The traditional risk agenda in relation to candidates has maintained a focus on misconduct risk. This is seen in the mandatory police checks as part of pre-employment screening and more recently the calls to establish a registration process for frontline care and support roles.
The Care Advantage Attitude assessment addresses critical misconduct risks, flagging candidates presenting with higher than desired risk profiles. Numerous clients see this as a key part of their workforce risk management agenda and a clear demonstration that they are, as part of a contemporary recruitment process, taking all reasonable steps to ensure against misconduct.
The new Compliance Standards (#8) require organisations to be able to demonstrate the governance frameworks used to mitigate risk and the Care Advantage Attitude screening provides this transparency.
The emerging risk area related to Workforce (beyond misconduct risk) is that of Performance risk OR suitability to the sector. This is a key theme of the legislation and compliance requirements – a focus on the quality of care as well as safety (Standard #1 for example). This message is reinforced in the Quality and Safety Commission agenda, audits and rhetoric, as well as government publications and positioning. It has already appeared in the Royal Commission. As per comments by Ian Yates (Cota) “A lot of what we are seeing is safe care, but it is not meeting the needs of modern Australia”.
Performance risk is not about misconduct, it is about the casual neglect, lack of empathy, the lack of personal interaction that impacts clients and residents.
The Workforce Strategy Taskforce reported feedback from the sector that somewhere between 20% - 30% of EXISTING employees were not suited to a care environment.
This is principally where performance risk is found, and this is where the Care Advantage screening facilitates the identification “fit for purpose” applicants through the Personality assessment and job fit scores.
The challenge to providers around Performance Risk will be seen most clearly in 2 areas:
1.Compliance satisfying the Consumer needs requirements of the Standards, especially when consumer input and feedback are sought as part of audits.
2. Competitiveness – The transparency being introduced into the sector, will have a direct impact on sustainability. The government is introducing open market forces in the sector to drive change
[NOTE:] General legal advice (Russell Kennedy Lawyers) to the sector states: “Be familiar with the recommendations made in key inquiries like the ‘Tune Review’ and whether you have adopted any recommendations targeted at how you deliver quality and safety in aged care”
It is worth noting that The Workforce Taskforce Report last year recommends, in Strategic Action 5, the use of Psychometric screening:
Pre-employment screening: Psychometric testing enables employers to assess whether staff have the aptitude and attitude to work in aged care and are the right fit for the job for which they are applying. By improving recruitment processes, employers can reduce staff turnover.
The government has been very clear in the establishment of its new regulator and compliance standards, as well as the terms of Royal Commission, that its commitment to Quality (performance) and Safety (misconduct) are the foundation of the Aged Care system it is seeking to build.
Contact us if you like to discuss this further.
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.