there and ready to rise to the challenge.
The partnership with HARBOUR is unique - not like a normal client/supplier relationship. They have a genuine desire to understand what we want to achieve. They challenge us and encourage us to explore different ways of doing things. Getting heads together enables us to find the right solution, first time and avoids resources being wasted.
Head of Talent Acquisition, Circle Health Group
In 2020, Circle Health Group acquired a much larger healthcare provider adding more than 50 hospitals to their portfolio. On top of a huge acquisition and rebrand exercise, the Group were facing one of the toughest crises in the history of the health sector - Covid. An already challenging employment market became even tougher with the demand for healthcare workers increasing and the talent pool shrinking.
For the newly appointed Head of Talent Acquisition, Simon Mawson, it was clear that the Group needed to take a fresh look at their recruitment strategy and how their long-term partnership with HARBOUR could support them.
With such fierce competition for talent, attraction is key and creating a modern and engaging careers website was a top priority. Candidates also expect a first-class user experience – one that allows them to search and apply for a role in just a few clicks.
Working with the web development team at HARBOUR, the outdated careers website was overhauled, creating an engaging front end and improved user journey to attract new talent. Streamlining the application form has reduced the time to apply by nearly 50% and the addition of Request a call back functionality has increased their talent pool.
With stiff competition for talent and recruiting 4,000 new colleagues a year, the Group needed to be able to respond at pace to applicants. But the resourcing team were relying heavily on manual processes and email, and hiring managers were slow to respond. All of this meant a resource-intensive, drawn-out recruitment process, and the risk of candidates being lost.
The need to move fast was a key driver for automating more of the recruitment process through the HARBOUR ATS. By tailoring functionality to meet their needs, the resourcing team can now complete tasks, that may have taken 8-10 emails, in a single click of a button.
Reducing the amount of manual administration freed up the resourcing team to focus on adding value to the candidate experience and new joiners described their experience as unique and personalised.
Engaging hiring managers and getting them to respond quickly was a real challenge. With hospital managers spending most of their time on the shop floor away from their desk, and patient care being the priority, it’s easy to understand why.
HARBOUR worked with the team to create a portal that would give managers full visibility of candidates throughout the process and enable them to complete tasks quickly. The key was making the portal as easy to use as possible to ensure buy-in and give time back to managers.
By simply logging into the portal once a day, managers can keep on top of recruitment activity, respond swiftly and ultimately reduce the time to hire. Greater visibility of the process has encouraged managers to engage with their new starters at touch points throughout onboarding, enhancing the candidate experience.
Onboarding in the healthcare sector is complex and time-consuming, with a large number of pre-employment checks and requirements. The team at HARBOUR understand these challenges and have created a bespoke portal that takes the hassle out of onboarding and ensures compliance with CQC regulations. Fully automated, the portal takes candidates step-by-step through pre-employment checks, prompting them to upload the necessary documentation and sending reminders about any tasks they haven’t completed.