At Ashdale we are always growing as we seek to provide care for more children and young people who are in need of residential care. With this growth comes the necessity to bring more dedicated and passionate people onto our team to support our mission. The demand for enhanced therapeutic care in Ireland is constantly increasing and we are working hard to meet this demand. We spoke with Eileen Gregory, our Director of HR, to find out more about the recruitment process, what guides us when hiring a new team member and what you need to know when applying to Ashdale Care.


Q: Can you tell us about Ashdale Care’s mission and values, and how they influence the recruitment process?

A: Yes! It is our mission that our Ashdale Community of Care protects, supports, empowers and enables both young people and colleagues to positively transform lives. This is the most important part of the work that we do, and we carry it through in all of our actions and interactions. At the core of our mission are our organisational values; Respect & Inclusion, Honesty & Integrity, Responsibility & Commitment and the Pursuit of Excellence.

We also hire for impact and engage with candidates who truly want to make a difference to help rebuild young people’s lives.


Q: What qualities are we looking for in potential candidates for roles in Ashdale Care?

A: Within this particular sector it is highly regulated with required minimum qualifications for certain roles. Following the screening for these minimum criteria, we are looking for a can-do attitude, very strong performance and employees who appreciate a really good work culture. Some characteristics that successful candidates will have is plenty of empathy, care and a deep understanding of the importance we place on the welfare of the young people in our care.


Q: Can you walk us through the typical recruitment process at Ashdale Care, from application to hiring?

A: There are quite a few steps to the recruitment process but we leverage technology to make this as easy as possible for the candidate to upload all of their documentation. A completed application form and full drivers licence is essential. Once these have been submitted, we proceed very quickly to a face-to-face interview with the Home Manager and Deputy Home Manager for assessment against clear objective criteria for the role. We provide candidates with ample opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the Ashdale Way directly from people with the most experience working in our homes.


Q: How does Ashdale Care support diversity and inclusion in its recruitment efforts, and how does this continue at a team level?

A: We feel it is incredibly important that the young people in our care feel safe and comfortable. With this, we really strive to mirror the makeup of our homes in our talent acquisition strategies by recruiting from other countries and cultures. To align our employees to the diversity of our young people. We also deliver multiple training programmes in Diversity themes such as Traveller awareness, Unconscious Bias and Ally’s skills training and training in developmental trauma. We have found this works with helping our team better understand the traumatic experiences of our young people.

We encourage all of our Ashdale Team to take part in these training programmes and to continue to learn and grow both in their role professionally, but also personally.


Q: What opportunities for career growth and development do we offer that sets us apart?
A: We try to give a sense of security and home to all of those who cross our threshold, including students and colleagues. For our Level 6 entrants we offer a great opportunity for education sponsorship to partake in Level 7 Social Care Programmes.

For our employees with 2 years residential care experience we offer an in house training programme to become a Social Care Leader within their home, allowing them to progress quickly and continue on their Ashdale journey.

We have many examples across the organisation of employees who started their careers with Ashdale Care as residential Social Care Workers and are now filling Deputy, Home Managers and Regional Management positions. Our Director of Governance started out with the organisation as a graduate and is now an integral part of our leadership team.

One of our key aims is to promote from within in so far as possible, recognising the experience and training we offer sets people up for success in more senior roles. We want to invest in our employees and their future, and watch them thrive and positively impact many children’s lives along the way!


Q: What advice would you like to give to candidates who are interested in applying for positions here at Ashdale?

A: The main piece of advice that I can give is that due to the highly regulated nature of the recruitment process, all candidates should have their essential documents lined up and ready to go. Some of these documents are; college certificates, 3 referees, drivers licence, CV and any gaps in their CV explained.

Remember, you are interviewing us just as much as we are interviewing you. Have a list of questions prepared and don’t be afraid to ask them! We love an engaged and curious candidate, and we also talking about Ashdale and the work we do here, so we’re more than happy to answer your questions and make sure you have a really good understanding of our efforts and commitment to transforming lives.


Q: How does Ashdale Care support new team members during the onboarding process?

A: Apart from having a truly welcoming and wonderful team who are on hand to help with anything you might need, we offer a very comprehensive 3 week onboarding process. Within this we provide training in our core approaches to care, for example; TCI, CARE, Development Trauma. We give you an all-encompassing overview of all of the supporting functions within the organisation. Our training is delivered through in person and self-paced online learning modules. At the end of the induction, our new team members spend two day shifts in their assigned homes to assimilate themselves with all operations and individual needs of the home before they start their full roster.

Throughout your time at Ashdale we encourage you to ask questions or ask for help if you need it. It takes a village and we are lucky that our village is filled to the brim with people who are more than happy to support you in your role. Our main priority is the children and young people’s welfare. How we deliver the highest quality of care is making sure that everyone on our team is trained to the highest standard and feel comfortable and secure in their role.


Q: What role do you and your team have in creating and maintaining a positive and supportive work environment?

A: The most important thing we can do is listen to each home and understand what supports are needed. This allows us to create an effective plan to deliver upon these crucial supports. We are also dedicated to listening to each new member of the Ashdale Care Community, to understand what supports they may need as they begin their journey with us.

Another large part of maintaining a positive and supportive work environment is ensuring that we have dedicated, passionate people joining our team. We partner very closely with each home manager to understand the needs of their homes from a resourcing perspective and build pipelines of suitable candidates for them. This means that all team members can work to the best of their abilities and provide the highest level of care, because they feel supported and part of a wider net of people working towards the same goals.

We also leverage targeted campaigns for Students, House Parents, Residential Social Care Workers and nurture relationships within the college network to continue to deliver a pipeline of candidates so that our growth can be maintained, as can our supports to the homes and to our colleagues.


Q: How does Ashdale Care stay up to date with evolving best practises in recruitment and HR?

A: We are constantly looking at new ways of working to simplify the recruitment process for candidates and managers alike by utilising man different types of technology. Streamlining this gives us, and you, more time to focus on the important work we are continually trying to achieve. We also provide training on interview best practices to our colleagues and students. This gives you the opportunity to learn and be the very best candidate for any role within Ashdale that you may think you are suitable for but feel you do not have the skills to adequately communicate to us.

We are committed to providing training in diversity, equity and inclusion. As I mentioned earlier, this something that is close to our hearts, as we want the children in our care to see themselves reflected in the incredible people who dedicate themselves to delivering enhanced therapeutic care throughout the organisation.


Q: Are there any upcoming initiatives/ developments we can expect to see from Ashdale Care’s HR and recruitment team?

A: As we continue our journey to become a paperless, candidates will experience a smoother, faster application and onboarding process. Sustainability has become a large part of the Ashdale Mission. We promote this across the organisation and in every home. We want to continue to create a future for our young people, and this includes doing our part for the planet.

And again, as we have mentioned, we will also be doubling down on our diversity and inclusion hiring goals to ensure that the young people in our care will live in a familiar, familial environment.


If you are a passionate and driven individual who feels they could dedicate themselves to our work of rebuilding the lives of children and young people in the care of the state, please get in touch.


You can check out a full list of our exciting career posts here.