Has print media still got a role to play in care worker recruitment?
Can you remember recruiting care workers before the Internet? Hard to recall isn’t it. For those of you who weren’t there, let me take you back 20 years.
Once upon a time local and regional newspapers ruled the land for social care recruitment. These weeklies used to make a loud ‘thump’ as they landed on my doormat, thick with page upon page of display and classified job adverts, including many from care providers.
Back then, local press titles were very well suited for care employers for three main reasons: they were the go-to medium for finding a local job, were typically read by an older female-biased demographic and were geographically tightly targeted. Thus, they delivered a pretty good quality and volume of applicants for many years.
Nowadays however, long after online platforms lured away their job seeking readership, print-based Situations Vacant sections are an emaciated shadow of their former selves. That is why you are quite likely to be regretting that you placed that pricey display advert recently, in a moment of desperation.
But this doesn’t mean all print media is a busted flush. Here are just three of several ink and paper alternatives I would still consider:
PR using local newspapers
Don’t write off the local press too quickly. If you have a good quality photo and an interesting local story to tell, then your local weekly is still a valuable place to build your brand. Think about publicising your care team raising money for a cause, writing an expert piece about caring for an older relative or disabled family member, or shouting about a recent award win.
I always recommend plotting your existing staff home postcodes onto a local map and looking for concentrations of location pins indicating high potential neighbourhoods for door drop leaflets. Expect a very small response (a fraction of 1% is common), but don’t forget you are getting your brand into the hands of the local community even if they don’t pick up the phone. Leaflets like this work best when supported by online advertising and with a specific event date or call to action.
A lot of outdoor poster-style advertising is too pricey for care company budgets but look for what I call ‘hyper-local’ opportunities – for example, noticeboards, petrol pumps (especially good where the petrol station serves a large rural area) or banners if you have somewhere visible to display them. There are a surprising range of options, many free of charge, if you look carefully.
Remember that advertising always works better when it is ‘multi-media’, that is the audience seeing the same message in more than one format or medium at the same time, so don’t write off traditional print media, it still has a supporting role to play. Good luck with your recruiting efforts.
This first appeared as a guest blog for QCS and can be viewed at https://www.qcs.co.uk/blog/