Reduce Agency Spend on Social Care Recruitment

Reduce Agency Spend on Social Care Recruitment

Let OUTT show you how to reduce agency spend on social care recruitment – control your agency staffing budget, reduce costs, and streamline your rota!

Agency staff are the backbone of the social care sector, providing vital support for care homes and social care organisations that need to fill urgent vacancies quickly. Contingent workers are usually able to respond fast to staff shortages, provide cover for holidays and sickness absences, and plug gaps in the workforce when crucial short staffing can be a crisis for a social care facility.

However, the costs of advertising, interviewing, recruiting and conducting right to work checks can put tremendous strain on budgets and workflows, with workforce managers struggling to keep up with demand, while retaining high standards of staffing.

OUTT aims to change the way recruitment, working, and staff retention is managed, with a new model created in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis to address the critical staffing shortages deepening across the social care sector.

Social Care Recruitment – Reduce Agency Spend

The first factor in appointing quality agency staff is in recruitment; and traditional adverts in local press not only cost a fortune, but also often fail to engage with the key staff you hope to reach.

Bland, uninspiring job adverts don’t convey the value of the opportunities on offer, and so often we work with employers who follow the same recruitment template, advertised in the same places, which hasn’t been a successful recruitment strategy for many years.

  • Digital recruitment is cheaper, faster, and more effective at reaching a younger workforce who increasingly look for job opportunities online.
  • Dynamic, exciting adverts that explain what perks and benefits you are offering are more likely to garner responses than following a traditional template.
  • Remember that your recruitment strategy is the first impression you make with potential applicants, so think about the culture of your social care organisation, and how you want that to come across to candidates.
  • Don’t make a job ad just about what you want from an applicant; explain what you are offering in return.
  • Think about your own online presence; remember that most jobseekers will research your organisation before applying!

In a sector where quality professionals and enthusiastic trainees are in high demand, you need to stand out from the competition, and leverage digital recruitment in a way that delivers the response you need, from the candidates you want to hear from.

OUTT is a next-gen recruitment app connecting skilled candidates with quality employers, to bridge the gap between workforce demand and employer engagement.

Having seen the issues with traditional recruitment, we have designed a new, digital, interactive and comprehensive app that covers every aspect of recruitment, in a contemporary and streamlined way to make advertising your shifts faster and easier – advertised directly to a pool of vetted, qualified candidates.

Streamlining Social Care Applications

Once you have addressed your recruitment strategies, the next step in finding the social care staff you need is in identifying the best way to review applications, and interview your short-listed candidates. This process in itself can be time-consuming, and again, digital innovation is the key to making the whole task faster and more effective.

Traditional social care recruitment works like this:

  • You list an ad on a jobs site, or in the local press.
  • Candidates have to email or post a CV and covering letter.
  • The workforce manager needs to manually read every application.
  • Once they have a short-list, they then need to contact each individual candidate.
  • Candidates must be invited to interview, and then the time dedicated to meeting each applicant.

When you have an urgent vacancy, or need to cover a shift now, this process is unviable, and is often an unnecessary strain on social care organisations that don’t have the spare time or resources to allocate to recruitment.

There is a different way!

OUTT offers employers a way to list their shifts, vacancies and short-term requirements digitally. Candidates receive direct access to information about the post, and this can be quickly matched with skills and qualification requirements, without the manual vetting process.

Digital application processes are faster, and more accessible to modern workforces who want a one-click solution to sending their details, and replaces the traditional use of application forms and CVs that can be extremely difficult to compare.

The OUTT app is designed for mobiles and handheld devices, and enables applicants to apply for shifts, and employers to filter local candidates and make them an offer, in just a few clicks.


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Reducing Agency Spend Budgets

Recruitment can be very expensive indeed, and when you build in the advertising costs, the time required to interview and vett candidates, and agency fees, it can be disproportionately expensive to hire agency staff. That said, short-term workers are vital to most social care settings, and so controlling those costs is essential.

