I’ve recently recruited two new team members. We tend to advertise through our own networks predominantly, our Twitter feed for example. We also make sure that staff across the organisation (Amparo is part of Listening Ear) have an opportunity to apply.
We are currently interviewing over Zoom, with our CEO joining most of our interviews. It is important that we are recruiting people who are the right fit for Amparo.
Recently, I ran an online four-week induction process for three new recruits. For two hours every Wednesday, we met to go through a checklist of essential Amparo processes and policies.
Week 1 was our introduction to each other. We also cover line management and supervision and talk through the staff structure and service offer of Listening Ear as well as Amparo so that everyone knows how they fit into that bigger picture. We give a copy of our staff handbook and our policies on data protection, equal opportunities, code of conduct and recording time and expenses.
Week 2: We discuss our current contracts and agreements; it is good for staff to know who we are working for, who has commissioned us. We discuss clinical supervision and share a supervisor list that they can make contact with. When someone is allocated a new client, they have to make sure that all info is gathered, so we run through data quality and clinical recording through case management forms.
Week 3: This session is all about risk – our policy and how to undertake risk assessments. I give recruits some real-life scenarios where they have to decide on the level of risk and what they would do in each situation. We want to make sure that staff are confident about assessing risk accurately.
Week 4: In our last session, we run through our Lamplight platform which is where we do all of our clinical recording. We use a case example to show the team how it all works.
We also do some work around making first contact with a client. We make first contact within 24 hours of the referral and we follow up in 7 days. Some recruits are unsure how to start that initial conversation. We also discuss confidentiality, client consent forms and gathering feedback from a client.
Initially, I allocate one client to a new starter. I’ll talk through the process with them, what that client’s needs might be, how that first call might go. Once they have had the initial call, they come back to me and I can further support and what happens next.
One thing that we have found really useful for team building and team cohesion is a simple WhatsApp group where team members share knowledge and learnings, inform each other about new services, and ask questions of each other.
It is so helpful to have that forum when we all work remotely.
We also have regular team meetings for all Amparo staff. I have started to invite guest speakers to these, like a funeral director, a solicitor or someone from the coroner’s office – they give us valuable advice and information that helps us to support our clients.
We do have shadowing in place, mainly for getting up to speed with the inquest process so that we can support clients through this.