Leeds Federated is a housing association with c4300 units across the Leeds, Wakefield and North Yorkshire areas. Leeds Federated work by three main objectives.
To provide good quality homes that people want to live in and to provide quality services at an affordable cost.
With customers, listen to and learn from the customer’s voice and to attract, retain and develop a healthy and effective staff team that engages with the organisation. We aim to maintain a highly satisfied customer base and staff team, to collaborate with stakeholders to achieve the best outcome for the business and customers and to demonstrate value for money to our customers.
We will continue to deliver sustainable growth. be open to, and actively seek, the widest range of development opportunities. To uphold the values of innovation and design quality in the housing schemes we deliver and to achieve value for money in our development programme.
Leeds Federated selected to work with Broster Buchanan, to assist in this critical hiring process to replace a very well-regarded member of the team. The challenge was to find a candidate who not only possessed the required financial and procurement skills and expertise but also aligned with the organisation’s values and would continue to lead the team in a positive and agile way.
To enhance inclusivity and candidate experience, Broster Buchanan introduced a hybrid interview approach, combining virtual team interviews and in-person meetings. This allowed candidates to showcase their skills and engage with key stakeholders while accommodating diverse needs. Leeds Federated work on an agile hybrid basis so it was important to mirror this setting with the interview process and allow candidates the opportunity to perform to the best of their abilities.
We received over 50 applications to the role in total and of the 11 longlisted candidates they were identified from a wide range of sources including:
LinkedIn advertising – 6
LinkedIn networking and proactive outreach – 2
Networking and personal referrals – 2
Indeed – 1
By utilising a blend of proactive approaches and networking alongside advertising the best chance of a diverse shortlist is achieved as there is a greater opportunity to reach candidates in underrepresented groups and discuss how their skills and experience could add value to the role.
We also ensured that all adverts were gender-neutral in the language used
To allow candidates the best opportunity to showcase their skills and experience we shared the competency-based interview questions in advance. This meant that all candidates were able to prepare detailed answers to questions specific to the social housing sector, even if they didn’t have prior experience within the sector directly. This also reduced the anxiety for people to have more insight into the expectations of the interview and allowed people to perform based on their experience and skills rather than just their memory and ability to perform under pressure in an interview situation.
At all points, we encourage candidates to let us know if there are any reasonable adjustments that would help them perform to the best of their abilities.
We also collected anonymous data on protected characteristics for candidates and surveyed all shortlisted candidates for their feedback on the recruitment process.
By sharing competency-based interview questions in advance, candidates had an equal opportunity to prepare, resulting in a more inclusive and fair interview process.
Hybrid Interview Approach:
The hybrid approach facilitated a deeper understanding of candidates’ capabilities while accommodating varying preferences for virtual or in-person interactions.
By outlining the proposed longlist, shortlisting and first and final stage selection steps allowed us to move forward with the process at a consistent pace, but with the flexibility to accommodate some unavailability over the holiday season and using Teams to allowing specific candidates to participate in the process, even if they were not in theUK at the time.
Feedback from the Candidate Perspective:
Candidate 1: “I wouldn’t change anything! I found the process and the general communication around the process excellent.”
100% of all survey responses confirmed that having the competency-based interview questions shared in advance “Helped me prepare more fully”
Hiring Manager Perspective:
Hiring Manager: “Broster Buchanan’s approach aligned perfectly with our values, we found the ideal candidate from an excellent shortlist who not only met the role requirements but also fit our organisation’s culture.”