How Voyage Care achieved a gold-standard candidate experience

ALEX LAMONT • 03 Jun 2024

In April, we partnered The Talent Labs (formerly The Firm) to host a breakfast event for recruitment professionals in the care sector. We were privileged to have Nicola Kinsey, Head of Recruitment at Voyage Care, share her team’s journey in enhancing their candidate experience. This event provided valuable insights into the strategies and tools Voyage Care employed to transform their recruitment process and achieve a gold-standard candidate experience.

Below is the full recording of Nicola's presentation and a write-up of some of her key points! 👇

Creating a gold-standard candidate experience

Nicola Kinsey began by discussing the unique challenges faced by recruitment teams in the care sector. With a constant influx of vacancies, the recruitment process at Voyage Care was initially manual and cumbersome. This reliance on manual processes led to confusion and a high dropout rate among candidates. Before implementing an applicant tracking system (ATS), the team struggled significantly with compliance and right-to-work checks, which often resulted in losing half of the candidates offered jobs.

Nicola highlighted that in a regulated sector like care, there is immense pressure to ensure all recruitment processes are in line with complex regulations. The greatest challenges they faced were managing DBS checks, compliance, and right-to-work verifications. Prior to using an ATS, candidates were required to bring numerous documents to interviews, leading to frequent instances of missing or incorrect paperwork. This not only frustrated candidates but also caused significant delays and inefficiencies for the recruitment team.

The journey to implementing an ATS

By 2022, Voyage Care realised the need for a new solution to address these challenges. The decision to adopt an ATS, specifically Jobtrain, was pivotal. Nicola and her team aimed to streamline both internal and external applications, improve visibility of candidate status, and reduce the high dropout rate. The transition to Jobtrain was smoother than expected, thanks to the team’s clear vision and existing dissatisfaction with their old system.

Nicola explained that implementing an ATS was not a decision taken lightly. The team spent 12 months researching and evaluating different systems to ensure they chose one that fit their needs perfectly. An ATS is a significant investment, and the team understood the importance of selecting a system that would support their long-term goals. This careful planning paid off, as the implementation process with Jobtrain was efficient and effective.

Social Media Testimonials quotes (1600 x 400 px)-May-30-2024-10-25-53-0936-AMImplementation and impact

Voyage Care adopted a phased approach to introducing Jobtrain. Initially, the recruitment team was trained extensively on the new system. This was followed by gradual training sessions for hiring managers, tailored to their specific needs to avoid overwhelming them with too much information at once. This approach ensured a smooth transition and high adoption rates across the organisation.

The new ATS allowed Voyage Care to extend and refine their application forms, which led to a reduction in the overall number of applications. However, this reduction was strategic. The extended forms helped filter out less serious candidates, resulting in a higher quality pool of applicants.

Consequently, the conversion rates from application to interview significantly increased, and interview non-attendance dropped from 21% to 5%.

Nicola emphasised the importance of continuous improvement. The team conducted regular audits of their careers site and job postings to ensure consistency and effectiveness. The new ATS also facilitated better tracking of turnover rates, enabling the team to develop data-driven retention strategies. By analysing the reasons behind employee turnover, Voyage Care could focus their efforts on improving retention and reducing turnover in the first six months of employment.

Engaging candidates and enhancing the employer brand

A key philosophy at Voyage Care is that “recruitment doesn’t start and stop with recruitment.” Nicola stressed the importance of involving everyone in the process, from recruitment teams to hiring managers and beyond. Engaging candidates early and maintaining communication throughout the hiring process was crucial in building trust and showing respect.

20240430_083344To achieve this, Voyage Care implemented several strategies. Post-offer communication was a priority, with team members like Trixie regularly checking in with candidates to ensure they felt supported and engaged. This consistent, friendly engagement helped build strong relationships with candidates and reduced the likelihood of dropouts.

The introduction of Jobtrain’s Welcome Hub was another significant enhancement. This platform provided candidates with full transparency regarding their application status, including compliance checks and contract signing. Candidates appreciated the visibility and felt more informed and involved in the process.

Nicola also highlighted the importance of personalised communication. Simple actions, such as addressing candidates by name in emails and text messages, made a big difference in creating a positive candidate experience. The team also developed differentiated interview packs tailored to candidates from various backgrounds, ensuring that they were not overwhelmed with sector-specific language if they were new to the care industry.

Building a strong employer brand

Enhancing the candidate experience also strengthened Voyage Care’s employer brand. By providing a seamless and transparent recruitment process, the organisation attracted top talent and positioned itself as an employer of choice in the care sector. The team’s commitment to continuous improvement and personalised engagement played a crucial role in achieving this.

Nicola shared that the team’s efforts extended beyond recruitment. They worked on engaging younger audiences and creating opportunities for students from universities and colleges to gain experience through placements. This not only provided additional support for the team but also inspired students to consider careers in the care sector. By fostering a positive and inclusive environment, Voyage Care aimed to attract and retain a diverse workforce.

The impact of technology on recruitment

Nicola acknowledged that investing in technology was initially a challenge, as the care sector often places technology on the backburner. However, the success of implementing Jobtrain proved that the investment was worthwhile. The ATS streamlined processes, improved efficiency, and provided valuable insights that helped the team make informed decisions.

One of the significant benefits of using Jobtrain was the ability to build and nurture an internal talent pool. By creating tailored application forms for different roles, the team could develop a bank of candidates within the ATS. This proactive approach ensured that they always had a pool of potential candidates ready for future openings, reducing the time and effort required for recruitment.

Continuous improvement and future plans

Nicola concluded her presentation by emphasising the importance of continuous improvement. The team at Voyage Care is committed to regularly reviewing and refining their recruitment processes to ensure they remain effective and efficient. This includes identifying bottlenecks, assessing the effectiveness of application questions, and maintaining a consistent tone of voice across all communications.

Looking ahead, Voyage Care plans to continue leveraging technology to enhance their recruitment efforts. They aim to further refine their application forms, improve candidate engagement strategies, and explore new ways to attract and retain top talent. By staying agile and responsive to industry trends, the team is well-positioned to adapt to the evolving landscape of talent acquisition.

Voyage Care’s journey to achieving a gold-standard candidate experience is a testament to the power of strategic planning, continuous improvement, and personalised engagement. By adopting a robust ATS like Jobtrain and focusing on building strong relationships with candidates, Voyage Care successfully transformed their recruitment process. The result is a more efficient, transparent, and positive experience for candidates, which in turn strengthens the organisation’s employer brand and attracts top talent.

The insights shared by Nicola Kinsey during the event highlight the importance of investing in technology, engaging candidates throughout the recruitment process, and continuously striving for improvement. Voyage Care’s success serves as an inspiration for other organisations in the care sector looking to enhance their candidate experience and achieve similar results.

Find out more about our human support
Book a demo