Change How You Attract and Recruit Staff to Fill Your Vacancies Quickly.

When you put together your Sales and Marketing Strategy don’t forget recruitment. You need staff as much as you need residents/clients, and they are your customers too.

The average age of a social care worker is 44 years old. The State of Adult Social Care Sector and Workforce in England 2022 report postulates that we may lose another 430,000 people in the next 10 years if those aged 55 and over decide to retire. This means that you need to be recruiting inexperienced as well as experienced staff to future proof your workforce.

Given the current cost of living crisis, rising fuel costs and ongoing disruption to public transport; recruiting from your local area is key to attracting staff who will not only get to work but arrive on time.

Your strategy for attracting staff should therefore target a broad demographic in your local area.

Maintaining a high profile and a good reputation in the local community is key to attracting staff as well as residents/clients. Whilst this is likely to be an established and ongoing marketing activity for your service, remember that it not only brings in residents/clients but staff as well. Target as many areas of the community as you can.

Use your contacts and social media to reach out to job seekers. If you don’t already have a WhatsApp group for your relatives, then set one up. When you advertise a job let the WhatsApp group know. Many of our relatives have young adult children. Young adults have a lot of friends, some of which could be considering a career in care.

Use social media. Your home will already have a Facebook page. Post your job adverts on your Facebook pages to attract applicants over 40. Post on

Instagram to attract younger applicants. You can BOOST your posts and target geographic areas to target your local area. Don’t limit your BOOST demographic; everyone knows someone.

Remember that social media is instant and immediate. You will lose potential applicants if you don’t reply to them straight away.

You can also use recruitment platforms or websites to advertise your vacancies or even try a recruitment banner depending on where your service is situated.

Set up an internal recruitment function, streamline your recruitment process and make it a business priority. Ideally a named member of staff with access to a company laptop and mobile phone can manage any job enquiries as they arrive. Make recruitment personal don’t rely on email, call applicants, message them, engage with them as soon as you can. If you don’t someone else will.

Your named recruitment staff should handle all communication with potential applicants much like a recruitment consultancy would. They should manage the recruitment process up until start date to include any onboarding requirements prior to their first day, such as ordering uniform, name badges and setting them up on eLearning, eMAR or eCare systems that you may have.

Streamline your recruitment process. Application forms and CVs have limited value and can come later. Get your applicants in for an interview or a coffee with your registered manager as soon as humanly possible. Ask your registered manager to nominate another member of staff to interview should they be unavailable. This could be their Deputy Manager or Clinical Lead.

If you haven’t already got them, put together some standard interview questions for each role in your service. This will not only make sure that your interview process is fair and equitable but will support less experienced staff with the interview process. Never cancel or postpone an interview because the registered manager is unavailable, other senior staff can interview on their behalf.

Recruitment in the retail sector is quick and slick compared to the protracted recruitment process typical of the care industry. You can make your process quicker by reducing the number of interactions you have with potential employees.

Invite all applicants to interview. Good care staff are not easy to identify from a CV or application form. You need to meet them.

Email an official invite to interview. Include a list of documents for interviewees to bring with them so that you can check their right to work and relevant ID ahead of a DBS check. Double Be very clear about what documents you need to see. Include a copy of your Privacy Notice for Prospective Employees, a job description, and some information about your company’s values.

Follow up your invite to interview with a quick phone call and give the applicant a call on the day of the interview to check everything is ok. It’s a nice touch for the member of staff responsible for recruitment makes this call and wishes them luck.

During the interview check the applicant’s Right to Work and ID. Take photocopies there and then. If you like the applicant offer straight away. Gone are the days when you made applicants sweat!

If you are in 2 minds remember every new employee has a probationary period of at least 3 months. Make sure you diarise probationary review meetings mid-way and at the end of probationary periods so that you can iron out any performance or conduct issues in good time.

Follow your verbal offer up with an offer letter in the next 24 hours with a follow up telephone call to secure a written acceptance.

It’s good idea to maintain a recruitment tracker to track the progress of applications and monitor the performance of your recruitment function. Certainly, it shouldn’t take more than 4 weeks to recruit and start a new employee, but some do get lost along the way.