Online, Virtual Home Visits
The most enjoyable part of a recruiter’s job are home visits; being able to meet the client in person and start to get to know them and their family. The home visit allows us to fully understand the client’s needs, both the objective requirements and personal preferences, enabling us to recruit the most suitable candidate. We typically meet at the client’s home, but it could be in a rehabilitation facility, hospital, or school, etc.
Forced to make all visits online
The COVID-19 outbreak forced us to make all our client home visits online, and initially, we (and many case managers we were working with) were anxious about not being able to meet in person, but as each virtual home visit takes place, we are pleased to see many plus points emerging.
Easier to schedule
Clients have reported they find an online meeting easier to fit into their busy lives. Our recruiters can arrange visits on a more flexible basis which may fall outside typical office hours and are more convenient for working parents. While we like to set a specific day and time for a visit to plan our day, there’s much more flexibility if something crops up at the last minute and the visit would be better to be brought forward, or delayed a little. Case managers are also finding it easier to organise their busy calendars to join us; having all parties present enables the sharing of information, and jointly managing client expectation.
While we are as thoughtful as we can be when we visit, it can still feel quite intrusive to have people coming into your home. The children have been curious to ‘meet’ the recruiters online and some have engaged more than they might have in person if usually a little shy.
No Housecleaning Required!
One parent said she thought the biggest benefit was that she didn’t have to ‘clean the house from ‘top to bottom’ before the recruiter’s visit! Of course, we would not expect nor want that!
One of the biggest benefits we find is the ability to spend the right amount of time with each client or family. When we organise a physical visit, recruiters often need to book a specific train back home so the time spent at the visit is fixed. A more open-ended meeting is unrushed, and all the details can be discussed.
Being able to see the work environment
We ask parents/clients to join the meeting via a laptop, tablet, or phone so there’s the flexibility to move around the house allowing the recruiter to see relevant areas; where the child or client spends most of their day, adapted facilities, therapy rooms etc.
Video Snapshot of the job
We have just started to ask parents/clients if they would be happy for us to record a short part of the meeting to be able to show shortlisted candidates. This provides a real insight into the job for the candidate, which is very useful especially in the current market where great candidates are in relatively short supply.
Many of our clients are physically vulnerable and prone to picking up infections that could have serious health consequences, so while COVID-19 has forced us to change how we make our visits, we think that for this reason and the other benefits mentioned, many clients will opt for virtual visits even after we have come through the current virus outbreak.