Having a clear focus really matters in social care recruitment
The starting point for a successful social care recruitment strategy is being in no doubt about what an ideal candidate for your vacancy looks like. Often this important first step is missed. I know this when I hear recruiters tell me: “I just need to fill the next induction training course.” If you are scrambling to fill a quota, you will not build a quality workforce that stays. You are doomed to fail.
Fortunately, if you are an established care provider with an existing workforce, you will already have members of staff whom your organisation considers high performers. So, a great starting point is to identify them and understand as much about them as you can – what values and behaviours do they display? How did they hear about care work and your organisation?
Why not ask them, ‘How can we find more people like you?’
Time spent talking to your staff is extremely valuable: are there any common themes amongst them, for example previous experience of caring, similar life stages, interests? Perhaps they live in the same areas. You also might find it instructive to talk to the poorer performing staff members and see if there are patterns that emerge that could influence where you avoid sourcing staff from in future, for example.
When I run recruitment workshops with care managers and recruiters, I ask them to come to the session having identified one or two profiles of their highest performing staff. In every case so far, the most popular profile in the session always includes an older person (over fifty years old). Where younger people (under twenty-fives) feature, they are described as having a maturity beyond their years and often some exposure to caring for others has brought them to the sector.
Being crystal clear about who stays, who performs and where they came from is an essential, but too often forgotten component of best practice recruitment. Don’t try to do your job with blurred vision.