Society is changing. People are living longer which presents a challenge of morbidity vs. mortality. In plain English, the longer people live, the more they do so in ill health. To put it in perspective 14,450 centenarians, of which over 750 are aged over 105 live in the UK. This is a 72% increase compared to the last decade. The result is therefore more dependence and reliance on the care industry.
According to the British Geriatrics Society residential and non-residential care home demand is due to grow significantly over the next 25 years with expected total demand exceeding 2 million compared to 1.1 million in 2011. That’s a 75% increase in 30 years. 2020, which is even sooner is set to be 1.4 million which is also an exponential increase of 21% and not far away.
This rise will undoubtedly increase care home provisions needed, and therefore increase workers in order to offer care services. It is essential care home providers start to plan for growth now – and one of the first steps is the vetting and accreditation of care home workers. Getting the right workforce in place, when competition is set to increase, will not only support residents but also support your growth as your brand reputation is increased as an output of excellent customer service. Getting this wrong can not only bring bad publicity, but can also mean you are incompliant and risk penalties or even closure.
Employee vetting and background checking is increasingly named as one of the core components of any organisation. This is even more apparent in the care sector where people’s physical needs are the core component of service. Basic checks, such as ensuring your new and current recruits have the right to work in the UK, no criminal checks and the right qualifications are some of the basic measures you should take. Putting a monetary perspective on it, as an employer you are legally bound to check the eligibility of your staff and failing to do so could cost you a penalty of up to £20,000 per employee.
Compliance is the primary reason why employers conduct background checks. Where a role involves personal care an enhanced level check is required. You must register with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) for each of the Regulated Activities that you undertake. CQC inspections are routine and as part of their inspection process, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) ensures that the organisation complies with all Regulations. As part of this process they can request evidence that a suitable disclosure was obtained when an employee was appointed to a role, and prior to being allowed to work unsupervised with children and/or vulnerable adults.
Putting a cost on time
Time and money are suggested to be the biggest barriers for performing background checks. But, with the internet littered with templates to falsify CV’s and a changing labour market (unemployment fell to 4.8%, according to Experian’s December economic forecasts), competition for roles will be much fiercer. With recruitment high on the agenda of people and businesses, there is a temptation for providers to limit, or skip, steps that properly and accurately vet candidates in order to speed up the process. But, how much would it cost you in litigation of the candidate has lied about their qualifications? What if they failed to inform you of previous offences which could affect their ability to work in the role they’ve been appointed to – or at all?
According to the CIPD the average recruitment cost of filling a vacancy is £4,000, increasing to £6,125 when the associated staff turnover costs are included. This is a significant investment on an individual so by doing checks correctly at the start – it can benefit your overall recruitment costs further down the line. The right staff can also preserve and excel your reputation offering you value as your business grows as a result.
In house checks can be a good way of identifying candidates for a role. Not only does the interview help you assess an individual and their personal suitability to the role, but it can also help you personally select and on-board your workforce in a more detailed way. In-house checks however can be limiting and time consuming – therefore whilst faster they could cost you in the long run through inadequate information and gaps. More and more organisations are moving towards a complete end-to-end solution whereby the candidate, upon acceptance, is managed through to contract and throughout their employment. This takes the burden away and can help you to become compliant, have quality assured employees and maintain a process that is tailored specifically to your business needs. For some, simple integration of data and checks outsourced can add incremental value – as can access to online tools that process the information you require.
So, with more and more parents, elderly and dependants poised to need more care in the future, do you have a strategy in place that quality assures, complies and measures your candidates? If not, it may be an idea to start considering it – the future looks prosperous for the care industry.