Recruitment and Retention in the Care Sector
4 min read/Published On: May 21, 2024/711 words/

Recruitment and Retention in the Care Sector

Strategy versus spending

Addressing the recruitment and retention crisis within social care goes beyond the good use of job boards. Putting aside the wider challenges faced by providers because of factors such as under-funding and lower pay rates for frontline roles – there are alternative ways to achieve better recruitment outcomes, that don’t require higher advertising spending.

Many companies, grappling with high vacancy and turnover rates, mistakenly invest more and more in job boards. However, this approach is not a sustainable solution. Instead, it often leads to a drain on budgets and increased time spent screening out unsuitable applications.

Recruitment and Retention

More does not always mean better

The misconception lies in assuming that more applications equate to better quality hires. In reality, this strategy fails to address underlying issues.

Greater job board investment might well be justified when backed by a high-performing recruitment process and strategy. If your recruitment process excels in finding suitable candidates, engages effectively, reports low cycle times, and offers compelling onboarding experiences, then investing more in advertising may be beneficial. However, if your organisation experiences low interview attendance, offer, acceptance and start rates, and high turnover – time and cost may be better diverted to looking at your ways of working, and the offering taken to market.

Arguably a more strategic approach to improving recruitment and retention can involve exploring innovative tools and positive interventions, which often yield a positive return on investment. These can support organisations in better informed hiring decisions and enhancing the overall candidate experience.

Innovation in recruitment

Innovation does exist, but some organisations are unaware of their potential benefits. In the attraction space, utilising employee referral apps, for instance, is a powerful method to attract new talent and has been proven to improve tenure of hires.

Other well-established technology such as Applicant tracking systems (ATS) enable the creation of engaging content throughout the recruitment and onboarding process, reducing cycle times and improving response rates. Even better, a good ATS will integrate any tools you deploy. Support interventions such as Employee Assistance Programmes and better benefit packages further contribute to nurturing and retaining new hires.

Recruitment and Retention

Values-based recruitment and its many benefits

There is also the option of utilising values-based recruitment either alone or ideally alongside these innovations. With the current recruitment and retention crisis in the sector we find ourselves in a position where we need to attract more people to our sector as there are currently more vacancies than workers with experience available to the hire. As a result, values-based recruitment is a way for us to not only attract new people with the right values into organisations, values-based recruitment also has other benefits versus traditional recruitment methods. Skills for Care show that 72% of the people recruited through a values-based approach align better with the values of a care worker showing better compassion and empathy, also 62% of people recruited this way also have lower levels of absenteeism, this approach also reduces staff turnover, these outputs all support better care outcomes and higher CQC ratings.

Care Character completed a PhD study on the values of a carer to support values-based recruitment alongside their psychometric assessment tool designed specifically for the care sector, the care qualities that were defined are as follows:

  • Communication
  • Compassion and Empathy
  • Dutifulness
  • Teamworking
  • Inclusivity and Respect
  • Adaptable and Resilient
  • Procedural Compliance

When implementing a values-based approach these are the core values for you to assess in your recruitment process to find the right people for the care sector.

While innovation and automation play a significant role in enhancing recruitment functions, the true strength ultimately lies in the recruitment experience. A passionate and empowered recruitment function, equipped with the right tools, can significantly elevate recruitment outcomes. The care sector must not only adapt to changes in the candidate market but also embrace technological advancements to avoid falling behind other sectors. Continuous exploration of new tools will play a key role in overcoming the challenges in the recruitment and retention landscape in what continues to be a very challenging outlook.

So next time you’re reviewing your job board spend – don’t fall into the trap of thinking that more cost equals better results. Be sure to consider wider interventions that can truly make a difference.

Guest Blogger: Damien Wilkins – Manager at Care Character

Related Posts