OUTT offers a more cost-effective solution to traditional recruitment agencies, both streamlining recruitment and selection processes, and cutting down on the costs associated with finding high-quality social care agency staff.

  • Reach out to professional candidates for any variety of job requirements.
  • Manage your preferred candidates to choose the best applicants, and make instant offers for shift cover and positions.
  • Access live compliance documentation and receive the assurance that OUTT has thoroughly vetted every candidate, including right to work checks.
  • Upload urgent shift requirements for a rapid response from a 24/7 recruitment service.
  • Authorise timesheets digitally, reducing time, costs and paperwork.

Not only is the service cheaper, but more efficient in every way.

By harnessing digital recruitment and applications, you save on the costs of agency fees, while also cutting out the time required to review CVs, manage communications and carry out due diligence checks.

Balancing Permanent Roles with Short-Term Demand

The other essential factor when looking for social care staffing is quality.

Quality is key when it comes to excellent care services, highly trained staff, and building a reputation as an outstanding organisation. Therefore, continuity with skill requirements is vital, and can be a challenge for care home managers to balance out when looking for short-term agency staff to complement their existing workforce.

OUTT also considered this obstacle, and how we could make it easier for social care managers to find the staff they are looking for, and avoid the pitfalls involved in recruiting permanent or long-term staff who might turn out not to be the right person for the role.

Here’s how it works:

  • Select candidates who match with your requirements from our pool of applicants.
  • Offer shifts and placements quickly, with a digital offer process.
  • Review your staff, and leave feedback on their skills, competencies and work.
  • If you find the perfect person and want to offer them a permanent role, simply make the offer through the app!

This ‘try before you buy’ system and review option resolves the challenge of finding the best quality social care staff; and you can assess past reviews as left by other employers before you decide whether to offer a candidate a shift.

By working with agency staff before deciding whether to offer a permanent role, you have the absolute confidence that you only take on the best long-term staff, who you already know deliver exactly the standards of care and attitude that will fit in seamlessly with your workforce.

For more information about OUTT, and how we help social care employers reduce and manage their agency spend, visit us online.

Changes in Right to Work Checks for Social Care Employers

Changes in Right to Work Checks for Social Care Employers

Social care employers are no strangers to completing thorough checks on new employees; whether permanent, part-time staff or agency/contingent workers.

The sector demands comprehensive verification processes to ensure that staff caring for vulnerable people have been thoroughly vetted.

However, amid the Coronavirus pandemic, along with sweeping financial support schemes and programmes to avoid large-scale economic disaster, the government has announced a temporary easing of right to work checks, to help social care employers streamline the recruitment process.

What Are Right to Work Checks?

Right to work checks determine that an applicant is legally permitted to carry out a job or work placement. These must take place in advance of employment beginning, and typically constitute verifying a person’s ID by analysing an official form of identification.

Before Covid-19, this process would usually involve:

  • Asking the candidate to attend a meeting in person, bringing their ID document(s) with them.
  • Having this ID matched to the applicant, and checked by an appointed person.
  • Applying for a DBS check at the same time, to verify that the person does not have any undisclosed criminal record.
  • Verifying any visa documentation required for overseas workers.

The burden of responsibility falls on social care employers; they have a legal obligation to ensure that employees are legally permitted to work in the UK.

Civil penalties can be issued against employers if they have knowingly employed an illegal worker, regardless of which member of staff carried out the check. Some employers used a third party checking service, partially to delegate the workload and partially to mitigate the responsibility.

Right to Work Checks for Applicants Without Documentation

In some scenarios, it may be that individuals are unable to prove this right.

The number of instances where this is a likelihood has increased as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic; where individuals are unable to travel, have had applications suspended, or immigration proceedings postponed.

