Global humanitarian charity The British Red Cross (BRC) has been working in partnership with the NHS for many years. It provides frontline staff and volunteers delivering vital support to patients in hospital emergency departments and ambulances, helping people get home from hospital, carrying out home assessments, and supporting older and vulnerable people to live independently.
The patient discharge teams were integral in the fight against Covid-19, and their service had to be responsive, effective, and safe. So, when the organisation approached Reed in March 2020 to double the size of these teams, we partnered with it to ensure a smooth and efficient deployment of staff.
The BRC was looking for approximately 30 patient discharge support workers, logistic coordinators, and home from hospital assistants, across seven UK locations. Some of these positions were for temporary bank workers and Reed was asked to supply ongoing recruitment for these positions.
Charlie Pearson-Dare, Recruitment Manager at Reed, took the lead and was presented with a number of challenges throughout the process. Firstly, it was essential that the team recruited quickly while meeting stringent recruitment and compliance criteria – along with the ever-changing government coronavirus legislation. Secondly, Covid shielding meant an additional health questionnaire was introduced, which limited the number of available candidates.
Despite these challenges, Charlie said: “I really enjoyed working collaboratively with BRC, working 24/7 to ensure we had the right people for the organisation at the right time. It gave me focus throughout the pandemic and I feel it has made a difference.”
Charlie used several strategies to ensure that all the roles were filled as quickly as possible with the most suitable candidates. She ran candidate attraction campaigns on Reed’s internal database, social media, and on relevant digital recruitment services, and ensured that all adverts were tailored to the client’s specifications.
She worked in partnership with BRC’s senior managers, looking at their strategy and priorities in key locations and adapted her recruitment campaigns accordingly. She implemented a tailored recruitment process that was in line with BRC’s requirements. This included vetting CV submissions, conducting video interviews, scheduling on-site driving assessments, all of which were followed by induction/trial shifts.
One example of the efficiency Charlie showed throughout the recruitment process was moving the candidates’ driving assessments to earlier in the process while compliance checks were still taking place. This meant that, once approved, they were able to be onboarded quickly without delay.
Reed has been very supportive, constantly sourcing new staff as the need arises for our fast-paced service. Throughout the pandemic, Charlie has managed to keep our service running with the staff she has managed to source, in a relatively short length of time. Charlie has a great approach and understands the timeframe/urgency that the posts need to be filled. She is always accessible, and nothing is too much trouble! She has been great to work with.
Service Coordinator, The British Red Cross
Reed was able to fill all the placements within the tight deadline, helping BRC to continue providing vital care and support during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Many of the placed temporary workers went on to secure permanent positions. One of those professionals was Helen Armstrong, who said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed the diverse and worthwhile work. I would like to say how upbeat, professional, helpful, and supportive Reed has been this past year. Nothing was too much trouble, and Charlie answered any questions I had promptly. She truly is a superstar and has opened up this opportunity for me so that I am now going to be employed by the British Red Cross. I shall recommend Charlie and Reed in the future.”
Following this original requirement, Reed has continued to work with The British Red Cross on further requirements around the country, including ongoing support with bank staff.
Recruited 30temporary workers
Candidates sourced in 3-5days
Placed across 7locations