Making a difference isn’t always about the grand gesture.
At BlueCare, it usually looks pretty routine: Going shopping. Cleaning the house. Just your everyday to-do list for some, but for UnitingCare Queensland’s aged care division, it’s how caregivers help senior citizens live life to its fullest.
Yet even though the day-to-day sounds ordinary, being a caregiver requires a special kind of person. This busy position needs each caregiver to develop a working relationship built on trust with every customer, and be fully attentive to customers’ needs.
Finding people who are right for this role can be a challenge. And BlueCare needs to hire a high volume every month to keep up with growing demand in the aged care sector.
In order to meet that demand, Amanda Dyson, BlueCare’s Head of Talent Acquisition, realized a need to increase BlueCare’s hiring efficiency.
And for an organization built around human connections, she found help in an unlikely place: AI.
The before: Slow processes with high drop-off.
BlueCare prides itself on a high-touch hiring experience.
Dyson’s team is looking for selfless people ready to commit their time to helping others live lives their way. In an ideal world, these people would grow on trees. But on Earth, we’re increasingly short supplied. So BlueCare’s recruiters instead employ an intensive screening process to ensure new candidates possess the knowledge and skills their customers depend on.
But the team noticed this approach was leading to an inefficient recruiting pace.
Manually screening candidates did help BlueCare find qualified caregivers, but it also slowed down the hiring process. With candidate screening and interview scheduling taking days, candidates were accepting other offers before they ever interviewed with BlueCare.
“We were leaking candidates at every part of the process,” said Dyson.
Dyson sought a way to increase speed and conversion, helping BlueCare get the right candidates hired sooner. More importantly, though, was that this solution be complex enough to maintain BlueCare’s human to human value proposition.
The solution: An AI assistant named Olive.
Dyson understood that her recruiters were most valuable when they were getting to know the candidates on a personal level.
But the current recruitment process also had them performing large volumes of administrative work.
At the beginning of every application, BlueCare has to confirm some basics: whether candidates fit minimum requirements and have the legal certifications to undertake the role. Having the recruiters handle this didn’t just slow the process down, it gave the recruiters less time to spend with candidates in the one-on-one stage of their recruitment journey.
Dyson realized it’s best to screen the qualified people as quickly as possible, and then let your recruiters use their expertise to determine the best fits.
So the person-centered, community-driven organization turned to an unlikely ally: AI. Dyson discovered what was taking her recruiters days, AI could automate in minutes.
That automation has come to life as Olive, a conversational AI assistant that sits directly atop BlueCare’s career site.
Olive speeds up the hiring process by handling the administrative back and forth that recruiters had previously overseen. When candidates are interested in applying for a BlueCare position, they can text a shortcode or scan a QR code to immediately start an application on their phone. Olive will reach out and begin a screening process, all through a series of short text messages.
“How many years of experience do you have?”
“What days of the week are you available for work?”
If candidates are qualified, Olive moves them forward in the process. Recruiters then reach out to candidates to determine whether they possess the soft skills necessary to thrive as caregivers.
And since recruiters are no longer stuck handling the initial stages of this process, they’re able to invest more time and care into these later stages. BlueCare is able to hire better people, faster.
With simple, efficient automation and high-touch, human judgment, BlueCare has found a solution that speeds up the initial application while still giving Dyson’s recruiters a chance to single out top talent.
“It’s so conversational…it’s so much simpler. It’s a lovely experience,” said Dyson.
The results: Happier candidates. Faster hiring. More caregivers.
When Dyson and her team were implementing Paradox’s AI solution, there admittedly was some hesitation.
“We're in a customer service industry,” said Dyson. “Are people going to want to apply with a robot?”
Turns out they do. Candidates don't always need to speak directly with a person. Sometimes they’re happy when things are just fast and right. And Olive provides a screening and scheduling process that is fast and right — in part due to Olive’s always-on functionality.
Night shifts and early mornings: Healthcare employees are no strangers to odd hours. Which is why Olive’s ability to respond at any time, including when BlueCare’s recruiters are asleep, has been so beneficial to the organization. Technically, Olive is available 24/7. But to candidates, Olive is available just when they need her — on their terms. Because of that availability, drop-off has lowered and conversion has increased.
So much so that application completion has increased to 81% since Olive’s introduction.
Olive’s even accelerated BlueCare’s entire hiring process; candidates are now being scheduled in under two days, significantly faster than before Olive’s addition. In total, BlueCare’s recruiters have been able to save a total of 3,300 hours annually.
Not to be lost in the numbers, though, is the real world impact Olive has provided. With BlueCare able to hire qualified caregivers, faster, more seniors are able to receive the support that they deserve.
BlueCare operates within 112 residential neighborhoods and 47 nursing homes across northern Australia. Because of their decision to implement Olive, BlueCare is able to support an entire region’s worth of residents.
And that support is incredibly meaningful, even if it looks a little routine.
Read UnitingCare Queensland's full story: