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Orchard Care Homes streamlines recruitment process Plainly

Orchard Care Homes, a provider of elderly residential and nursing care in northern England and the Midlands, has streamlined its recruitment process following a review of the company’s processes.

With ongoing recruitment requirements across its portfolio of 24 homes, the company experienced delays in new recruits being able to start due to extensive compliance requirements which lead to additional costs as agency staff backfilled roles.

Orchard engaged Plainly.com, a provider of automated processes, as part of its strategic recruitment review, with the aim to speed up the recruitment process to identify, engage with and hire the best candidates quickly, saving costs by reducing reliance on agency staff to fill gaps created by an extended time to hire.

While Orchard appreciated that at least some of the solution would be in the form of a technical platform, they were firm in the belief that end user experience was critical to any solution they looked at.

“The care industry is littered with tech platforms that don’t address the day-to-day needs of their end users or are cumbersome and time consuming to implement. We approached this project knowing what we wanted for the end users in our care homes and our admin teams and it was very clear that their needs had to be at the forefront of any decision making,” said Orchard Care Homes process improvement manager James Lyner.

Plainly.com’s brief was to address four key areas - process, documentation, contract signing and document management - to fit Orchard’s requirements around saving time, costs, increasing consistency and oversight and ultimately ease of use by non-technical staff.

The results were immediate and Orchard’s new recruitment process now provides clarity about where every candidate is in the process and who internally needs to action things, ensures mandatory steps cannot be missed, e.g. DBS checks have to be received before a candidate can move to the step in the workflow, keeps the process moving with prompts and alerts and clear next steps at every stage and provides a centralised view of all local recruitment in an instant.

Orchard’s 24 care homes can access details of all candidates in the recruitment process at the touch of a button, maximising consistency of approach. Offer packs are now ready in seconds and contracts signed and returned in minutes and user feedback is overwhelmingly positive.

“Streamlining the process with automated workflows and documentation has reduced hiring times by half, with a 50 per cent-plus reduction in administration time, meaning candidates are now ready to start with us in as little as seven days,” said Orchard Care Homes quality monitoring officer Lucy Gradwell.

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