Author Archives: adam lewis

Mitigating the impact of Coronavirus within the Health and Social Care Sector

It now seems highly likely that we will see a significant increase in the number of people infected with coronavirus over the weeks and months ahead. Here at Crooton, we are fully committed to standing shoulder to shoulder with our health and social care colleagues to get suitably skilled staff permanently deployed to those most vulnerable in our society.

We are already supporting a number of health and social care agencies to respond to the Coronavirus threat from a position of strength. By overfilling permanent roles, and aiming for 110% post occupancy, not only will shortages be less acute but those on the ground will be better placed to provide continuity of care than ‘in-demand’ ad hoc locums.

An article in the Guardian last week (Care workers could be redeployed to UK coronavirus hotspots, Guardian, Wed 4 Mar 2020) looked at plans being made within the Care Sector to address the issues that are likely to arise. These included a review of obligatory background checks by the Department of Health and Social Care, that can currently take upto 2 weeks,  to see whether these would impact on implementing an emergency plan. It would seem prudent at this time for the commissioners to at least allow staff to start who have had DBS clearance in the last 12 months, whilst new ones are pending. 

Industry leaders within the sector have said that without emergency measures, the forecasted infection levels in the UK could force homes to close and residents to be moved to NHS facilities. This would inevitably cause considerable distress and further increase the burden on already stretched services.

The Adult Social Care Sector currently employs a workforce of over 1.5 million, with employees split between  permanent 91%, temporary 3%, bank 4%, agency 1% and other 1%. With a 7.8% open vacancy rate ( and usual sickness rates typically running higher for Carers than the average for the UK economy at 4.8 lost days per year, there is already significant pressure on the workforce to maintain service levels. 

As infection control measures increase,  the number of workers self-isolating will significantly impact on service quality and delivery. The impact might be partly mitigated through a greater reliance on locum bank/agency staff and extended working hours. However, if government predictions are right, and 20% of the population are off work at the height of the epidemic, then this will clearly create some very significant problems and the situation will be exacerbated the longer this period lasts.  With the Government officials now forecasting a peak in April, there is little time to mobilise and ensure there is sufficiently skilled permanent staff available.

Care providers should look at reducing the number of open vacancies they currently carry in an attempt to reduce the impact of coronavirus on the continuation of services. With a turnover rate of staff of a little over 30% in the sector, staffing levels will return to normal levels very quickly post virus, minimizing the longer term financial impact.

Technological solutions might help care providers speed up recruitment within their sector – online services for reducing processing times on DBS checks, recruitment marketing tools to access potential candidates and screening services to allow internal recruitment teams to operate more efficiently.

A mix of technology, good strategic planning and focused resourcing is likely to help minimize the impact of this virus in the sector over the coming months. However, with forecasts on the potential spread changing by the hour, it would seem that the window of opportunity to make the greatest impact is shortening.


Case Study – HGV Drivers

Results of a campaign run over 4 weeks for a haulage company based in Cambridgeshire.

The company was looking to recruit 5 HGV Class 1 Drivers.

Using ‘Employer Fencing’, traditional marketing channels and search activity we were able to provide them with a shortlist of candidates, from which they made 5 hires.

1 fee, 5 hires = significant saving on cost per hire.

Would you like to target your competitors best talent?

Unique digital display ad. targeting for recruitment. 

Back in March 2019, Facebook agreed to overhaul its targeted advertising system, following a lawsuit in the US around accusations that landlords, lenders and employers were using the platform to discriminate. The lawsuit compels Facebook to withhold some detailed demographic data from advertisers who are looking to market jobs, property and credit services. 

This would appear to constitute a paradigm shift for Facebook, whose business model has always been based on monetising this personal data. At least some of these changes were implemented in December 2019, and although currently limited to the US, it will be interesting to see what the longer term impact might be within the Recruitment Industry in the UK.

Clearly, Facebook has become an important channel for some employers to market job openings, but does it offer the most effective means of targeting the best talent and will future changes lead to degradation of targeting opportunities? Yes, they currently offer some great tools, but there are very few businesses who can rely on the platform as their sole candidate source. 

There is in fact a multitude of other marketing channels that employers might choose to use, all of which have their own strengths and weaknesses. Job boards can be a useful and relatively cost effective way of marketing opportunities to active jobseekers and with the growth in programmatic, the return on investment can be more closely managed. However, as a marketing channel, it is not a particularly good way of accessing passive candidates, who are unlikely to be presented with the live job opening.

Of course, LinkedIn and many of the Job Board operators provide access to databases that potentially allow ‘passive candidates’ to be identified. This of course comes at a cost, both from a license perspective and the investment in time, resulting from search activity and the communication with potential candidates.

Geo-targeting of digital display job ads would on the surface appear to offer employers an interesting way of reaching talent working for their competitors. However, low ad serving volumes resulting from only being able to serve ads when someone is in the targeted area pushes up the cost and the inability to refine the perimeter of the location being targeted creates significant wastage.

In January 2020, Crooton launched it’s Employer Fencing product, that for the first time allows employers to access talent in a much more targeted way. This new product opens up the opportunity for specific locations (businesses/competitors) to be ring-fenced to the nearest metre, and ads to be served to anyone entering the area. This audience can then be served these messages for a period of 28 days after they have left the fenced area, allowing ads to be presented to potential candidates when browsing the web at home etc. 

This new approach to accessing talent creates some very significant benefits and allows some of the problems with other established channels to be overcome. 

