IVY Works en De Wever jointly approach scarcity in healthcare

01 March 2023 Breaking

On March 1, De Wever's location Eikenhuys in Berkel-Enschot, Noord-Brabant, was completed; a residential care center for people with dementia, where the emphasis is on 'living like at home'. In the complex, care professionals mainly 'visit' and have a more fluid role, thus making care more future-proof. "This new way of working called for an alternative assessment for future staff," said De Wever recruiter Willem de Beer. "Through our collaboration with IVY Works, we uncover not only the competencies, but more importantly the motivations of candidates. That information is crucial to the success of this project."

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With the assessments of the data-driven talent management agency, De Wever examines to what extent such an innovative way of working suits someone. And especially whether it actually makes the person in question happy. After all, that ensures an optimal working atmosphere and ditto results in daily practice, is the idea. "You can only build the work culture within a new complex from scratch once," De Beer says. "So we were happy to tackle that thoroughly. And this method of selection - given its effect on employees' job happiness - will hopefully also have a positive effect on employee turnover."  

From care and welfare to welfare and care 
Scarcity in healthcare; it's not a new problem, but the issue is becoming more acute. "In our line of work, it means that dependents receive too little or no care. That hurts," De Beer said. "Based on that issue, we have redesigned the work processes at Eikenhuys. There is an important role for the residents' loved ones. And the help of the care staff - the so-called 'collaborators' - is mainly focused on a piece of well-being. Where does someone need support? In the kitchen? With undressing? With washing?" 

It means that the collaborators in the apartment complex sometimes also water plants or help residents to peel potatoes. De Beer: "Residents keep more control over their own lives this way, and such a home-cooked meal is also good for well-being." By providing care like at home, De Wever also combats peak workload among staff. "For example, a resident who likes to get up very early gets our help with that at the desired time, and also needs his or her medication before the usual rush hour. Because of this flexibility in terms of care, the work is spread out much better. That takes some of the pressure off our staff." 

New working method requires different search profile 
In daily practice, there are also going to be other risk assessments, the recruiter looks ahead. "Does a resident attach great value to a carpet in the hallway at home? Then one will also be placed in Eikenhuys. It poses a risk of falling, but we all accept that. Do you like your eggs soft-boiled? If you take any salmonella contamination for granted, just say so." It's a way of working that requires an open mindset, the recruiter summarizes. "So we need people who can connect, are open to change, are proactive, you name it. So having a lot of experience within the healthcare profession is not necessarily a reason for success. Because at Eikenhuys, we're going to do it all differently." 

"With traditional assessments, you can get beyond the surface whether a candidate is capable of certain actions," adds Derk Spronk, psychologist at IVY Works. "But we want to know: do you actually fit into the new concept, yes or no. Something that says nothing about your qualities, but is essential in shaping the new team." Behavior is just the tip of the iceberg, he explains. "With our game-based assessments, we look beneath the surface. This gives us a clearer, fuller picture of who someone really is, and what drives and characterizes them. Certain behavioral characteristics, such as a sense of responsibility and guts, will always be context-dependent and thus difficult to measure. However, we can - with the help of a selection of our 68 games - make a statement about how likely it is that someone will be able to show this behavior. And about whether someone becomes happy from work in which he or she has to tap into the studied traits over and over again." 

Collaboration through MindLabs
"MindLabs has a large network of partners," Pascalle Ligtenberg, owner of IVY Works, continued. "Through the ecosystem, we also got in touch with Willem from De Wever. We got into a conversation about how difficult it is to engage people in healthcare. But with our game-based assessments, we can make objective and honest assessments that are of value to both the employer and the applicant. For example, a workplace that matches your intrinsic motivations reduces turnover within an organization. IVY Works and De Wever turned out to be a good match, so we started working together pretty soon." 

And so it happened that some time ago a description of the ideal Eikenhuys employee was drawn up via a competence matrix. Focusing on cognitive characteristics, personality traits and work values, among other things. De Beer: "Some 165 assessments have been taken so far, testing for specific traits." The combination of pre-selected games provides a very complete picture. "On that basis, the necessary collaborators have now been selected." For those who meet all the job requirements but fit less well with the new way of working, by the way, there is also an alternative. "If possible, they are linked to the more traditional vacancies at other De Wever locations. That way, they also end up in the best possible position," says the De Wever recruiter. "Again, that can lead to people in our field staying on board." 

Growing confidence through positive experiences 
In mid-March the first residents will move into the new 59-apartment De Wever complex. What follows is phased. An exciting time, De Beer looks forward. Ligtenberg also expects a particularly interesting period. "We are going to see how the team functions in practice, and what we can learn from it." In any case, until then, the first results are promising. De Beer: "IVY Works has advised us in the area of assessment scores. Because confidence is something that needs to grow, we introduced the applicants from the first group - regardless of their results - all to the manager. Those who scored below the advised score, it turns out, were also rejected by the manager. Everyone who scored above it was actually hired. So we have since said that only people above the minimum recommended score will get an interview. That saves an awful lot of time." 

Spronk: "And as for the brand-new group of collaborators, there is still a lot of diversity in that, because we only recruit on a specific part of someone's talents. But we also have the other talents in view, which allows De Wever to gradually take teamwork to an even higher level. After all, you know what else the individuals within the group can do, and how you can make them feel even more in place. Or how you can deploy your employees more broadly than initially determined." Incidentally, the method of assessment used can also be used for other functions within healthcare, he reveals. "You then only work with a modified search profile and therefore also a different combination of games," the psychologist said. "All in all, this collaboration created through MindLabs can make a nice contribution to combating scarcity in healthcare."