Quick Wins for Avoiding Performance & Misconduct Risk
In a consumer driven market with frontline staff being the regular and principal touch point for service users, providers have to manage employee related risk in both traditional and emerging areas of their business.
The commitment to protect service users in the sector is clear and undiminished. The processes to ensure this, however, are often found wanting and scrutiny from the regulator, media and community has never been greater. Reputational damage in a competitive marketplace haunts provider for years, especially in the local community near an incident. Misconduct extends beyond high profile incidents seen in the media to include indifference, neglect, culpable behaviour and dishonesty impacting on clients/residents.
User Experience is the new battleground in the aged, community and disability sectors. Empowered clients, with choice, and increasing expectations continues to move social care into a consumer driven competitive marketplace. The engagement and relationships built by frontline staff, combined with the quality of the support provided are pivotal for success in today’s care sector. Ensuring employees are suited to roles requiring the delivery of care, support and compassion is fundamental to effective staff performance in social care.
Frontline capability now translates directly into Bottom Line Performance
We took a sample of over 15,000 frontline care applicants screened during the past year. Using the standard Care Advantage assessment for counter-productive work behaviours - Hostility, Integrity and Dependability, we found the following:
Some Quick Wins
Are our applicants ‘right’ for the sector?
Care Advantage screens specifically for job fit in the Social Care sector. It identifies those candidates with the values, empathy and personality necessary for success in a human services environment. It compares your applicants to a benchmark of proven good performers in the same role and identifies those with a strong job fit. Benchmarks exist for around 40 roles in the care sector including personal carers, disability support, home care assistance, Registered Nurses, Clinical Managers.
Can we identify the level of risk with our applicants?
Care Advantage also screens for counter-productive work behaviours, specifically hostility, dependability and integrity. Flagging high-risk profiles allows providers to avoid or increase scrutiny of applicants.
How do we Avoid Missing Good candidates?
Most Care Advantage users screen applicants high in the recruitment funnel, when the candidate first applies. The screening platform has been designed, and priced, to allow employers to review high volumes of frontline applicants in an effective and rapid manner.
Identifying strong job fit and lower risk candidates early in the recruitment process provides significant competitive advantage by reducing misconduct and performance risk whilst improving efficiency and speed of recruitment processing. As the assessments are based on personality, the screening identifies all good job fit, lower risk candidates, regardless of work history, enabling our clients to find the ‘Hidden Gems’.
With 'Standard 8' of the, now legislated, compliance regime starting next year, there are a number of new requirements. The majority of these involve the ability to demonstrate that the organisation possesses a governance framework that recognises the organisation’s purpose, its legislative, policy and ethical obligations, as well as its workforce and employment responsibilities. Care Advantage allows users to demonstrate an effective framework, as part of a contemporary recruitment process, that identifies candidates able to support service users in a person centred and safe manner.
Contact us to discuss your situation.
.. and how can they be best used?
Did you know that personality assessments are constructed for different purposes? These design differences mean that they are not all alike and cannot be used for the same application. Some tests are ipsative and some are normative and there is a fundamental design difference between them and this design affects their suitability for purpose.
What is normative?
A normative assessment measures proven quantifiable personality characteristics on individual scales. A person’s “score” for each construct measures a specific set of traits against group data or patterns of normality represented on a bell curve and usually includes a social desirability (faking) scale to measure accuracy of responses. Normative testing allows people to be compared to other employees who have met with success or failure in a job – so this can predict candidates who will have the best chances of success if hired or promoted and to help avoid placing people in the wrong positions. Normative tests are therefore well suited to recruitment and selection applications.
And what about ipsative?
An ipsative assessment presents applicants with options equal in desirability and requires them to indicate which items are “most true” of them and which are “least true” of them in their everyday behaviour. Unlike normative assessments which measure clearly identifiable traits, ipsative assessments indicate only orientations and the relative type of person being assessed. What it does not reveal or predict is how two people with similar patterns or types will actually perform in a job. It is generally accepted that ipsative assessments are ambiguous, because ipsative literally means using yourself (rather than others or a defined population) as the norm against which to measure something, for example, your present performance against your past performance (rather than the performance of others). Ipsative tests are well suited for applications like development, coaching or team building where comparisons among people are not necessary.
