The article which answers the question and more!
We are often asked, what am I paying an agency fee for? The answer to this is actually very simple, the Agency fee pays for us, the Access Care ‘behind the scenes team’, and enables our business to operate and provide our service to you.
Access Care is a specialist Live-in Care Recruitment and Introduction Agency.
There is no charge to Carers for registering with us for work finding purposes. It is our clients that pay us to find carers for them. The fee is payable to cover the cost of us recruiting and registering carers to present to you for selection. To do this, there is an office run by highly trained experts in recruitment and homecare that beaver away each day. To explain further let us meet the teams.
New Business & Marketing
This team are responsible for finding clients and welcoming them to Access Care. The ‘New Business Consultants’ are your first point of contact and tell people all about the service we offer. The team spend time talking to potential clients, finding out about the care and support they are looking for and obtaining relevant and necessary information about their loved ones. When able, they are also available to meet/visit to explain our services personally too. Tasked to listen and advise, the new business team are trained to signpost people to the best possible care on the market for their personal situation, even if that isn’t Access Care.
Whilst the ‘New Business’ team spend their time talking to potential clients, the recruitment team are working hard to recruit and register professional live-in carers who are looking for work. As you would expect there is a rigorous recruitment process. We make a lot of vital safety check to ensure we are presenting Carers to you for selection who, to the very best of are ability’ are suitable, trained, well-matched and perfect to do the job you want them to do!
We check identification, Visa’s and work permits.
DBS (Criminal checks) are undertaken and checked.
We apply for and, importantly verify work and character references.
We verify all training certificates that are presented to us.
We have a minimum training criterion to register and if Carers do not meet this, we help them arrange further training to upskill.
We ensure Carers have valid ‘Self-employed Live-in care Workers Insurance’ prior to working for you.
If the Carer is a driver, we ensure we have their licence details on file.
We have a registration interview with each Carer where we look at their written and verbal English skills (if we are recruiting for English speaking clients of course), we look at their appearance, body language and conversational skills (just like in any job interview).
I am Melanie, the Head of Operations at Access Care and I personally host regular 'Registration Days’ for our new Carers and spend time getting to know them and ensuring they get to know us so we can manage their expectations and relay the expectations of our clients too. This is important to ensure the whole Access Care community (Carers, Client & the office team) are ‘singing from the same hymn sheet’ and therefore enabling the process to run as smoothly as possible.
To stay registered with Access Care, and to safeguard our clients as much as we possibly can, the recruitment team have to update all the Carers registrations every 2 years which involves running all the aforementioned checks again.
Not all Carers pass the registration process with Access Care.
Client Relationship Team
Every client is welcomed by their own dedicated Client Relationship Consultant who becomes their personal point of contact in the office. These ladies are our customer service team, and their primary purpose is to strive for your satisfaction with both your Carer and our service to you as a company. They are here to interact with customers in order to answer questions, resolve support issues, improve credibility and nurture relationships. They will establish a pattern of regular contact to suit you so you can control how little or often you hear from Access Care.
Your Client Relationship Consultant (your CRC for short) works closely with our ‘Bookings Team’ (see below) to find the closest match to your criteria that we possibly can and will then present that hand-picked group of Carers to you for selection. They will help you decide on which Carer to chose if you wish and then ensure they details are all sewn up, so they arrive as required. They check in regularly to ensure you are happy with the Carer and if, for any reason you are not, they will work with you to find an alternative as quickly and as seamlessly as possible. Your happiness is paramount to them.
These ladies do as their name suggests. They ‘book’ the Carers into their clients. As such, they are in constant contact with all our registered carers, seeking out their availability to work and scheduling their ‘booking’ if selected. This team are ‘customer service’ representatives for our Carers and they work hard to ensure the Carer that is with your loved one is happy with his/her placement. So, we are looking at satisfaction levels from a holistic perspective of the entire service being provided.
When a Carer wishes to take a break, they will let you know and often the Bookings Team too. Once this happens the system cycles again and you are seamlessly presented with replacement carers to chose from in good time so that any preparation may be made.
This team is responsible for producing invoices, collecting payments, helping carers with questions about being self-employed and undertaking all bookkeeping & accountancy duties.
We offer an ‘out of hours service’ which is manned 24/7 356 days a year, so we are always available to help.
Paying the Agency Fee - Every 28 days
To help spread the cost of our fee, we present it to you as a daily fee and invoice you every 28 days for regularity and ease. Paying in this way ensures all the above is on top and working on your behalf throughout the year for full peace of mind.
Permanent Engagement Fee
Alternatively, some of our clients like to take advantage of our permanent engagement fee which can be advantageous if you have found your ‘perfect’ Carer and are confident they will return to you time and time again and you are entirely satisfied with their service. This works like a ‘release-fee’ for both client and Carer. In effect we have found what you are looking for and neither of you feel you need our service moving forwards.
You can of course re-engage us again at any time (for example to cover your Carers breaks). There is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes at Access Care and this is what you pay our agency for – for us! I am incredibly proud of the hard work and rigorous attention to details that the Access Care team perform daily. They are dedicated, honest, reliable, and truly care for their customers.
Any member of the team would be delighted to talk to you if you have any questions about how our service works, our fees or you just fancy a natter - do give us a call on 01264 319 399.
Head Of Operations