Recruitment is a stressful endeavour, for the applicant as well as the organisation. Very often recruitment is done out of an urgent need, leaving less room for careful considerations and decisions. Recruitment is also not often seen as an exciting task, but that can be changed. Once recruitment is truly understood as a central pillar of a relational organisation, it can be motivating to find people whose values align with that of the organisation.
Recruitment includes Intention/planning, advertisement, communication with applicants, interview, selection, and induction. A relational approach should be taken at each step of the way. If one of the steps does not align with the organisational values, it can easily undo the achievements of other steps. For example, the advertisement might have attracted the people with the right values, the interview process might have selected the right person – but if the induction is done carelessly, they might not have been equipped with all the knowledge they need to succeed in their role. If it is stressful to get something as basic as the, for instance, the key to the office or a sign into the IT system, it might not set the candidate up in the best way.
Ideally, an organisation should do value-based and skill-based recruitment, where equal emphasis is put on the necessary qualifications and the motivation of the applicant. This means, that the person-specifications should highlight not only the degrees or training that are desired, but also the value and perhaps life-experience that are useful for the job. It can also be tempting to make many aspects of the application ‘required’ rather than ‘desired’, but this could discourage people who might otherwise have been perfect for the role. A keyway to balance the application process in favour of relationships is involving young people in each step of the way.
If you are in a role where you can influence the recruitment at your organisation, then it could be beneficial to evaluate the current way of doing things and improve it.
The following questions can help.
You might consider more questions within your organisation; it can be helpful to ask members of your team to understand if they have suggestions or feedback.
Relationships are an important part of everyone’s life. For example, everything we learn as children depends on others teaching us. But did you know that good relationships also have an influence on our physical and mental health (Griffith, 2017)? Relationship-based practice combines what we know about childhood development, trauma, resilience, and relationships to promote the best for children and adolescents.
Early life experiences shape our mind and body in ways that we are understanding more and more, especially when these experiences are traumatic. Trauma-informed practice takes this knowledge and creates a holistic framework for practitioners and organisations to create healing and safe spaces and ways of working.
First introductions matter. It matters when, how and where they happen. Many young people speak about transitions are often the most difficult times. In this Guide we explore how transitions can be done from the lens of relational practice.
What do IT systems and relationships have in common? Both usually run in the background and are easily taken for granted. Perhaps surprisingly, IT systems can have a big influence on the quality of relationships and relational practice in general.
When you know your goal you do whatever you need to do to reach it. But what if you defined the goal in the wrong way? In this Guide we explore how the goal affects your actions and how you can make sure that you are measuring your success in the right way. Are you meeting an outcome or are you filling a need?
One of the first things you learn when you start your job is when you need to arrive and when you need to leave. Have you ever considered that the pattern of your work affects the relationships you are building?
Organisational values influence the working culture. They can inspire workers to follow the organisation's mission. However, for them to have an impact they need to be developed with staff and young people.
It is important to keep learning and growing. Recognise your staff’s value and expertise by developing internal training and discussion sessions. Enable staff to learn and train more. Training should not be a tick-box exercise but a place for growth and reflection.
As is often said, hurt people hurt people – it is even more important to consider the flipside: supported people support people. Working with young people and caring for them can be a demanding role, especially in under-resourced and stressful environments. A truly relational organisation also invests in the relationships between managers and staff, creating a positive environment for everyone.
All relationships take time and effort to build and develop relationships with young people with care experience is no exception, perhaps being even more difficult due to their backgrounds however with the right understanding and approach you could develop a strong and positive connection which will benefit both you and your young person.
Relationships are essential to all parts of life and encompass both our professional and personal lives. They are a vital part of the support networks for our young people and the stronger the relationship the better we can all do our jobs, perhaps making them feel less like a job and more like a vocation. And perhaps more importantly, the stronger the relationship the more important a young person might feel.