As the economic reality of the Covid-19 pandemic begins to bite, employers are grappling with a whole new and changing set of resource challenges. Furloughed and self-isolating employees; unpredictable day-to-day staffing levels; new working processes; and the headache of remotely sourcing and onboarding new staff members for businesses recruiting key workers are issues UK employers have never faced on this scale.
 
Of the 5,316 businesses responding to the Business Impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) Survey, 75% were continuing trading. Of those, 5% of their workforce was self-isolating or off-sick, while 30% of employers said they had maintained or increased staffing levels.
 
Utilising an experienced Work and Health Programme (WHP) provider can help businesses confidently recruit from the widest possible pool of talent with free, expert recruitment support on tap. It saves time; it saves money; and the service is simple to access.
 
The WHP supports jobseekers with health conditions or disabilities, and those unemployed for more than two years, to start working. It gives access to high quality staff who are skilled, loyal and hardworking, fully prepared and enthusiastic to work in key worker positions.
 
“We can reach candidates that others sometimes don’t and help employers in ways that others sometimes can’t,” explains Anthony Lengden, Partnership & Integration Manager for Ingeus.
 
“Recruiting employers may receive a deluge of online applications, but what sets them apart from each other? And how well prepared are the applicants for the realities of the job on offer? That’s where we are able to fill the gap.”
 
Ingeus’s teams of employer account managers work with employers to truly understand and build a rounded job specification. Common pitfalls like shift patterns, public transport links, pay, and company culture are identified up front, with potential candidates qualified and filtered to ensure suitability.
 
“Our participants may need other aspects of help so we also identify any reasonable adjustments the employer can make,” continues Anthony. “The employers we work with have confidence in the candidates we put forward, some will fast track them for interviews or even offer roles without the need for an interview. For others, we can arrange telephone or Skype introductions. We ensure applicants are ready and able to start work, equipped with all necessary documentation for their new role. Our account managers also keep in regular contact with employers and those we’ve placed with them to ensure a smooth transition to working life.”
 
Recent successes include roles in facilities management, retail, distribution, support roles in hospitals, and at a Covid-19 testing centre. Ingeus can respond quickly to employer’s needs and share experiences and models of working with similar industry employers.  
 
Accessing Support
 
The WHP is fully funded by government and carries no cost to employers.
 
A recently launched employer portal offers a simple online form for employers across England and Wales to express interest in working with a WHP provider. Ingeus is also an integral member of the Prime Provider Partnership, helping national employers access joined-up, tailored support for vacancies across the country.
https://www.whprecruit.co.uk/
 
Ingeus is a Disability Confident Leader: one of 17,000 organisations intent on changing attitudes towards disabled people for the better. Guidance on becoming Disability Confident and advice for employers on attracting, recruiting and retaining disabled people can be found here:
https://disabilityconfident.campaign.gov.uk/
 
The government wants to ensure that businesses are supported to deal with the economic impacts of coronavirus:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19
 
The Federation of Small Business also offers pandemic related advice for SMEs:
https://www.fsb.org.uk/