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18 August 2023

Celebrating success! A look into Yorkshire Housing’s recruitment journey

In case you missed it – we now have an “award-winning” recruitment team – and we’re so proud of them! They won “Recruitment campaign of the year” at the Housing Hero Awards for their work on the customer experience contact recruitment campaign 

So, we sat down for a Q&A with our recruitment advisor, Molly Gaunt, to see what it takes to achieve success and to hear more about their future plans.  

Why did you decide to switch up our recruitment game and do things differently?  

Our journey started with recognising that our previous recruitment process for the customer experience centre (CEC) needed a makeover! It wasn’t serving us or the candidates the way we wanted. We wanted to offer candidates a real tase of what it’s like to be a part of our fantastic CEC team. And for us as assessors, we aimed to truly understand candidates’ values, behaviours, and skills in an authentic way.  

We know that ‘traditional’ interviews aren’t the best fit for everyone, and not everyone thrives in that form of assessment, and we wanted to be more inclusive in our recruitment approach. So, we decided to get creative and make the whole process more engaging and informative and inclusive for everyone involved.  

What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?  

Time is precious for everyone, and we knew this would be a challenge. So, we started planning months ahead to make sure our assessment centre would be a hit! Of course, we had technical issues, classic – right? But we adapted and learned from these hiccups.  

On the day, we stayed flexible and adjusted things on the fly. We had to move some puzzle pieces around, but with positive feedback from candidates and our strong teamwork, we made the dream work (as they say)!

How did your team measure the success of the campaign? 

We looked at how many people applied and attended and gathered feedback from both our candidates and assessors. Their thoughts and feelings gave us a clear picture of what worked and what could be even better.

We managed to fill over 91% of vacancies, which is amazing news!

Here’s a sneak peek into some of the feedback we received from those who took part:  

“The day itself was great, I was made to feel very welcome by all the staff there. I suffer from anxiety and social anxiety and although there were group activities, I did manage to continue throughout the day without this affecting me too much. The building is a great place to be, and the environment seems like a great workplace, I thoroughly enjoyed the day.”  

“Never enjoyed an interview so much! We got to see head office, learn the values of the business, and speak to current employees and get their feedback and learn what type of employer Yorkshire housing is. From the moment I walked in the door the vibe and surroundings were very apparent. I would recommend the assessment day to anyone -in fact I have already!”  

Our feedback showed that 90% of applicants (including the ones who didn’t secure a role) said they would apply for the role again, knowing they’d be assessed in the same way.  

How do we prioritise diversity and inclusion in our recruitment process?  

This is super important to us. We want everyone to feel confident in applying for roles at Yorkshire Housing. Our recruitment process is all about making sure our doors are open to everyone, no matter what their background or experience is.  

See our gender and ethnicity pay gap report here.

So, what’s next on our radar?  

We’re taking a pre-emptive approach for the CEC assessment centres and have them planned in for 2023 and even early 2024! We’ve seen this style of assessment become more popular (not only because were #awardwinners) but because the business is now starting to reap the rewards of having tip top talent in the roles we have utilised a campaign like this for. 

Our journey has also inspired others, as I’ve had other housing associations reach out for advice. It’s super exciting that our success can help others with their recruitment efforts.  

And finally, what advice would you give to others looking to step up their recruitment game? 

Get the right team together and make sure you’re all in it to win it. Our amazing group and the support from across the business were essential to this achievement. Being open to change and adapting on the go is key. You can’t predict everything, but with a strong team by your side, you’ll handle anything that comes your way.  

We’ve hosted 3 of the assessment centres for the CEC now and we’re continuously looking for gaps and ways to improve, so make sure you always monitor your journey. Good luck!  

Interested in a career with Yorkshire Housing? Please check out our latest vacancies.