A care business is only as good as its staff, and right now recruitment is the biggest challenge for many care businesses. The vacancy rate for social care roles in the UK currently stands at around 10%, with vacant posts in March this year being 165,000, with the independent sector having to cope with the largest shortfall (1).
A number of different factors have contributed to this, including the challenges we now face in employing carers from the EU, the pandemic and more recently the sharp increase in the cost of living.
The situation may well look bleak. However, there are ways that care business owners and managers can improve their chances of recruiting and retaining high quality staff.
In the past, many care business owners and managers have made use of traditional methods for recruiting staff, either using online platforms such as Indeed or Total Jobs to recruit staff at all levels, and sometimes using specialist agents for recruiting care home managers or care business mangers.
However, many are now finding that these routes alone aren’t working.
There are several reasons why this has occurred, some of which are universal issues, while other factors are more specific or localised. One issue that can have a huge impact on recruitment success is the reputation of the care business, both on and off-line. Poor reviews on Google, Facebook or Indeed can lead to a business struggling to attract new care staff, thereby compounding the recruitment challenge in a market that’s already highly competitive.
As discussed above, creating a positive public profile is a good place to start. This includes developing a recognisable brand that works alongside complimentary reviews and a positive reputation.
How a care provider is perceived by potential staff is as important in today’s market as how you’re perceived by potential clients and their families.
As part of the services we provide, we complete staff surveys, and support with employee communications to help with your internal reputation.
We also work on creating a very positive external brand through positive messaging and clear design. All of these elements work in conjunction to improve the appeal of a care business, as well as helping with employee retention.
Internal and external branding are part of our Marketing support. This works hand-in-hand with our Business Development advice to help you attract more private referrals. More clients means more revenue and hopefully better profit margins, resulting in a healthier financial position for the care business. This can also play a vital role in recruitment and retention.
A company that is flourishing can afford to pay staff more than local competitors and this, probably more than other elements, will help with recruitment at a time when the cost of living has made care work less attractive.
Employee communication, company brand and values and the financial health of a care business are all very positive starting points. But if these aren’t working, what’s the next step?
If you have positive reviews and a good company image and you’re offering above average rates of pay, then the traditional recruitment methods mentioned above may well start to work far more effectively.
But if they aren’t filling your vacancies, then a change in recruitment strategy is needed. One possible solution is to try and reach a different pool of possible applicants – people who haven’t necessarily considered a career in care but who, with the right inspiration and training, could prove to be exactly what your care business needs.
A younger audience would seem perfect for this – school leavers or even 20-somethings who haven’t yet decided on their career path.
Targeted campaigns to reach this audience through social media, for example, may well be the way to go for care companies in today’s hyper-competitive care recruitment market.
At Care Ideals we work across every aspect of a care business to support growth. Our Care Consultants, and Business Support and Care Marketing Specialists are there to work with care home owners and care business owners to create a strong, healthy and compassionate business that will attract new clients, and enable you to recruit and retain good care staff.
CQC Consultation - The Verdict. Special Podcast from Care Home Management
June 16, 2021
How to prepare for the CQC’s Emergency Support Framework - Care Home Management COVID-19 podcast
May 25, 2020