• Gaynor Lowndes

The New Frontier


Disability Care Australia - the new frontier

The team at HomeCare Australia is excited about the changes taking place in the disability sector. We see the real benefits to the service users in terms of quality of care they will receive because they will now have CHOICE. Yes CHOICE. 

Many current service providers will not survive this new frontier unless they work at re-engineering their business model to accommodate these changes, specifically individualised funding for services and a person centred approach to care.  As a recruitment and staffing expert, I have been involved in many businesses that have needed to re-engineer to survive and share some areas that need to be considered if you are to survive and prosper in this new world.

Some areas to consider:

Who do I need in my new business?

Part of my process in  any business that I am involved in re-engineering is to "audit the talent". I start off by interviewing each and every staff member using both behavioural and situational  questioning techniques to establish whether or not they are are a best fit for the new business model. You can expect to lose at least 25% of your current staff who will not embrace the new company values.

You may choose to outsource this process to recruitment experts (like us). Once that is done, you can move onto staffing your new business.

How will you staff your business?

In some areas of NSW;  service providers have large numbers of permanent staff providing assessment and services and outsource overflow to brokers such as us. In the new frontier, I believe this model will be inefficient and costly. Service Providers will need to embrace a more flexible workforce model where peaks and troughs in service provision can be accommodated with little additional cost to the service provider. 

Service Providers may need to embrace outsourcing more services to brokers and running a smaller permanent workforce. The benefit that brokers provide is that they should have access to a larger candidate pool. If you choose your brokers carefully, they will also add value to your brand in the marketplace.  Quality staff = quality care being provided. 

Remember that in the new frontier if service users are not happy, they can change their service delivery to someone else. As a result, service providers will need to get better at recruitment of their staff, and be more rigorous about selecting the best brokers to support them.

Your staff are your best and cheapest advertisement, if they don't embrace the person centred care approach and improve their customer service skills, you may find that you don't have a business.

In addition, you will need to ensure that your brokers are partnered with you and that you have the right ones in place. You may want to take a look at my blog on how to evaluate a broker

How will I market my business?

This area may be a whole new ball game to many service providers. You have never had to compete for business before and very soon you will be faced with a high level of competition.

I come from a highly competitive marketplace - the world of recruitment. Some would argue that the recruitment marketplace is saturated. To stand out in this marketplace, you have to be different, to provide a point of difference to your competitors. 

For example, our point of difference in HomeCare Australia is that we are professional recruiters with many years experience, that means that we understand how to recruit and retain the highest quality staff available in the marketplace - Better for our clients and our brand.

You will need to come up with a clear marketing strategy that is measurable in terms of cost. Throwing money at advertising won't be enough in the new world. You will need to come up with other marketing strategies to stand out - perhaps embracing social media tools; perhaps being more visible in the communities in which you work.

The new frontier can either be exciting or terrifying for you, your staff and and your business. My team and I are happy to support you move through this transition and are committed to adding value to your business so that we all prosper in this new frontier. 

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