The Home Office offers an Employer Checking Service, whereby they will verify an applicant’s immigration status if:

  • The person cannot provide documents – usually because they are pending results of an appeal or Home Office application.
  • The applicant has an Application Registration Card.
  • The candidate has a Certificate of Application issued less than six months ago.
  • The applicant is a Commonwealth citizen and moved to the UK before 1988.

It is important to note that while employers must comply with carrying out right to work checks, they must also not discriminate against any employee or potential employee.

This means giving thought to equal opportunities and offering the same process for verifying and vetting employees regardless of other circumstances.


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The Importance of Right to Work Checks in the Health and Social Care Sector

While employing legitimate staff is a priority in all industries, for jobs in care, this is even more crucial.

Every social care applicant must be verified to ensure:

  • That they are legally allowed to work.
  • That they are who they say they are.
  • Safeguarding checks have been completed for the protection of patients.
  • Any certifications or qualifications the applicant purports to have are verified.

Health and social care sectors are responsible for looking after a wide range of people, most of whom are vulnerable. It is therefore vital that any social care worker, carrying out any kind of role, has been verified before they begin work.

Depending on the role and level of check required, examples of the documents accepted as part of a right to work check for jobs in care include:

  • Passport
  • Biometric Residence Permit
  • Residence card
  • Immigration Status Document
  • Positive Verification Notice (from the Home Office)

Documents are categorised into different groups, and the type of check depends on the role in question. For example, an ongoing permanent position requires one right to work check before the job begins, and is not then required again.

Temporary workers may need to undergo a right to work check before employment, and again once permissions granted expire.

Alternatively, this check may need to be carried out every six months.

What Has Happened to Right to Work Checks as a Result of Covid-19?

Some of the most significant changes implemented are around social distancing, and a drive to reduce direct contact.

This means that many social care interviews are conducted remotely, and distance working practises are being implemented in roles where this is possible.

The government has announced several changes to try and streamline the right to work checks required from social care employers to help them meet the guidelines, without stalling recruitment:

  1. Checks may now be conducted via video call rather than in person.
  2. Documents are acceptable via scanned copies or photos, rather than the original being mandatory.
  3. The Employer Checking Service remains available when a candidate cannot provide acceptable documents.

Other requirements remain unchanged, including the lists of accepted documents, and the responsibility to carry out right to work checks for all jobs in social care.

Social care employers have also been reminded of the need to ensure that equal opportunities are offered to all applicants, and nobody is discriminated against because of their inability to provide right to work documentation.

The process for checks during the pandemic is:

  • Request a scanned copy or a photo of the document(s) via email or app.
  • Schedule a video call where the applicant must show the original document(s).
  • Verify the original document(s) on the video call match the scanned copies or photos.
  • Record the check made, and the date, noting that it was carried out under temporary Covid-19 rules.
  • Use the online checking service to verify Biometric Residence documents during the video call, requesting permission from the candidate to view their details.

This process is designed to ensure that remote communications replace in-person right to work checks, and as yet there is no timeline by which these new regulations will become redundant.

At OUTT we maintain the highest level of compliance especially with right to work. Our automated registration process utilises the latest technologies to verify official ID documentation, right to work status, candidate identification using biometric software and proof of address. This is just one of the reasons employers are favouring OUTT over traditional agencies.

What Will Happen to Checks Against Jobs in Care Post-Pandemic?

Right to work checks will always be mandatory, but currently, we cannot know when routine procedures will resume.

The government advises that social care employers will be notified when Covid-19 measures cease. They may then need to carry out follow-up verifications retrospectively for all employees who started work while these reduced measures were in place, or for those who needed a follow-up right to work check during the pandemic.

Although we do not yet know when the measures will end, employers have been notified that they will have an eight-week deadline to carry out these retrospective checks.

If, during a retrospective check, an employee is found not to have permission to be in the UK, or to be working, then their employment must end immediately.

OUTT Social Care App provides social care employers with the platform to easily fill last minute shifts, care rotas and even permanent vacancies direct with the candidate. Register with us now!