Testimonial from AM Fresh

“We have found the Crooton Team to be helpful and on-hand to provide us with quality candidates for singular specialist requirements which have reduced our reliance on Recruitment Agencies and have also turned around a number of high volume projects with tight deadlines, going above and beyond to support our team.”

“They are clearly passionate about understanding and meeting our needs and have delivered against some tough deadlines.”

“I would have no hesitation in recommending Crooton for their excellent, cost-effective service.”

We’re building things!

A number of significant things have happened post lockdown that have clearly impacted business. Operating within the recruitment sector, we have had numerous new business meetings rescheduled and recruitment campaigns suspended; and just like many others we have had to review our cost base and re-negotiate supplier contracts where appropriate. 

Where we are fortunate, is that we continue to maintain strong relationships with our partners. One thing that has not changed, and is unlikely to change, is the importance placed on ‘trust’. We would like to think that those organisations that we work with, know that we will not over-promise and under-deliver and always strive to support them in any way we can. Recently this has meant offering additional services where internal recruitment teams have required some extra help and over the forthcoming months I suspect we will be called upon to support in other areas that we have not yet foreseen. From wherever these calls come, we will seek to adapt and meet those needs. 

Where we see business requirements strengthening over the months ahead, are solutions to support an increase in productivity. Within recruitment we suspect this is likely to come from new tools to help teams interact and engage with candidates in a more efficient and effective way. With this in mind we have been ‘building’ things that will deliver solutions to meet these needs. We will soon launch a marketing platform which will allow everyone to create great looking digital ads which can then be delivered to a targeted audience. Soon after this deployment, we will launch a flexible applicant management system that will help teams manage applications. 



The digital ad creation tool and ad delivery system, will allow bespoke ads to be created in multiple formats in minutes rather than days, and allow the serving of these ads via the ad networks. This easy to use system means anyone will be able to create great looking adverts from scratch, or build templates that can be amended in seconds with new vacancy details. With the creative tool plugged in to all the major ad networks, these ads can then be served wherever you want them to be seen. We are planning to offer free access to the ad creation tool to businesses over the coming weeks. If you are interested, please drop us a line at enquiries@crooton.com and we will send you login details over the coming weeks.


Our second ‘build’ project centres around a candidate management system, which will allow  businesses to manage candidate applications within an easy to use interface. Users will be able to build online assessments in various formats, communicate with applicants through the system, share comments with colleagues, review and weight applications and access insightful reports. Over forthcoming months, we will look to deploy further functionality based on user requirements and the service will be offered for free for the next 6 months with no on-going commitment. 

Our vision is to build a flexible free/low cost solution that can be customised for individual requirements. We want to create something that really works, that people want to use and that delivers real value. The tool could be managed as a stand-alone service or integrated into existing systems and in subsequent releases we will look to deploy new functionality that is aligned with user requirements. We think you know better than us, what is really needed, so if you would like to help shape the next phase of this project whilst benefiting from free access to the service, please drop us a line enquiries@crooton.com.

We’re really excited about building something great with you over the months ahead.



Flexible Recruitment Services

With a lot of recruitment being suspended or reversed there is inevitably going to be pressure on organisations to save money in the area of talent acquisition. This unfortunately may come at the expense of staff redundancies, but could come through savings from external suppliers and service providers.

External providers should look to offer as much value as possible, to help minimize the financial impact on organisations , which in turn, might help with staff retention levels. ‘Value’ could be provided through free services or alterations to pricing models, an increased focus on over-delivery or adapting offerings to help meet the needs of specific organisations. 

As a service provider we are currently reviewing our own offerings to try and introduce greater flexibility into our provision. With such uncertainty around much recruitment activity, we have put together an offering that allows employers to turn services ‘on and off’, as and when required. We feel this will go some way to help organisations manage costs whilst delivering the support and flexibility they require at this time.   

There are of course organisations that are continuing to recruit in numbers, particularly in those sectors where roles are critical. In these situations the focus is likely to be quite different. The primary concern may not be around cost savings directly, but filling vacancies quickly whilst ensuring costs do not spiral. Within the Health & Social Care Sectors for example, we have seen companies looking to over-staff to ensure they can maintain a continuation of service. However, they operate within a very tight financial framework so must ensure that they keep any expenditure that is not directly associated with the delivery of front line services, to an absolute minimum. For a number of these types of organisations, we have been able to provide multiple placements hires for just one fee. If we can find 10 great Support Workers for a Care Agency, at a cost per hire of below £100, then this has to be good for both parties!

The increasing volumes of recruitment activity in some sectors, has meant some internal teams struggle to manage all aspects of the process. This might be in the marketing of roles, candidate search, screening, interviewing, reference checking, and making offers or chasing acceptance letters.  By customising our offering, we have been able to offer support at various points in this process. Recently, we have been asked for support around additional candidate contact to ensure applicants do not drop out of the funnel before the process has been completed. In other instances we have been able to support the introduction of video interviewing, and we see this as a really positive step. This has helped speed up the time to hire, and is likely to become the norm with many businesses post lockdown. For RGNs  and other hard to fill roles, the approach and support we have offered has again been quite different. For these types of vacancies our activity has been much more focused around search activity.

It is difficult to know yet whether there will be any long term changes to the process of recruitment, but what is clear is that we are all having to think differently. We are having to think laterally & creatively, we’re being forced to operate in a more agile way and we are having to ensure that what we deliver has significant and measurable value. By doing these things, hopefully we can help organisations navigate through these unprecedented times.

Staff Retention – Thoughts from the frontline

Depending on the sector within which you operate, recruitment of new staff could be your main priority at present. However, it is just as important to retain the excellent staff you already have.

Feedback from a lot of the candidates we speak to, regarding their motivation for leaving a company is around transparency of the ‘goings on’ at a senior level.  Staff want to feel like they belong and would like to help shape the business and have their ideas heard. When they feel that they have this level of investment and engagement from an employer, they are more likely to stay. 

When staff have an excellent bond with their manager, we have found that their commitment to the company is stronger.  To feel valued for the work they are doing is at the top of the list of reasons someone will stay with a company. And showing their value doesn’t have to be financial; an email recognising their efforts, a shout-out during a meeting or conference call are fantastic ways of recognising individuals performance, a bottle of their favourite tipple or their favourite snack is also a great way to show appreciation.  

It’s so important to raise and retain morale within your workforce, as a happy team is a productive and loyal team. 


Examples of how other companies are retaining staff:
– additional perks like lunch vouchers, extra holidays days to be taken later,
– a fun team bonding event once things return to normal,
– retention bonuses,
– additional financial incentives for x number of additional shifts worked.

These aren’t things you may be able to exercise immediately, however, staff being able to ‘bank’ incentives are just as good.

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 (skillsforcecare.org) 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.