Each service withYOU provides encourages community engagement and personal development, with the type of support provided dependent on the needs of individuals; whether they are old or young, are living with mental health issues and learning disabilities, are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
One of withYOU’s six non-profit services is its homelessness support, which provides people with temporary accommodation and mental health support. For this type of delicate work, withYOU’s Service Manager Fiona Challis needs support workers who can work comfortably alone, communicate well, and preferably had some experience working with mental health and homelessness.
It is imperative that the people using the homelessness service – many of whom are high risk – are not left without supervision from support workers. This means that withYOU often has urgent requirements for staff with the right experience. Therefore, our challenge is to find candidates who could be available for shift work at short notice and are willing to commute from Edinburgh to the organisation’s Midlothian locations.
In 2018, Fiona approached Reed for help after a recommendation from withYOU’s learning disability service team. Since then, we have received requests for 10-20 shifts every week on an ad-hoc basis, often at short notice, and usually covering three to four of its locations at once.
Area Manager Deb Forster, who specialises in health and care recruitment, has taken on the challenge, using her own extensive network to source professionals with experience working in homeless support services and forming a withYOU-specific talent pool through word of mouth and candidate referrals.
To ensure each professional is suitable for the role, the client gives them shadow shifts and inductions – with many becoming regular shift workers. Deb ensures there is a constant stream of communication, responding to requests in a timely manner and placing skilled professionals.
To date, Reed has worked with the organisation in seven of their many locations. All the candidates provided for the charity have settled in well, and many of the staff that return for regular shifts are treated like a permanent employee.
Deb said: “I believe it’s very important to keep in regular contact with all the team leaders. Communication is crucial to ensuring Reed gives both withYOU, and the professionals we secure for them, a positive experience and excellent service.”
Fiona had never used another recruiter and says she doesn’t need to because “all the candidates sourced by Reed have been of a high standard and we get a fantastic service from Deb and her team.
“Reed makes us feel valued as a client and is able to fill gaps in our rotas with good quality staff, even at the last minute.”
She stated that she would highly recommend Reed and will continue to use our services due to our “trusted relationship and reliability”.
If you’re looking for talented professionals or your next opportunity in the health and care sector, contact your nearest Reed office.