Rehab Group’s Pioneering Recruitment Initiative Nominated for National Award


The Rehab Group, a pioneer in breaking down barriers for people with disabilities, is proud to announce that its innovative employee wellbeing initiative, the Virtual Connection Café, has been shortlisted in the HR Recruitment & Retention category at the Irish Healthcare Centre Awards. This nomination recognises the outstanding efforts of the Rehab Group in fostering diversity, inclusion, and employee well-being through its GlobalCare Connect Programme, led by Rehab Group’s People and Culture department based in Park West, Dublin. The awards will be held at the Royal Marine Hotel, Dun Laoghaire, Dublin, on Friday, May 10th.

For over 75 years, Rehab Group has been dedicated to creating opportunities for people with disabilities to live ordinary lives in their communities. Recognising the importance of attracting and retaining a skilled workforce, the organisation launched an international recruitment campaign in 2022 as part of its Diversity and Inclusion strategy. This campaign aimed to address staffing shortages in healthcare while also promoting cultural diversity within the organisation.

The Virtual Connection Café, introduced in 2024, is a cornerstone of the GlobalCare Connect Programme. Led by Rehab’s HRConnection team, in collaboration with Talent Acquisition and Learning & Development colleagues, the Virtual Connection Café aims to create a sense of belonging and support for international employees, facilitating their integration into the organisation and Irish society.

Director of People and Culture with the Rehab Group, Eimear Reilly said: “The Virtual Connection Café underscores the Rehab Group’s commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace where all employees feel valued and supported. It provides a platform for international employees to connect with their colleagues, share experiences, and access valuable resources, ultimately enhancing their sense of belonging and well-being. I want to congratulate the entire team for this nomination.”

The Virtual Connection Café not only addresses the challenges of international recruitment and retention but also promotes cultural exchange, fosters cross-functional collaboration, and strengthens employee engagement. Through informative sessions on topics such as organisational values, career development, and well-being initiatives, the Virtual Connection Café reinforces Rehab Group’s commitment to supporting the growth and development of its employees.

The Virtual Connection Café was developed in response to the challenges identified during the international recruitment campaign in 2022. Recognising the need to support international employees during their transition to Ireland, the People and Culture team designed a comprehensive life cycle management programme that included the Virtual Connection Café as a key component.

Research conducted by the project team revealed the importance of building connections among expatriate employees to promote well-being and engagement. Studies have shown that employees with strong connections report higher levels of well-being and are more likely to remain with their organisation.

The Virtual Connection Café has had a significant impact on the Rehab Group, contributing to increased employee engagement, retention, and referral rates. Following the implementation of the Virtual Connection Café, the Talent Acquisition team has seen a surge in referrals for open vacancies, indicating high levels of satisfaction among international employees.

Looking ahead, the Rehab Group plans to continue hosting Virtual Connection Café events on a quarterly basis throughout 2024. These events will provide ongoing support and resources for international employees, as well as opportunities for managers to share best practices and address common challenges.

Feedback from service managers and international employees has been overwhelmingly positive, highlighting the valuable contributions of international staff to the organisation and its services. Service managers have praised the professionalism, positivity, and dedication of international employees, emphasising their valuable role in enhancing the quality of care provided to service users.

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Sarah Brooks

Sarah has worked in marketing and content creation for many years. In her role at Newsgroup, she is the online editor of with a particular interest in local news and events. Sarah also works closely with our editorial team on our printed editions in Tallaght, Lucan, Clondalkin and Rathcoole/Saggart. If you have a story and would like to make contact please email Sarah at



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