In-Control have showcased this Creative Recruitment in Social Care initiative and it has been shown to work - so we'll adopt its basic principles, but of course will "Kiwinise" it!!
Here are the problems we come to solve. Placing adds and carrying out traditional interviews to select candidates is not optimal for 3 reasons:
Problem 1: The traditional job interview is not a suitable tool for the specialised work to follow
Candidates are focused on showing themselves in their best light and even though we attempt to explain the joys as well as the challenges of caring for our disabled loved ones, the nature of work to follow is not well understood by many candidates. The nature of this specialised work is hard to explain during a traditional interview.
Problem 2: The traditional interview process is inefficient
Getting a right match is almost impossible with this process which is too short to really understand a person in depth. Moreover, someone who may not suit us might be perfect for another family... but a one-on-one is not flexible enough for multiple possibilities...
Problem 3: Addressing the high rate of early dropout
The mental and emotional cost of the hiring process is too hard to bear to repeat it too often. How do we decrease the chances of early drop out for people we do hire? It has happened so often that we found people we think are right, but that the person leaves shortly after having started because of a mismatch in expectations. Candidates too need to have a go in the right context.
From the above what is clear is that we need more time to get to know potential candidates, for them to get a chance to know our disabled loved ones and see them interact with them over time. We need more time!!!
Our solution: a 5 Saturday free training course to give families and candidates time to really get to know each other
We are clear with candidates that there is no promise of employment after the training - but that the training will be experiential, fun and enriching for them.
Each Saturday will be organised by a family. The family will chose a movie theme around their child's gifts and unique qualities: Superman, Saturday Night Fever, Fantasia, The Lord of the Rings... the idea behind choosing a movie is to make it easy for people to understand the power of unique elements - for instance the energising power that music or action or magic have on our children and how supporting actors can enrol this power in their everyday work to create excitement and joy in that young person's life. Our kids need to star in their own movies... so we are looking for supporting actors who will help them shine!! Note that we mention "supporting actors", not support staff - we need to get away from the outdated models of social care. Our kids deserve their life to be fun, interesting, meaningful, future-looking and safe. The use of cinema language is well embedded in our culture and will facilitate communication of expectations: who are the movie directors, main actors, supporting actors, different characters... creativity is a vehicle that transcends many barriers.
Step one: heaps of talking, sharing, social media advertising, shoulder tapping to find people with a big heart - not necessarily those who have experience in social care. In the UK a man who was fed up with his career installing window blinds actually reconnected with a former school mate who had had an accident and was paralysed: the two saved each other - it was mutual!! So we make sure we have lots of candidates.
Step two: we audition!! (a.k.a. short list - not everyone will make this cut - as expected).
Step three: carry out the 5 day training (curriculum being developed now).
More on this initiative here.