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Helping a homelessness charity achieve better results with limited resources

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Julian House operates more than 20 different projects, accommodation sites and social enterprises in Bristol, Bath, South Gloucestershire, Devon and Wiltshire.  These include: a range of homeless services, support for those suffering domestic violence, addiction recovery support – as well as work experience and training.  In total Julian House manages 106 bed spaces, for clients with a wide spectrum of needs.  Not just changing lives - often saving lives.

We spoke to Jane Andrew, the Human Resources Manager who told us about the troubles that Julian House had with recruiting and how Vacancy Filler has helped.

Challenges

Prior to Vacancy Filler, Julian House’s recruitment was a labour intensive and time consuming process which often distracted Jane from other important work. The procedure was fragmented and inefficient which was a particular issue considering the organisation’s charity status.

“The amount of resources that recruitment demanded was unsustainable and we wanted to get through the process in a timely and professional way.”

Julian House has grown significantly as an organisation since its inception, with its volume of recruitment growing dramatically. The number of entry level positions has increased, but furthermore, a growing level of complexity of roles has caused them to be difficult to fill.

Before Vacancy Filler, Julian House had a dependency on local press around the Bristol/Bath area, through industry specific sites, through Gumtree and a handful of job boards. As the organisation grew, and vacancies became more common, there was a more urgent need to advertise their roles to a wider audience. Each of the job boards Julian house went out to would have to be approached individually and manually - again costing time and resources.

Finally, applications were previously completed through Word documents which were often incompatible with their system. Jane found that unable to access the files of certain candidates due to the format they saved their applications in. Furthermore, paper application packs had to be sent out to candidates, costing money and time.

“We were spending too much time sorting through applications that didn’t work on our system.  We needed to smarten up the process drastically.”

How We Helped

An increasing amount of hard-to-fill vacancies have been overcome through Vacancy Filler’s partnership with a large number of job boards. By reaching out to a number of boards, a wider net is cast and more candidates can be targeted.

“With our new, high level roles, we’re in need of a higher calibre of candidate – with Vacancy Filler’s job boards package we’re able to attract this talent, whereas before we couldn’t”

The Vacancy Filler path from finding a job to applying for the roles benefitted the candidate journey. Whereas previously candidates had to navigate a more complicated process, Vacancy Filler creates a process that is simple and with as few clicks as possible; meaning that candidates do not abandon applications.

“It’s great that as long as a candidate has the internet, they are able to complete the process.”

Julian House is attempting to reduce their use of paper. With Vacancy Filler, packs are no longer sent to candidates but furthermore, the shortlisting packs that Jane previously printed out for hiring managers are all automated, reducing costs and time.

By utilising the calendar function on the software, Julian House no longer have the concern of cancelled interviews as candidates are able to select their own slots. As the HR department is small, wasted time due to interview cancellations was an inefficiency that they could not afford.

“One of the best features we’ve found is that candidates can choose their own interview slots. This has saved us so much time reorganising cancellations”

Return on Investment and the Future

As a charity, Julian House was keen to see a return on investment. Aside from saving money on administration, the charity is able to advertise to a number and variety of job boards that they would not have previously been possible. Vacancy Filler allows their recruitment process the ability to keep up with the fact they are a rapidly growing organisation.

“If you equate my time for money, it will definitely save us a great deal – especially when you consider the saving in paper.”

 

A number of the issues experienced by Julian House are specific to charities, although many are felt by recruiters across all sectors. To find out more about how Vacancy Filler can help, download our brochure for more information.

Ed Hull

Ed Hull is the Marketing Assistant at Vacancy Filler Recruitment Software. As a keen writer with a degree in History, Ed contributes regularly to the Vacancy Filler blog.

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