The Care Advantage Assessments are Normative and best used for recruitment and selection applications.
source: Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology (2009)
Traditionally the process of psychometric assessment for recruitment and development purposes has been reserved for senior management, or non-care employees within the Corporate sector. These assessments provide a wealth of information, are often time consuming and come with a hefty price tag.
There has been far less up-take of assessments for frontline roles. The reasons being that many of the tools available were not Care sector specific, were seen as costly and not suitable for volume recruitment. In addition, because of the range of education and literacy levels within the applicant pool, psychometric testing was often seen as not being applicable for frontline staff.
As with everything, things change. The care sector is evolving and a growing number of providers want, and need, to know more about their job applicants than work experience and education alone. The focus is shifting to soft skills, such as possessing the right personal values, work behaviours and personality. These insights combined with the traditional recruitment methods, give a more rounded picture before any employment decision is made.
Care Advantage is a proven, short and affordable online behavioural screening tool. With built-in benchmarks for care roles it compares your applicants against good performers in the role – be it a home care or residential setting. We have already discussed 10 reasons to use values and behavioural assessment in general. Now we’d like to discuss 5 reasons why it has become a must to use behavioural screening for frontline care roles:
(1) Better ways to look at new entrants to the Sector
Staff shortages in the care sector is only growing and the need to fill vacancies has extended recruitment efforts to well outside of the pool of experienced care workers. Using behavioural screening will help you find those applicants who have the right personality and work attitude for a frontline care role, but not yet the relevant work experience. A new job can be learned by training but changing a person’s personality or work behaviour is far more difficult! Start your search by comparing your applicants to proven performers in the role.
(2) Risk Management- Staff turnover & Duty of Care
Using behavioural screening helps to identify risks that otherwise may have been kept out of sight or are hard to discover during interview. Care Advantage’s job fit and attitude reports highlight areas of concern in behaviour or personality and provide targeted interview questions to explore these concerns in more detail. This gives you more insight to make rigorous and informed recruitment decisions.
A current user of behavioural screening explains it well: “If we say that we have a rigorous recruitment process in place and don’t use behavioural screening, then our system simply cannot be described as rigorous. I do not want to be the Director standing up in front of a court trying to defend our recruitment process and having no empirical scientific measurement of an applicant in place. I believe that it’s completely inadequate to simply say: we did a Data Base Search, took up references and had a structured face to face interview for a role as important as being a lone worker looking after lone vulnerable adults in their own homes…”
(3) Give Hiring managers the insights of a consistent and proven process
Many care providers are moving to centralised managed HR models providing the pre-selection of applicants where the Hiring Managers conduct the interviews. With staff shortages also in HR and the logistical challenges of a multi-site operation, HR is just not able to attend every interview. By using behavioural screening HR can now provide the site manager not only with the names and resumes of the shortlisted applicants but also with a personality and attitude report including job specific interview questions. A behavioural screening process provides cost effective tools and guidance for a more successful recruitment process.
(4) Reduce the time and cost spent on applicants you don’t hire
Recruitment takes time. Many hiring managers complain about the stacks of resumes that come in for certain roles. Using behavioural screening at the top of the selection funnel means that you let your applicants complete a quick online assessment as part of their applicant process. The results are used to sort the applicants by best job fit and THEN you start reading their resumes in that order. Any gems are more easily identified. Time is saved!
(5) Reduce no-shows at interview
How often have you prepared for a job interview only for the applicant to not show up? What a wasted time for yourself and the other people on the interview panel. Using behavioural screening adds a simple layer to weed out those applicants who weren’t really interested in the job in the first place.
Learn more about behavioural screening with Care Advantage!
Read the Case study where we explore if Care Advantage can predict performance of new care workers and if Care Advantage can correctly identify potential misconduct risk in applicants.
Ready to see for yourself? Try Care Advantage on your next frontline vacancy – assess 5 applicants at no cost – it will take each applicant 12 minutes to complete the assessment and provide real insights into your hiring decision. We will manage everything, all you have to do is send the link to your applicants.