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👩‍💼 The Recruitment Challenge in Social Care

Attracting carers has historically not been easy. Although its highly rewarding work, it’s not for the faint of heart! Covid has greatly exacerbated care recruitment issues. The National Care Forum surveyed care providers and found that on average, they had an 18% vacancy rate, and moreover, 97% of respondents said that their current staff were working extra shifts, with 81% of these respondents using more agency staff. Because of the challenges the sector is experiencing, skilled staff are leaking out of social care alongside their knowledge and best practices – this is a huge challenge for providers.

With some workers wishing to avoid infection and previously mandatory jabs, as well as having worries around a lack of experience and providing care during Covid, alongside the financial constraints on homes to offer higher pay — this issue has proven hard to fix. Many existing staff are overworking and building up leave and more staff can enable a higher rate of occupancy, so this is a keen issue care providers are looking to resolve.

Many care homes are responding by offering joining and referral bonuses, upping wages, taking on more agency staff, and recruiting staff from overseas now that many care roles are officially on the Shortage Occupation List (SOL).

On top of these, care providers are also using new digitally enabled methods by using cost-effective technologies to get better results. Here are some examples of using tech for recruitment in social care that care providers are using for this challenge:

  • Using Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) to manage and engage with applications seamlessly; it makes onboarding staff easier and faster. One provider cut down from a 28 days' timeframe from application to induction, taking it down to just 7 days!

  • Improving recruitment channels: Using more boards and by using targeted, personalised ads that more directly engage would-be carers, has worked for some providers. An industry report in 2017 found only 17% of providers did this.

  • Recruitment Marketing software for job ads; Relatedly for those care homes that see benefit in advertising their positions in this competitive market, recruitment marketing software can aid these efforts by streamlining job posting, outbound candidate management, and integrating conversions with your ATS software.

  • QR Codes: Care providers can synergise their digital and physical recruitment efforts by deploying QR codes in opportune places and events that when scanned, can link to a recruitment landing page or video for example.

  • Onboarding Software: A key factor in recruitment success is the length of the candidate experience. Some providers are using onboarding software to both speed up and improve the onboarding process, with an example being Employment Hero. Often onboarding features are bundled with ATS softwares.

  • Using pre-interview assessment tools to test the commitment and desired qualities of applicants to save time and to help identify applicants’ potentials. Assessment tools typically cover basic skills, job-specific skills and personality assessments.

Many of these promising solutions are tech-enabled and can take time to explore. If you would like a free, no-obligation chat with some experts in software for care and change management, you can book It in here. We would love to help in any way we can!

💡 Final Thoughts:

Solving the recruitment challenge is a key way to alleviate the other challenges like staff retention and creating breathing space for planning. Recruitment cannot be ignored; Staff shortages look to prove unsustainable in the long run and risk preventing care organisations from reaching their occupancy potential which can help with financial challenges.

Investing into digitally enabled solutions presents a cost-effective opportunity that can create more engaging candidate experiences, faster recruitment cycles, and reach a wider audience populated with quality applicants in less time.

That said, fundamentally shifting this challenge works best with an integrated strategy, one that brings together all elements involved and adapts them to each other, like a smoothly functioning orchestra! It’s crucial to consider how a change impacts other areas.

Many of these promising solutions are tech-enabled and take time to explore - never mind crafting and executing a holistic strategy that doesn’t miss a dot! That’s where we can help, if you’d like a friendly (and free) chat with experts in tech for social care, click here and we’ll be delighted to help.


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