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Social Care Column: Tips for Recruitment & Retention

In his latest Social Care Column, Mark Topps shares his tips for finding, hiring, and keeping talented staff.

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Mark Topps
Mark Topps
Regional Business Manager
Published on:
23/6/2021
· Last Edited On:
9/6/2022
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8-minute read

Recruiting is difficult, especially now. That’s why I’ve collected some ideas to assist you with recruiting staff to your care service. Many of these tips I learned from Neil Eastwood. who is an expert on staff recruitment.

Please note that not all these tips will be suitable for your service. This list is not exhaustive – there are many other great ideas out there!

Tips for attracting new staff

  • 1 in 10 people have done some form of unpaid care – these are great people to target with advertisements as they already have an understanding of delivering care.
  • National campaign DHSE polls found that the majority of people thought to work in social care you would need a qualification to do the role – make sure to highlight this isn’t necessary in your advertisements!
  • Don’t rely solely on boards/websites – ensure you get out and about. Consider working with local colleges or secondary schools and plant the seed of a clear career pathway in care. You could even meet with local people in your community who may be interested in a career in care.
  • We need to diversify the way we advertise roles – push the message out there through social media. Use Facebook adverts to market the role to people specifically and put the message in front of them
  • Use current staff to sell the story of why they love working for you and the job they do. You could create a short video for Facebook or TikTok about a “day in the life of a Carer” to show people what the role entails.
  • Generation Z is the Carers of tomorrow so research what they like. Click here for a good article on Generation Z’s values.

Tips for interviewing

  • Don’t rely too much on someone’s CV – anyone can be a wonderful worker!
  • Interview as soon as you can, don’t make candidates wait too long.
  • Make sure you stay in touch with people throughout the recruitment process and keep them updated on their application.
  • Move away from email – texts works better.  Most people will reply to a text in seconds compared to nearly an hour on average for replying on email
  • People now go to many interviews so you need to make sure they remember your service above all the other options.

Tips for hiring

  • Start a refer a friend scheme. The best teams are the ones we have working already and if happy staff are telling their friends about their experiences they will want to join to. People who have friends working for a company are more likely to turn up for interviews, friends will already know more about the role from talking before the interview.
  • Hire people with good values as they will stay, benefit the company and the people you are supporting.
  • Retention starts with recruitment – if you rush recruitment then people will leave. Make sure people have time to get to know about the role, the little things about what is expected. You will see a shift in the quality of people who are in the role.
  • Think of how you can set yourself apart from competitors such as a welcome to the team card and other little gestures that go a long way.

Tips for retaining your staff

  • Notes of appreciation sent to home address with specific example of how they have touched someone’s life – especially for senior staff who have to be on-call or have a role that impacts on family time. These notes make the Carer feel valued and shows their families how important they are to the organisation.
  • Provide training opportunities– QCF qualifications keeps people engaged and learning through the role.
  • Make the role more attractive with things like rotas in advance and rotas that offer a good work/life balance. Take into account family life and consider the hours for each role – remember a good work/life balance is key to people.
  • Find out early what is important to your staff and what motivates and stimulates them to get the most out of them in the time they are employed.

What to do about leavers

  • Always find out why staff do not want to stay so you can adapt to prevent this from happening in the future. Exit interviews can help you fix problems before you lose more staff.

If you have any questions on these tips, or if you have tips of your own, please feel free to get in touch with me on social media. I love discussing how we can attract and retain talented people to our sector and am always open to new ideas on how to do this.

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