Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this blog are entirely our own and not necessarily those of our employer or any other occupational therapist.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Values Based Recruitment

At the moment we are at one of the busy times within our undergraduate admissions cycle with the process of interviews and selection. I am always heartened by both the motivation and the high standard of the applicants we see during this process and it is often a difficult task to select only 56 from the 140 or so that we interview. We are constantly seeking ways of ensuring this process is fair and robust and offers a clear selection process for all involved - so one of the new changes I have brought to this process this year is the introduction of Values Based Recruitment.

 Values Based Recruitment (VBR) works through identifying values and attitudes of the applicant and how they fit the organisation and/or nature of the business – in this case occupational therapy.VBR sits alongside skills, experience and competencies and can help an applicant to demonstrate how and why they make certain choices and identify attitudes and reasons that underpin behaviour. It is also suggested that VBR can lead to improved performance and better retention – new recruits enjoy the work and the culture and want to stay. Therefore we recruit those more closely aligned with professional values and organisation values.

There are, of course many drivers for introducing VBR which include:

  • Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct (2010)
  • The Francis Report (Mid Staffs 2013)
This report contains a relatively low message for AHPs but there are clear messages to embrace.  Main training issues focuses on nursing, however they have resonance with Occupational Therapy.
185: There should be an increased focus on a culture of compassion and caring in nurse recruitment, training and education. Selection of recruits to the profession who evidence the:
·      Possession of the appropriate values, attitudes and behaviours;
·      Ability and motivation to enable them to put the welfare of others above their own interests;
·      Drive to maintain, develop and improve their own standards and abilities;
·      Intellectual achievements to enable them to acquire through training the necessary technical skill

  • The NHS Constitution (2012) with the introduction of 
--> the 6 C’s of Care:
·      Care
·      Compassion (includes empathy, kindness, respect and dignity)
·      Competence
·      Communication
·      Courage (includes speaking up when things are wrong)
·      Commitment
During  consultations held last year with current students, service users and staff, a nominal group technique was used to produce a consensus for the top values amalgamated from all relevant drivers  Throughout the consultation period  I had a number of discussions  about expectations of an applicant in terms of values. Often it is proposed that professionals can learn and develop values through their educational and practice experiences as a student. However, Barker (2013:82) states “We can learn to understand the needs of individuals but not to be ‘sympathetic’ and have ‘concern’ for others. In addition values rated highly as being important for an occupational therapist included:
1.     Respect each person as an individual
2.     Respect individual’s dignity
3.     Working Together
4.     Commitment to confidentiality and Being Ethical
5.     Being Kind and Knowing and complying with rules and regulations
We have now included ways within our interview process that will help applicants display these values to given scenarios and/or questions and will be conducting an evaluation of the entire process in due course. Watch this space for more news soon.......

Barker K (2013) Can Care and Compassion be taught? British Journal of Midwifery February 2013 Vol 21, No 2 82
  Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public enquiry (2013) Report of the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Enquiry Executive Summary London:HMSO

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