interService Care Solutions (SCS) provide a Master Vendor recruitment service to Optivo, providing them with a flexible recruitment solution; delivering savings, visibility of costs and risk management as well as social value and community inclusion.
The Customer

One of the biggest social housing providers in the UK and a member of the G15 group of the largest housing associations in London.

They have over 45,000 homes across London, the Midlands and South West, housing 90,000 residents and an intention to build a further 7,000 homes by 2025. In addition to social housing, they also work with Universities and Hospitals to provide affordable short and long term accommodation to students and key workers.

Residents and community are at the heart of our Client's service, driving inclusion by supporting residents with training, careers advice, financial and digital inclusion so they can develop their potential and enhance their lives.

The Challenge

With the merger of two G15 housing associations came the merge of recruitment strategies, which saw our Client utilising a hybrid of Direct Recruitment, Preferred Supplier (PSL) and Master Vend (MV) solutions; encompassing over 50 agencies, each with their own pricing structure and contacts within the business. For their newly formed Talent Acquisition Team, the focus was to reduce recruitment costs and halt off-contract spend, whilst gaining increased visibility of recruitment expenditure, greater control over risk management and an improved ability to provide employment opportunities to their residents.


The Solution

They consulted Procurement for Housing (PfH) who provide frameworks for all areas of housing procurement, kept up to date by a competitive tender process. SCS are currently ranked as Number One Supplier for two PfH Recruitment frameworks; Managed Recruitment Services and Recruitment Services (All Disciplines). As Number One Supplier for the Managed Recruitment Services lot, SCS were invited to provide this solution, with our service, pricing and ability to flex to the business’ needs being key factors for their decision.

We have been managing this Master Vendor solution for 18 months, managing our curated supply chain across all areas of the business, including IT, Independent Living, Direct Works, Technical Construction and Executive positions. SCS’ Account Management team oversee all recruitment functions, liaising between the hiring managers and supply chain, arranging interviews and managing compliance maintaining a 100% fill rate on all vacancies to date.

Additionally we work with the Social Value and Resident Involvement Team, to provide employment opportunities to our Client's residents, when suitable roles are released, but also to provide additional training and value to tenants and service users, examples being our Founder and MD running seminars to promote business skills, training and opportunities, and SCS’ involvement with charity days.


The Benefits

They have received a 100% fill rate on all vacancies released to date and much greater control over their spend, saving hundreds of thousands of pounds within the first 12 months of the contract going live, and zero off-contract spend. They've also been able to mitigate legal risks to their business via our standard, prescribed compliance process for all workers. Additionally, SCS have been able to provide successful recruitment opportunities to 12 of their residents.

Optivo have merged with Southern Housing Group which is another G15 member with 77k residents, and 53 supported housing services.

The new HA is called Southern Housing and the Optivo contract has been extended to cover all of SH, including the legacy SHG side of the business.



Business Partner – “Service Care Solutions came in and wanted to understand our current processes. Not just give us an off the shelf service. They spent time coming down to visit us as well as weekly conference call catch up’s to see how things were progressing. We were about to start a contract with SCS right at the beginning of the covid pandemic. And for us an organisation we didn’t feel the time was right to allocate the time for a new contract with everything going on. SCS weren’t pushy and fully understood our position, we used this time to reflect on our current business activities and what we needed to change... SCS couldn’t do enough for us and constantly engaged with us at every step. Highlighting issues or concerns and coming up with solutions to get us through these… SCS hit the ground running for us and if wasn’t for the hard work they put in at the beginning we wouldn’t have a solution which works for us.”

Hiring Manager –“I’m thankful the whole process has gone smoothly, I will certainly recommend my Team manager colleagues to use your services again.”

Hiring Manager –“The candidate is exceptional and a great fit for our team. She is always on time, enthusiastic, is always looking to learn and do more. She is a great asset to the company.”

Second Tier Supplier –“I am pleased to confirm that the feedback from the consultants has been very good and the communication has been excellent. We are very happy and keen to continue to build a good working relationship and support you on this contract.”