Life Without Barriers: “Xref brings a collective sigh of relief"Posted on 31 Aug 2016 by Keryn Paviour-Smith - Life Without Barriers
Life Without Barriers: “Xref brings a collective sigh of relief to our People, Safety & Culture function”
Life Without Barriers is one of Australia’s largest not-for-profit organisations working in over 305 communities across Australia, supporting more than 15,000 people each year to live their life, their way. Life Without Barriers provides services in all states and territories, employing more than 4,000 staff and supporting 2,600 foster carers.
We deliver services in the areas of disability and mental health support, out-of-home care, aged care and support for refugee and asylum seekers. For us, relationships come first. We understand one another, make lasting connections and build trust with all our stakeholders. Our relationships are strong and enduring but maintaining them requires the right people - more than 4,000 of the right people, in fact.
Given the sensitivity of the issues and people we work with, our sector has an even greater responsibility to ensure the correct People, Safety & Culture (PSC) processes and procedures are in place and Life Without Barriers is no exception. Part of our due diligence requires all external candidates to provide the details of two referees and internal candidates must provide at least one.
However, like many not-for-profit organisations Life Without Barriers has in the past, struggled with gathering, retaining and reporting on potential employees’ reference check details. The introduction of Xref has allowed our team a collective sigh of relief, by making information gathering fast, simple, secure and easily reportable.
Assurance and evidence
Before bringing Xref on board, our admin-heavy reference checking process was often left to Hiring Managers. The information gathered was usually quite inconsistent, which made reporting a challenge as it was difficult to gather details in a comparable format. Occasionally the feedback recorded was also simply irrelevant, causing concerns for the PSC staff and Hiring Managers about hiring decisions that were being made on the back of the reference details provided. We were reliant on very basic, written notes and had little in the way of measurable data.
Since introducing Xref, we feel assured about the consistency, accuracy and insightfulness of the data we’re gathering on prospective employees. The Xref platform allows us to implement the same questionnaire for identical roles which helps with benchmarking and quality control. Additionally, as the platform is cloud-based, all records are securely filed and readily available for future reference and auditing purposes.
Reference checking had become somewhat of a pain point for our PSC team at Life Without Barriers. While the task of requesting a reference and collecting the details didn’t take long, the process of chasing down referees was slow and time-consuming.
The ease and flexibility of Xref means we are collecting a large number of references at times that are more convenient for the referee – around 37% of our references are received outside of regular recruiting hours. This means that not only is the requesting process made simpler but we also receive the relevant information a lot more quickly. A process that once took one-two weeks now has an average turnaround time of less than 32 hours. In addition, we have also found that because referees are completing the questionnaires at their convenience, the quality and care of the reference has improved when compared to our previous phone-based method.
As a not-for-profit organisation, it is critical that we operate in a manner that promotes efficiency and guarantees the best value for money. Previously, there would have been as much as one and a half hours of paperwork to complete following a reference check call by phone. Now, with Xref, the data is collected and analysed for us, without wasting valuable staff resources. As a result, Xref has saved us thousands of dollars whilst also allowing our PSC team to focus on more strategic tasks.
The not-for-profit sector is always looking for new, more effective ways of doing things. For us, Xref was an absolute no-brainer, it offers the speed, security and accountability we needed to ensure that we are bringing on the best people in the most efficient way possible. It also fits in seamlessly with our team, and receives overwhelmingly positive feedback from referees, Hiring Managers and candidates alike.
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