Case Study – Recruitment

Embrace HR Aylesbury Recruitment case study

One of the services we provide here at Embrace HR is recruitment. This case study is an example of how we work with, and for, our clients.


In 2014, Embrace HR Limited was introduced to PK’s Mum and Dad by a case manager who was providing occupational therapy for her then 8-year-old son.

For some time, Mum had a fairly stable care team of special needs nannies, but there was movement on the horizon for one reason or another and she needed to employ more staff. The employment conditions were very good, staff were and continue to be paid above NMW (National Minimum Wage), they are directly employed and have regular shifts. Most staff worked in pairs during the day but at night one person was on duty as it was a waking night role.

Cecily Lalloo visited the family home and was met by a lovely Mum who was friendly, welcoming, and obviously open to recruiting positively. She showed Cecily photos of PK who was at school at the time – a boy, small in stature, with big brown eyes and a lovely smiling face. He was clearly a happy child. His Mum explained that he needed care for his everyday needs, including personal care. He was non-verbal but his special needs nannies were able to communicate with him once they got to know him.

Our meeting with Mum meant that we got to know the environment in which the staff worked, details about her son, what she looked for in her care staff, and a sense of the family. This type of briefing is extremely helpful when recruiting. Although we don’t share all personal details with candidates, it is helpful for us to be able to ascertain the type of person that would fit with the family.

Over the years we have recruited a number of staff for the family. Mum’s preference is to see more candidates rather than a shortlist, even if we feel they may not fit the bill. This allows her to benchmark, she can let us know why she hasn’t chosen certain staff, and then we are able to find people more suited to her needs.

The Challenge

Our role at Embrace HR is to match people with the right attitude and skills to not only the client, but to the family.

In the current tight recruitment market, it can take between six to nine weeks to find suitable candidates – not least because there is a shortage of people applying for care work. We cannot rely solely on job boards and it is becoming increasingly more important to find innovative ways of recruiting. We find that people are not responding to requests for interview, or they might accept an interview date and then fail to attend – even when we have checked with them the day beforehand or even on the day of the interview itself!

Naturally we create bespoke adverts which will appeal to different people, and the information needs to be presented simply and clearly, as potential candidates will often scan for jobs via their mobile phones. We respond to applications promptly as we find that good people disappear quickly.

PKs parents are professionals and they both work. When we recruit, we find out from the parents when they might be available to interview. This is important because we need to arrange interviews as quickly as possible. During a recruitment campaign, PK’s Mum has always provided us with times when she is available to interview.

The Result

After sending Mum around eight candidates, she shortlisted a couple, brought them back for second interviews and assessments, but still wasn’t absolutely sure. In the meantime, Cecily had spoken a couple of times to one candidate, S, who did not fulfil all the requirements, but something resonated. Cecily liked her attitude, her tone of voice, how she described herself, the work she was doing, and the reason she felt she was right for the role. However, it was clear that there would need to be quite a lot of training. Thankfully, Mum’s induction and training is excellent and she has always been happy to invest time in training the right people. Cecily had a strong feeling about S and sent Mum a summary of the interview and the reasons why she thought that she should see her. We followed up with a telephone call to Mum and agreed a date to meet.

S was overjoyed at having the opportunity to interview. We briefed her on the family, told her to prepare and to really show Mum what transferable skills she had and also to make sure that Mum was aware that she was eager to learn and undergo the necessary training.

Mum was delighted and took to S straight away. After a further interview when S met PK and carried out assessment work, Mum asked us to offer her the role. We kept in touch with S and with Mum during the period between offer and start date – a crucial step to avoid losing candidates to another job role.

We recruited S in 2016, and in 2018 she reluctantly resigned because she moved abroad. However, in 2019 she contacted Mum and asked if a job was available for her. Mum was delighted and S returned to the fold and is once again a very strong team member.

S’s first language was not English but she has been keen to learn and fitted in well with the other team members and has clearly made her mark. S is among other members of PKs staff who Embrace HR are proud to have recruited to the team.

Of Embrace HR’s services, PK’s Mum said:

“We have a small care team of which two of our main carers were recruited through Cecily and remain as perfect fits, a reflection of the thorough and effective process conducted by Cecily and team!”

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