Catholic Healthcare Doubles Hiring Volume to Care for Australia’s Growing Aged Population

Download PDF

Hiring During A Health Crisis

Anyone working in healthcare through the pandemic has a story to tell, and Catholic Healthcare is no exception. When the borders closed in Australia, Catholic Healthcare had an outdated applicant tracking system, a decentralized hiring model across its 70 sites, and just three recruiting staff managing the centralized functions of posting job ads and preparing contracts.

Aged and medical care largely depends on foreign labor in Australia, and the two-year border closure significantly impacted Catholic Healthcare’s ability to hire. Additionally, the prospect of having to wear full PPE and serve as stand-ins for absent family members during facility lockdowns made Catholic Healthcare recruiters’ jobs doubly difficult during a time of record-low unemployment. Not only was there a smaller candidate pool but also the recruiters had to convince them to sign up for demanding jobs. At the same time, home care needs were rising and Catholic Healthcare had the opportunity to expand its services if only it could hire additional staff to care for its aged clients.

About Catholic Healthcare

  • Industry: Healthcare
  • Region: Australia
  • Employees: 4,500
  • Offices: 70+
  • Headquarters: Sydney
  • Hiring Model: Centralized

Catholic Healthcare is a not-for-profit that provides home care, residential aged care, and retirement villages throughout Australia. The lived expression of the Catholic Healthcare Mission promotes values of compassion, courage and integrity for its residents, clients, employees, and volunteers.

SmartRecruiters made it possible to specialize the recruitment process to the unique needs of each part of the business. The ability to set up automated workflows and screening questions for 30 role types helped us process 42,000 candidates to date.

– Christine Marriott,
Recruitment Manager at Catholic Healthcare

Recruitment Excellence Saves the Day

The project of implementing SmartRecruiters in the second half of 2020 resulted in a complete rewrite of hiring at Catholic Healthcare as it shifted to a centralized hiring model. Dubbed “REX” for Recruitment Excellence, the new system offered transparency, automation, and reporting that allowed the team to accelerate hiring as the labor shortage increased.

“We automated everything we could,” said Christine Marriott, Recruitment Manager at Catholic Healthcare. “SmartRecruiters made everything much more seamless for our staff.” The implementation included automated workflows for 30 different role types and integration with the background-checking service Referoo. The mobile-friendly candidate experience and Docusign integration helped speed up hiring frontline workers, many of whom do not own computers.

The Microsoft Teams integration and candidate interview scheduling saved countless hours for both recruiters and hiring managers. SmartRecruiters also integrated with the payroll provider so that candidates could start immediately upon accepting an offer.

“The transparency in SmartRecruiters has been gold for us,” said Christine. “It helped us work more closely as a team because anyone can step in and know exactly what’s happening.” During the crisis, recruiting team members would volunteer for shifts during non-core hours to ensure enough staff to care for Catholic Healthcare’s clients.

Trackable Recruitment Marketing

The labor shortage resulted in a creative burst of recruitment marketing: transit advertising, flyers, bus stops, newspapers, job fairs, and radio ads. QR codes were used whenever possible so that candidates could be directed into automated workflows based on their employment interests. Additionally, Catholic Healthcare partnered with other not-for-profits that help people into the workforce. When the borders re-opened in 2022, they offered to sponsor employment visas and partnered with refugee services.

Employee Communities for Emergency Deployment

SmartCRM proved to be a wise investment for Catholic Healthcare beyond its intended use in managing candidate communities. When a facility had an acute need for staff during the COVID crisis, the talent team placed willing employees into CRM communities and used its features to communicate with them in bulk. Employees received accommodation, time-and-a-half pay, and would carpool to distant sites so that all facilities had adequate regional coverage.

Rejection Communication Keeps Candidates Warm

Some roles at Catholic Healthcare have strict requirements, such as possession of a car or a nursing certification. If a candidate gets rejected from a process for one position, templated rejection communications direct them to more appropriate roles or educational resources. Catholic Healthcare’s value of compassion translates to its treatment of candidates.

Our ability to track metrics helped the team improve overall outcomes not only for candidates and hiring managers but ultimately for our clients and residents.

– Christine Marriott,
Recruitment Manager at Catholic Healthcare

Reporting Helps The Team Meet New Targets

The shift in recruitment processes and growth for the team was facilitated by reporting available within SmartRecruiters. “We could look at data we never had before,” Christine said. “We looked at time to hire and time in stage by region, and started setting benchmarks.” The goal is to keep candidates moving as quickly as possible before they find competing offers.

Driven by business needs, hiring goals increased to more than 2,000 people yearly and SmartRecruiters helped the team be agile. “Having software that is so structured helps our team members grow,” Christine said, mentioning how several recruiting coordinators had been promoted to recruiters. “Once they understand the software, it helps keep them on track because it’s easy to find everything they need. ” More collaborative hiring processes enabled the team to improve retention rates for new hires by 30% and improve job board employer ratings.

Projections from the government about the growth in Australia’s aging population suggest that Catholic Healthcare will need to keep up the pace amidst the talent shortage and zero population growth. “If we don’t meet our goals, our clients have no one looking after them,” Christine said. “Our team has risen to the challenge.”

Key Outcomes

  • 42,000 applicants processed in 2.5 years
  • Doubled number of hires year-overyear during record-low unemployment
  • Time to hire reduced to 9 days from 51 days
  • Improved six-month new hire retention by 30%
  • Automated hiring workflows for 30 different role types
  • Grew from an average of 45 to 195 hires per month
  • Integrations with Referoo, DocuSign, Microsoft Teams, HRIS

Download PDF

Get Demo Bulb
Is your team ready to rise to the challenge? Automated workflows will help.
Get in touch with us for a demo today.

About SmartRecruiters

SmartRecruiters enables Hiring Without Boundaries™ by freeing talent acquisition teams from legacy applicant tracking software. SmartRecruiters' next-generation platform serves as the hiring operating system for 4,000 customers like Bosch, LinkedIn, Skechers, and Visa. Companies with business-critical hiring needs turn to SmartRecruiters for best-of-breed functionality, world-class support, and a robust ecosystem of third-party applications and service providers.

For more information visit or

Media Contact

Take the first step towards Hiring Success