As a nationwide Case Management company, ILS continues to evolve and adapt to the needs of clients living with catastrophic injury. Underpinning the clinical support that ILS provides is the Client HR function, headed up by HR Manager Ellie Conway. Here Ellie tells us more about the Client HR offering and how her experience has helped to make this an invaluable resource for case managers and clients alike.
The Client HR Service was first established in 2006 through the appointment of an HR Manager. To strengthen the function, Ellie joined ILS as an HR Administrator in 2007. Over the next 5 years Ellie was supported by ILS to develop in her career and in time was promoted to HR Officer, then Senior HR Officer, before taking on her current role of Client HR Manager in 2014. Now, nearly fifteen years later, ILS Client HR is a well-established HR function providing a vital service to Case Managers, clients, and their family members.
Ellie is supported by a team of six CIPD qualified HR professionals, which makes ILS one of the largest Client HR teams in the Case Management industry. Between them they provide employment law advice to the Case Managers and Team Leaders who line manage clients’ care staff on a day to day basis; they advise on team structure and rotas as well as providing advice on managing performance and wellbeing. They also manage the onboarding processes and ensure Support Worker records are kept up to date and comply with CQC regulations. There is also a Recruitment and Training Administrator within the team who assists the clients in sourcing new care staff and ensuring they are trained to provide a high standard of care. The team currently supports 106 clients who employ 384 care staff between them of which 37 clients require 24-hour care.
“There are lots of components that make up the full HR service from recruitment and onboarding to managing performance, family friendly processes i.e. maternity, flexible working etc, changes to contracts and processing leavers as well as providing an advice service to the Case Managers by fully qualified HR Advisors. It’s a service that ILS clients and their Deputies have come to depend on to recruit and onboard a care team that is right for them. And while it is important to note that ILS do not employ Support Workers - they are employed directly by clients via their Court of Protection Deputy to provide the care they need. Deputies trust ILS to manage the day to day management of their client’s support workers.
With 40 years of collective experience working directly with ILS clients, the Client HR team know only too well the challenges managing a directly employed care team can bring. They can advise on strategies to get the best out of the care teams, which allows our clients, Case Managers and Team Leaders to feel supported. By providing this service, our Case Managers can focus on what they do best in providing the clinical interventions required.
Our team work very closely with the Case Managers when recruiting a support team. Our experienced Recruitment and Training Administrator, Kerry, is also a bank carer herself, so has excellent knowledge of the qualities required in order to work effectively in care. Kerry will draft an advert that is personalised to our client, making the role attractive and inviting. Our HR advisors will draft job descriptions and person specifications to ensure the right support worker for our client is recruited.
All candidates go through a rigorous selection and interview process and complete trial shifts working with our clients before they are onboarded. We include questions in relation to our company values – Client Centred, Quality Focused, Integrity, Supportive & Positive, when applicants complete a screening form as we feel it is important to ensure that the people working with our clients hold similar values to ours and if necessary we will recruit based on values and train them for skill.
Working in a family home is very different to that of working in a more institutionalised setting and the Support Workers who work with our clients need to be sensitive to working in an environment where privacy and confidentiality can be respected and where professional boundaries are also important. Families can often find it difficult to accept help for their loved ones, so building a trusting relationship is key to success. We provide our Support Workers with a handbook when they begin their employment with our client which contains lots of useful information on what is expected of them when working in a family home and our Case Managers provide support during the induction and probationary period to ensure the Support Worker is the right fit for our client and their family.”
Within the last year a new Client HR service has also been set up by Ellie under the ILS Plus banner. Together with the Client Payroll Service, ILS can now provide a direct recruitment, onboarding and payroll administrative service primarily to support clients who no longer need Case Management but still require the input of a professional HR Team to help them employ care staff.
“I’m incredibly proud of the service the ILS Client HR team provide and look forward to continuing to develop this high-quality service to ensure that the needs of our clients continue to be met.”