Eleanor Broadbent, Equality Diversity and Client Involvement Officer
Lyndsay Swales, Quality and Safety Lead
This week our Expert Voices and Experience Network was focussed on how we recruit our staff. Our special guest was Michael Ford who manages St Anne’s Recruitment Department.
We are a large employer and we have over 1,200 employees, so recruiting them is a big task! It’s so important that the people we support are involved in the process. We think that the clients are the ‘experts’ when it comes to choosing the best person for the job of supporting them in their day to day lives – so we had a lot of work to do this week.
For this session we were joined by 13 clients, including Derrick who travelled from Seaham in County Durham and was welcomed in to the group for the first time.
Michael began by talking to everybody about what the department does and how the process to recruit staff works. We talked about interviews, site visits, the DBS checks and induction procedures. We spent the first part of our morning reflecting on what makes a good Support Worker – what kind of person should they be? What skills should they have? We worked on paper templates of cookie cutter people and filled them with our ideas.
Claire talked about being non-judgemental. Mark talked about going the extra mile. John talked about having a good personality and sense of humour. Lisa talked about being empowered by the staff member.
We then came up with the questions we think people should be asked at interview when they apply to work for St Anne’s. Some of the themes were about safeguarding, being independent and dignity and respect.
Some of our experts have interviewed staff before, but some haven’t had the opportunity – this is something we feel passionately about and we will be practicing our confidence skills together in the coming weeks so that we’re all ready to have a go at it.
Our expert group is enthusiastic about the influence that it can have over how we do things with recruitment. As a direct result of our work, we’ll be recommending new interview questions and the wording of our job adverts. We want all of our clients to be involved in the recruitment of the staff who will support them.
Our skills will be put to the test in a couple of weeks’ time as some of the experts are helping our Regional Operations Manager recruit for a new member of the Quality and Safety Team!
You can listen to our weekly podcast recordings from the day below
This blog is part of a series from Eleanor and Lyndsay on Client Involvement. As we blog about our progress in supporting St Anne’s first ever Experts by Experience