VHA Home HealthCare’s Human Resources (HR) team has been recognized with an Innovative HR Team 2021 Award from Canadian HR Reporter magazine.
A key area of focus for the HR team is recruitment – finding and securing qualified staff and service providers with great heart who are aligned with our values of quality and caring to fill VHA Home HealthCare (VHA)’s staffing needs. The ongoing shortage of personal support workers, nurses and rehab providers, together with all the issues and uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, has made this job much harder. VHA’s determined and creative response to these challenges led to this award win which recognizes teams that are breaking boundaries to provide great Human Resources support.
“With COVID turning everyone’s world upside down and limiting our ability to meet candidates in person, the HR team was very quick to launch virtual Job Fairs which have proven to be very effective recruitment tools,” shared Dan Uzelac, Manager, Talent Acquisition and Development at VHA. “We also condensed in-person PSW orientation to 1 day and moved the remainder of our on-boarding training from in-person to online,” he added. “This has improved the new hire experience and means we can release new hires to start working in the community more quickly. We have also increased the frequency of orientation for Nurses so new Nurses can be onboarded sooner.”
These innovations have certainly helped the HR team to address recruitment challenges, but it continues to be a struggle. “Often in recruitment, you will hear people talk about the ‘fight for talent’, but with the current health human resources (HHR) crisis, it is more of a ‘war for talent’,” shared Dan. “The demand for PSWs, Nurses and Rehab providers is sky high while the pool of health care providers is more like a puddle on a hot summer day.” The team has to find creative ways to source candidates outside of traditional channels and provide a positive candidate experience throughout the recruitment cycle, from candidate attraction through onboarding and training. “Equally important, if not more so, is the employee experience,” added Dan. “Reducing turnover and improving retention has become even more critical because it is so much more difficult to address staff shortages through recruitment.”
“I couldn’t be more proud of the team and I am so pleased their efforts have been recognized with this award,” shared Dan. “The constant pressure to hire more people during an HHR crisis can be overwhelming, and deflating at times, but they continue to battle on and support each other to remain focused on the task at hand and find new creative ways to source and recruit new candidates. In this fight for talent, they are warriors that don’t back down. I have never seen a more passionate, committed and resilient team.”
Congratulations to VHA’s HR team and to all of the winners including our fellow health care provider winners: UHN, Humber River Hospital and Coast Mental Health. The full list of winners can be viewed on the Canadian HR Reporter website.