KenCrest Improves Its Hiring and Onboarding Processes With Relias Assessments

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Headquartered in the greater Philadelphia area, KenCrest offers a variety of services across three states. Best known for the work it does for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), KenCrest provides services to IDD clients of all ages across Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Connecticut. Closer to home in Philadelphia, the organization also branched out into providing educational services to children and families.

With over 240 locations, including 220 community living facilities, KenCrest offers an array of programs for the populations it serves.

These programs include:

  • Personal supports
  • Early learning centers
  • Independent living
  • Community living
  • Life sharing programs
  • Nursing and clinical assistance
  • Early intervention programs
  • Employment options

To hire and retain excellent staff across so many different locations, KenCrest needed a way to improve its onboarding process while simultaneously reducing turnover rates. This led to the adoption of Relias Assessments.

To learn more about how KenCrest uses Relias Assessments to bolster organizational efforts around training and retention, we spoke with Erik Gore, Assistant Director of Training and Organizational Development. A 28-year veteran of KenCrest, Gore has led the organization’s training efforts for several decades and has overseen its partnership with Relias since the beginning.

Creating better pre-employment screenings with Relias Assessments

Though KenCrest initially partnered with Relias to improve compliance-based training, Gore and his team have moved their use of the Relias Platform beyond just maintaining compliance in order to take full advantage of its features. One way they’ve done this is through Relias’ role-specific pre-hire assessments for IDD providers.

Before bringing on a new hire, KenCrest issues the candidate an assessment through the Relias Platform. This gives KenCrest a chance to assess their strengths and knowledge gaps. Relias Assessments allow KenCrest to “know what we’re getting,” Gore said.

With these assessment results in hand, KenCrest creates and delivers a tailored onboarding training program within the Relias Platform to newly hired IDD providers. This facilitates better hiring decisions and decreases the time needed to onboard new hires.

“We don’t waste time with going back and re-enrolling our new hires into a training that they’re already strong in,” Gore said.

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Using Relias Assessments to improve retention

The effective use of pre-employment screenings has allowed KenCrest to hire candidates who better match skills requirements for open roles. Once these new hires join the team, they have training in the Relias Platform assigned to them based on the skill gaps identified in their pre-assessments.

“We know the strengths of this individual and we know what they need a little help in. So it’s easy to develop a plan for them when they start their careers here.”

– Erik Gore, Assistant Director of Training and Organizational Development

KenCrest then uses the Relias Platform to identify which staff members have, and have not, completed these trainings. This makes it easier to follow up with staff members and help guide them through any areas that may be giving them trouble.

By getting to know its new hires so well before they even start, KenCrest is able to better set them up for success within its organization. This has allowed KenCrest to achieve fantastic results in staff retention. Gore noted that since KenCrest implemented Relias Assessments, the organization has seen its retention rate increase by 20%.

Building a culture of learning with Relias Assessments

Relias Assessments don’t just make training easier for staff members, they also make it easier for administrators and learning and development (L&D) leaders to design training. With assessment scores for their IDD nurses, DSPs, and QIDPs, L&D departments can use a data-driven approach to help improve organizational learning. Through the Relias Platform, KenCrest not only made its training content better, but also more convenient for staff to take.

“It is making training…easier, because it’s right there at their fingertips, they don’t have to come into the building anymore,” Gore said. “We’ve been doing a lot of hybrid-based trainings.”

More convenient training options combined with staff members’ ability to gain insight into their own strengths and weaknesses via Relias Assessments has led to increased personal accountability around learning.

“It’s made people more accountable for their own professional development, and it’s made people more accountable for their own training in general.”

– Erik Gore, Assistant Director of Training and Organizational Development

All these benefits have led members of the organization to buy in to KenCrest’s culture of learning. Whether it’s staff members addressing skill gaps that lead to better job performance and career growth, or administrators using the Relias Platform to design better training programs, every member of the organization sees the benefit of a learning culture.

“Relias has shaped our culture of learning.”

– Erik Gore, Assistant Director of Training and Organizational Development

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