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Finding (and Keeping) the Right People
Back in November I mentioned a study day I had been on which talked about Values-Based Interviewing. Having recently been involved in not only interviews for new staff, but also capability meetings for poorly-performing existing ones, I revisited the subject. How do we make the process fair but ensure we get people who perform well and remain in the post?
Most of us would agree that we need some form of scientific measurement of aptitude when selecting staff. This is initially the application form; we look at their work and life history, the way they express themselves and the ways in which this meets the job description. If they manage to get through this hoop, we get the poor soul in a room, usually in a tight suit or silly heels, and subject them to a barrage of questions.
It’s always a miracle that any of the candidates survive this ordeal sufficient to want to take the job at all. Moreover, I have often found myself wondering once the interview is over if I will ever recognize this sweating, stammering person again, even if they do come and work for me!
Given the strained and unnatural environment of the interview room, its no surprise that despite all our best efforts at equality we often end up with the wrong person in the job. Of course this is costly, given that we frequently get to the post-induction point before we realise it. At this stage I wonder how many times you have mused, as I have, that you never really felt they were genuine from the start, but you couldn’t use anything so unscientific as your gut feeling, could you?
Well maybe you could. Values-Based Interviewing focuses not on the ability to produce a great c.v. or answer a set of probing questions, but also looks at the person’s values, attitudes and level of engagement. It allows you to query their motives for their application and sift out the ones who won’t last the first weeks of induction.
Help at Hand
I recommend that anyone experiencing the woes of poor retention and high churn rate in social care gives the National Skills Academy for Social Care a look. They have launched a toolkit around VBI, which gives you hints and guidance on using different ways of interviewing to reveal more about the candidate in the chair.
Here’s the page: https://www.nsasocialcare.co.uk/values-based-recruitment-toolkit - certainly worth a look.