How To Effectively Recruit The Right People In The Social Care Industry

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It takes a tremendous amount of compassion and dedication to work in the social care sector. Finding — and retaining — the right staff is therefore key to any organisation specialising in social work or family services. But how exactly do you go about getting the right people? Let’s take a look at some top tips from industry experts.

Our 5 Top Tips for Social Care Recruitment

1) Take a good look at yourself

Before you try to entice candidates to come and work for you, you need to make sure that your organisation is an attractive option. Take some time to think about your company culture. Do your staff feel valued and supported? Do you go the extra mile to make sure that they are cared for emotionally? Can you do more to improve morale? These might seem obvious but in an emotionally taxing industry like social care, a supportive and happy work environment can make all the difference.

A great way to boost job satisfaction is by streamlining operations. Whether it’s implementing mobile technology to reduce office & commute times or removing some unnecessary red tape, think about how you can help your staff to do more by doing less. Social workers often go above and beyond to help those in their care. They are at their best when they are helping people face to face so why waste their time on unnecessarily complicated administrative work? By minimising the aspects of the job they least enjoy, you will make your organisation as attractive as possible for potential candidates. And as an added bonus, it could save you a lot time, money and hassle across the board.

Ultimately, creating a happy work environment will significantly contribute to your reputation within the industry. Get this right and the candidates will come to you.

2) Make recruitment a continuous priority

Great social workers are often hard to come by so it’s worth keeping an eye out for talent even when you’re not necessarily looking to recruit. To maximise your chances of finding the right people, make sure that someone in your organisation is continuously thinking about recruitment. This doesn’t have to mean scrolling through hundreds of resumes every week… it could be as simple as attending industry networking events or keeping in touch with people on Linked-In. Even when Social Care recruitment isn’t an immediate priority, someone in your team should be laying the groundwork and developing relationships across the industry. That way, when you do need staff, you can hit the ground running.

3) Use Social Care recruitment agencies

Why do it all on your own when there are specialist Social Care recruitment agencies who can help? Recruitment companies come in all sorts of shapes and sizes but the right one for you will be one that focuses on your specific sector. The best agencies will not only specialise in social care but will also have expert consultants for individual fields within the sector. So whether it’s specialising in family services or working with vulnerable adults, you can partner with a recruitment consultant who exclusively works with clients and candidates in your specific field.

4) Be thorough

Recruiting for the social care sector is about so much more than matching resumes to job descriptions. Social work is heavily dependent on interpersonal skills and bedside manner. Different situations call for different social skills and whilst qualifications and certifications are important, they don’t paint the whole picture.

When recruiting for social workers, don’t be afraid to interview candidates more than once. It is better to take your time and really evaluate their suitability for the role. If teamwork is a big part of the job, you may want the final shortlist of candidates to meet the rest of the team. You may also want to think about incorporating a “working interview” so you can see how they interact with clients. Different jobs will have different requirements so make sure you tailor the interview process to suit each individual role.

5) Ask candidates what they want

Many social care recruiters make the mistake of assuming that they hold all the cards. And whilst they are indeed the ones offering the job, the candidates — especially the great ones — also have a lot of power. Think of the recruitment process as a two way street. It’s as much about the candidate finding an organisation that fits for them as it is about finding a candidate that fits the role.

At interviews, ask candidates about what kind of extra support or structure they would like in their new role. Ask them how they like to operate as well as how they like to be managed. This will help you to gauge how they will fit into your team but it will also assure the candidates that you care about your staff. It will make them feel valued and listened to. Whilst salary, location and benefits will inevitably factor in to their decision, don’t underestimate the power of feeling valued.

The bottom line is that social work can often feel thankless, all consuming and exhausting. Going the extra mile to show potential candidates that you really do care about your staff will go a long way in helping you to attract the right people for your organisation. And by improving your company culture and streamlining your operations, you will minimise workloads and maximise productivity. It really is a win-win!

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