About Achieving for Children

Achieving for Children is a not-for-profit social enterprise providing bespoke social care and educational services to local authorities, schools, and other partners to support children and their families.  Achieving for Children work to provide the best possible outcomes in the lives of young people.

Founded in 2014 through collaboration between the Royal Borough of Kingston and the London Borough of Richmond, Achieving for Children is now also co-owned by the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, with services provided across the three areas.

The Challenge

With much of their HR and recruitment processes handled by external suppliers, the task for Achieving for Children over the last 18 months has been to bring these processes in-house and take ownership of them.

As an organisation, Achieving for Children employee around 1200 people, and must recruit for numerous different types of roles across a diversity of skillsets, including social workers, nurses, teachers, and psychologists. In most cases, these are paid roles, but they also require a cohort of voluntary workers in niche positions who must be supported differently to their paid staff.

The level of decision-making required to recruit into all these roles efficiently meant that Achieving for Children needed to be able to have control over their recruitment technology, from advertising the roles through to the offer-stage.

Previously, they had been using two separate Applicant Tracking Systems – one servicing Richmond and Kingston and another for Windsor and Maidenhead.

For Peter Moorcock, HR Transformation Lead at Achieving for Children, what they were looking for in a solution was clear:

“We needed something that could make it much quicker for the managers to go through the hiring process – something that could remove the obstacles and barriers to hiring new staff”.

The Solution

“We were looking at the options and what the market could offer,” says Peter, “a major priority for us was that we wanted a system that was easy to use, because that was the feedback from our managers”.

Achieving for Children also had an internal requirement to have a new Applicant Tracking System in place by September 2021.

This necessitated that they move quickly to find a new system and get it implemented and in place for the team to use.

According to Peter, “This was a unique project because of the time-constraints. We needed to go live quickly, with a lot of the testing and onboarding happening after the launch. So, we really needed to have confidence in the supplier that they could meet our requirements in terms of implementation,”

Once they had begun to review the solution provided by Hireserve, the choice became clear:

“When we started seeing demonstrations of the Hireserve ATS, all the feedback we were getting internally was that it looked like a really easy system that our hiring managers could use”.

Progress with Hireserve was, as Peter suggests “short and snappy” with a two-month implementation allowing them to launch and then taking a further three months to build out the system, test it, onboard their users, and get used to the system.

The Hiring Manager Portal in Hireserve ATS enabled the hiring managers at Achieving for Children the autonomy to control every stage of the hiring process, from creating the job posting, setting the shortlisting criteria, shortlisting candidates themselves, and setting up interviews.

As Peter admits, “The level of control we have now in-house is just not something we had at all previously with either of the systems we had in place for the different boroughs.”

With the Hirechecks module also included, Achieving for Children will have a system in place that can help them conduct checks on prospective employees, providing an audit trail of what is completed and what still needs to be done – something of critical importance when their work revolves around supporting young people.

The Results

Now with the Hireserve ATS in place, Achieving for Children have seen a dramatic transformation in the way that they handle recruitment.

“It has massively improved the way that we are able to manage the candidate journey from start to finish,” says Peter Moorcock, “from the job adverts to the career pages, the way it’s been designed to meet our needs is just brilliant”.

For those overseeing the hiring process at Achieving for Children, the change has been easy to identify, now with full control of every step from start to finish, there are fewer delays and less obstacles to overcome. This has led to a significant reduction in time-to-hire, with the journey from posting the position through to making an offer now taking an average of around 45 days – roughly half of the total time it was taking previously.

As Peter puts it, “Hireserve has been fantastic for us to solve the whole recruitment process really, from the point of thinking about the roles we need to recruit for, right through to the point of offer”.

At Hireserve, we are proud that we have been able to work with Achieving for Children and enable the vital role they play helping young people and communities. We look forward to continuing to support the fantastic services they provide.

If you would like to learn about how you can better engage your Hiring Managers in the recruitment process, we have a guide packed with practical advice to assist you – download it here.