  • Ability to present jobs to the best talent working for your competitors. 
  • Access a larger pool through the targeting of attendees of trade events (whilst at the event and for 28 days afterwards).
  • Effectively target students attending educational establishments
  • Remove wastage through the exclusion of short-term ‘visitors’ to fenced areas 
  • Ability to create employer ads in multiple formats to maximize the opportunity to serve the ads
  • Message presented to the audience multiple times over period of campaign, increasing awareness and propensity to click

We believe this exciting new service opens up access to a large talent pool that would have previously been very difficult and expensive to access.

For the time being, no single channel is likely to provide the complete solution to delivering the very best talent for employers; but with Crooton’s Employer Fencing product, used in conjunction with its Job Board Advertising, Search & Screening Services we certainly think we can improve your odds of finding some amazing candidates.

For further info. Please give us a call on 0208 124 2558

The cost of filling the candidate funnel

Employers are keen to recruit the best but how do they reach these people and what is the real cost?

Employers often want lots of candidates at the top of the funnel and these will be made up of external active & passive jobseekers and internal candidates. To access these potential candidates can be costly, as it is highly unlikely that all these people can be reached through a single channel.

Active jobseekers, might view an opening on a job board, but no single platform will ensure all potentially suitable candidates will be exposed to the role. Increasing the number of platforms, clearly improves the chances of reaching a greater number of active jobseekers but there is likely to be a significant cost implication. It also fails to address the fact that there are likely to be passive candidates, maybe working for competitors, that are not aware of the opening.

Search activity, social media, digital ad targeting and internal communications allow candidates from these other groups to be reached, but management of all this additional activity takes time, and therefore carries with it an additional cost.

Having filled the top of the funnel with a large pool of applicants, comes the job of selection. A great many of these applicants are unlikely to be suitable for the job, but every application must be reviewed in an objective way to ensure the organisation is not exposed to legal risk.

It is clear that there are in fact two costs associated with every application – the cost of generating the application and then the cost of processing the application.

If we suppose, that through accessing multiple sources, 30 applications might be received for a particular role, then in most cases, less than a third of these applicants will be progressed to the next stage of the recruitment process. To generate and manage these applications comes at a cost and employers should review whether these first stages of the candidate funnel are best managed in-house or outsourced.

Crooton help organisations manage the candidate funnel through cost effective multiple channel exposure and effective screening.

Time to Hire

Recruiting for a key role remains one of the most important decisions any company needs to make, yet a lengthy recruitment process means you run the risk of saying goodbye to the best candidates on offer.

The average length of the interview-to-appointment process in the UK is currently around 27.5 days and in the LinkedIn Global Recruiting Trends Report (2017) some 80 percent of employers said their whole recruitment process took anything up to 2 months.

Your approach to talent acquisition says a lot about you, especially to candidates. For example a hiring process with a slow candidate evaluation process, followed by a drawn out interview stage, with poor or slow communication, sends all the wrong signals about your company to those potentially interested in working for you.

In the current economic environment and to stand the best chance of appointing the right candidates, providing clear and regular communication and timely feedback is imperative.

It is clear that there is a considerable disparity between employee expectations and the timeframes within which employers are working. One study showed that 39% of jobseekers felt a recruitment process of 7-14 days was too long, with another 24% believing a 15-21 day window was excessive. 69% of respondents said that they lost interest in a company if they had not heard anything back within one to two weeks of an interview.

crooton can help employers speed up the first part of the recruitment process, by managing the marketing of vacancies, handling the first stage of screening, whilst also ensuring candidates remain engaged.  Find out how crooton can help.




The real cost of unfilled vacancies

If you are an employer with unfilled vacancies in your workforce, as each day goes
by without making an appointment you will be less productive.
Leave that clock ticking and money simply goes down the drain – hour by hour, day by day.

This isn’t an exaggeration. For many businesses, particularly SMEs, exactly
quantifying the true costs of an unfilled vacancy might be difficult but, rest assured,
failing to recruit the best person in a timely fashion is costing you.
And it’s currently not getting easier to find the right person, either. The number of
unfilled job vacancies in the UK remains historically high at just over 800,000.
(Source: ONS Vacancy Survey).

At the same time, our unemployment rate is almost at a 45-year low and nominal
regularly weekly pay has risen by 3.6% (Source: ONS).

Let’s face it, you’re locked in a talent war, whether you like it or not.

High employment, rising wages and a shrinking jobs market does not make
recruitment easy.

Leaving a role vacant in your company inevitably causes issues. Frustrations may
arise as other departments or individuals assume more responsibility. They
themselves may become more inefficient; overall productivity may suffer.

Britain is no stranger to low productivity, the country has one of the lowest rates in
Europe. And it is predicted that boosting the productivity of Britain’s SMEs to match
that of Germany could add up to £100bn to our economy. (Source: Business
Productivity Review, HM Govt).

In the current jobs climate, your ability to recruit is so critical to your productivity.

Any failure to increase the value of your goods and services produced per hour of work ultimately restricts what you can afford to pay your employees.

And with stiff competition for candidates driving up wages, and increasing costs for
businesses, you can’t afford to get trapped in a vicious circle caused by low
productivity influenced by a slow recruitment process.

Applying urgency when it comes to unfilled positions makes good business sense.
Research among some businesses saw 42% report reduced productivity when
leaving positions unfilled for up to six months with 38% citing limited business
growth as another major consequence.

Crooton can help reduce your time-to-hire by providing a smarter way to manage the candidate funnel.