Recruitment and retention and how technology is transforming the industry

Robert Burclaff | Business Application Manager - Helping Hands

About this episode

Rob Burclaff, Business Application Manager at Helping Hands, shares the challenges his company faces in recruitment and retention and how technology is transforming the industry.

Episode Transcript

My name is Rob Burclaff, I’m the business application manager at Helping Hands, we’re a large domiciliary care business during the visiting care and living care across England and Wales.

We've got around 150 branches, around 5,000 care staff. All of our branches and manages, all work for the company.

Can I ask, what are your biggest challenges today?
We can see a huge staffing issue right now, shortage. How does it affect your company?

We have done lots of things and introduced, lots of incentives to try and help with recruitment and retention.

During the pandemic, we did see a huge uptick in numbers, but then lots of people returned to other sectors where they worked previously. We've introduced a number of things, so moving away from just paying carers for the hours they do, but give them that sort of security of a guaranteed income.

We've introduced salary drawdown schemes, so they can work and then get that money straight away. We've seen an increase in people using it compared to people who were accessing advances from our higher teams. It just makes things a lot easier for them, a lot more straightforward, removes some of the stigma and we've also changed the way we we recruit.

Moving away from a very system driven, lots of tick boxes to just try and ensure that we have a great conversation, and get to know someone to find out their they'll make a good carer rather than ticking boxes, say I've worked in care, or…

How can I make my carers do a better job, using technology, or by digitizing my business?

We've been through a huge IT transformation since I've been in the company, so in the past four years we have moved from a very paper based solution to a digital one.

We've got the electronic MAR and the electronic activity tracking, and that was a huge change for our carers. We didn't even really have time sheet, it was just sort of agreed that “these are
the calls, you'll do them and we'll pay for them automatically.” And that has been a huge change there, because now there is a time attendance.

I think it has been embraced by the staff, and even those that were perhaps a little bit apprehensive and maybe thought that some of the more older demographic within the carers, that they might not take to it, but many of them do find it exciting.

It's such a huge part of everyone's lives for so many other things now, that using it for your job
just will feel like second nature to so many people.

So I would say to anyone who is still using paper, that everyone will pick it up.

Your key tip to new care providers, franchisees that are starting the way, in order to succeed in the business.

I do think it's very important to go through a digitization process, I think it's going to become increasingly difficult to carry on working on paper. So look at the market, get lots of references, speak to other companies, it's always good to to reach out and ask lots of questions.

There are no silly questions either, don't be afraid to ask absolutely everything, and how you can get your processes to fit the system. And, but that being said, there's some flexibility in change of processes when a system allows you to find a better way of doing things.