Interview to Office: Reducing Time-to-Hire for the Care and Community sector - Oho

Interview to Office: Reducing Time-to-Hire for the Care and Community sector

March 2024
5 minutes


Recruiting is expensive. It has to be. Get it wrong by cutting corners and it can spiral into a catastrophe, creating unmitigated reputational harm for businesses.

For any organisation with large workforces it’s a task that can quickly become overwhelming for already overworked HR teams.  Screening obligations are constantly changing and keeping up takes focus and effort in an already significant set of obligations for HR compliance.

In the recruitment space, according to Elmo’s 2023 HR Industry Benchmark Report, the top four challenges in recruitment are:

  1. Attracting the right candidates
  2. Skills shortage
  3. Competition for talent
  4. Reducing the time to hire

In heavily people-based industries, what the Federal government calls the Care and Community Sector, speed to recruitment is critical.  Most sectors are growing; aged care, disability, child care and welfare services are experiencing immense demand for their services and employee turnover is very high. These organisations are grappling with the top four recruiting challenges every day.

Everyone knows the role of background screening in recruitment but what is less visible is how onerous, expensive and time consuming it is for many of the right-to-work credentials to be checked in-house or by screening companies.

While the screening process is issue number 4, delays in this process directly impact keeping the right candidates in the process, and can improve your organisation’s competitive position in the war for talent.  Increasing efficiency speed-to-hire can also enable moving to offer more quickly.

A Netherlands study on job acceptance rates indicated that “60% of candidates have quit a job application process midway because of its length and complexity,”, recognising that the hiring process is not only a strenuous task for the employer, but also the prospective employee.

Closer to home, PageUp, a talent acquisition software, reports that “A bad experience can have a huge impact, with 49 per cent of jobseekers stating they would reject a job offer after a bad hiring experience.”

PageUp consequently recommends ‘speeding up your processes’, and utilising tools to automate various steps and improve your time-to-hire.

What if it was possible to speed up the process ……

Oho is a Saas product designed by and for the care and community sectors in Australia to support recruitment screening for employees, volunteers and contractors. Oho provides on the spot automated candidate verification and a simple platform for ongoing monitoring of those credentials for the duration of employees’ tenure.

Oho’s system allows you to complete all necessary ready-to-work verifications in one location, so your candidate isn’t part of the 60% that quit the process because of the complexity and length.  Oho integrates with candidate management software such as PageUp and can be configured to suit your role policies.  We can also assemble other services into the candidate experience like reference systems to streamline the data collection experience for candidates.  Oho is also able to provide volunteer management options where candidate management tools are not prevalent or justified.


Obligations to Complete Ongoing Screening

In the care and community sectors, where turnover is at 30-40%, it’s easy to think getting a compliant person in the seat means the job is done. But in many respects, it has only just begun, particularly in preventing a potential catastrophe.

Every day, at least one working with children check is revoked in almost every state in Australia. Similar banning events or restrictions occur with other ‘right to work credentials’.

Yet, a mere 5 per cent of organisations are competently verifying working with children checks after hiring a new employee. And once the recruitment screening is done, data management becomes a nightmare, as all states requires organisations to hold and ensure validity of the accreditations data.

Often stored in paper records, excel spreadsheets or HR systems not designed to ensure accuracy or readiness for subsequent verification, organisations can become quickly exposed to the risk of allowing someone who has become unsuitable to carry on working with their clients.  In any industry this could be an issue, but in our care and community industries, this risk has high stakes.

It is a minefield for HR teams. Professional licences and vital certifications such as working with children checks are fluid and can quickly change or be revoked, requiring constant monitoring to ensure a workforce remains compliant.

The difficulty is that there is no single centralised database that stores this information – not even at state level. To ensure accuracy, an employer must cross-check with individual organisations that maintain this information – for example the Queensland Children’s guardian, AHPRA, VIT and many other state authorities as well as the National Police records.

Tasmania’s Commission of Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse heard last year that senior management at Launceston General Hospital missed red flags, employing a male paedophile nurse for almost two decades.

The Australian Football League launched an independent investigation into one of its chief concussion advisors, Dr Paul McCrory, after he was accused of allegedly treating at least four players for concussion while serving an agreed ban.

While there are many screening companies, there are very few that can provide such a service ongoing, in real time. Once your candidate is quickly screened via Oho’s recruitment service their records move to be part of the Oho ‘always on’ screening service ensuring no data is lost in the transition from candidate to employee and screening continues for the duration of a person’s tenure.

“Recruitment screening is the first line of defence.  Ongoing screening is the second line of defence,” says Oho’s founder and chief executive Claire Rogers.

“So it’s one thing to get someone through the door and say ‘OK, my job is done, they passed’ but really your job is only just beginning.”

“Risk mitigation of the type that Oho provides is a way to put strong safeguarding defences around an organisation and to deter those with intent from ever coming near,” she said.

Oho has completed more than 7 million verifications of employee, volunteer and contractor credentials on behalf of its clients since the creation of the company.  Oho covers a wide range of credentials relevant to care and community organisations and those that support them including national coverage of WWCCs, teachers licences, national disability worker cards, AHPRA (health and allied health), VEVO and regular police checks. Oho has screened 114,000 carers and detected more than 100 revoked accreditations on behalf of its clients since the company began.


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