How to recruit care and support workers

“How can I recruit care and support workers?”

Social Care and Recruitment seem to have become interchangeable in many ways- if you work in either one of these professions, the other will be a hot topic. With both asking the question “how can I recruit care and support workers?”

Skills for Care have predicted that by 2030 the number of people aged over 85 will have almost doubled and by 2043 there will be double the number of people living with dementia. This might seem like a long while off, but if action isn’t taken now, there is going to be a serious shortage of workers.

Social care recruitment solutions are imperative to the success of recruitment and social care businesses alike. You need only look at the turnover rate of the social care sector to understand the issue here- the average rate across all sectors in the UK is 15%, social care turnover rate is around 20%.  This obviously has a bearing on the social care sector vacancy rate which, in comparison to other sectors, is almost 2% higher.

Download our e-book 11 top tips on how to recruit the best care and support workers 

We work with a number of Health and Social Care organisations, such as Priory Group, Turning Point, Midway Care Group and many more. We recruit thousands of workers in to the Health and Social Care sectors every year and we want to share some tips on how to recruit great people in to the health and social care industry



Online advertising on job boards helps to ensure your vacancies are being found by the numerous job seekers who turn to the internet to find their next career. Your adverts need to speak to your audience, they should be creative, why not create word clouds or e-cards? These have the ability to be shared on social media sites and dramatically increase your reach.


How are you ensuring you are targeting those people who are not online? Localised recruitment is one of the solutions to this. Work closely with your local job centres, welfare to work providers and universities and colleges to run open days and attend career fairs. Posters and flyers in local churches, shopping centres and bus stops will also help to target your offline audience.


Recruiting for values in the care sector has never been more important, there are not enough experienced people to recruit to the vacancies and we therefore need to be targeting people who have the right values and behaviours to join the sector – the rest you can teach!

Data from the NMDS-SC shows that from the 1.3 million jobs recruited to in the last 12 months only 3% of hires had worked in the care sector previously.

Values based recruitment has allowed the sector to start looking at alternative routes to market and has widened the pool in which we can attract candidates from, making such avenues as international recruitment possible.


How to recruit care and support workers



  • Needs to start right at the beginning of the recruitment process, including the information candidates have access to on your website – this is the first impression of your organisation and you need to ensure the right message is delivered.
  • Look at the application process from a candidate’s point of view, you can imagine how demotivating it must be to spend loads of time completing a detailed application form only to never hear back. Candidate engagement has never been more important in retaining candidates through the recruitment process. Whether they are successful or not they should be left with a positive impression of the organisation and be willing to recommend you to colleagues and friends.

65.5% of the Social Care workforce surveyed by the NCF left within 2 years. With a 16.6% staff turnover rate, retention is an important aspect to consider.  A good retention strategy has the potential to transform your business by ensuring top talent stays longer.

Exit and Retention interviews can have a huge impact on the way your business operates. By finding out why people leave and, on the flipside, what encourages them to stay, you can work on refining the good and eradicating the bad.


As well as being highly skilled, the older members of your workforce are great role-models for your new employees, they can train and mould new talent in to the future stars of your business.

Are your employees happy? Engage with them, get their feedback and try to ensure they’re enjoying their role. Can you offer incentives to retirees or those who are due to retire? Offering more flexible hours and benefits could mean that those over 50 stick around a little longer and retirees may well return.


How to recruit care and support workers








Your people are your greatest asset and investing in them will help your business grow. Thorough training programmes will close the skills gap and be beneficial for you and your employees.

Training improves organisational survival rates. According to the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, organisations that do not invest in training in the Health sector are 1.3 times more likely to close compared to those that do.

By developing the communication skills of your employees, you will be creating a palpable difference in staff behaviours- this will increase morale as well as improving the overall performance of staff. Ultimately, you will have a more experienced workforce with a higher proportion holding relevant qualifications, including managerial and supervisory staff, senior care workers and care workers.

Training will result in your business performing to a higher standard with residents receiving better levels of care and support.

For more information and best practice tips on how to combat some of the issues of the social care sector read our ebooks by clicking here or call Lee Burman now on 0121 713 6956

Written by Hannah Ratcliff, Marketing Executive



Clients often approach us with different problems, such as wanting to reduce their annual spend or to add value to their business. Some of the time they are unsure of how this goal can be achieved and therefore they need a recruiting partner that will be able to guide them through this process.

If I told you that working in partnership with a company meant true dedication towards your overall goal; to ensure that whether it was to save money, or to build a better employer brand you would have an extra team of dedicated professionals to achieve that. Would this interest you?

‘Improving the bottom line’ is vital for any businesses to succeed. Doing this solo may be challenging to be able to see the end goal or even how to achieve it. That is why working in partnership with an organisation can help to increase efficiency and win more work overall.

Communication is a strong starting point for many businesses. You want your employees to help your employer brand and company succeed, but are they fully aware of your end goal? Communicating this message across so that employees understand the impact of their work, not only for the job in hand but on the overall company vision and how they can contribute and benefit from it, will result in more enthusiastic and dedicated team members.

“HR has never been more uniquely situated and placed than they are right now in terms of helping organizations achieve bottom-line results,” Shirley Richard, president of the Richard Company

The vision, values, and goals of the company should be regularly communicated to employees and not only good but bad news should be routinely shared, and successes celebrated. Management information is a great way of sticking on track for senior team members. This can allow a direct comparison year on year to see what changes have been made and what has worked – or more importantly what hasn’t, so changes can be rectified.

ROI (Return On Investment) highlighted in green with felt tip pen

Saving money is always a key point on the top of everyone’s agenda to ensure a ROI is achieved from the previous year.  In general, you’ll want to focus on improving your conversion potential through attracting the right customers to your business, this can sometimes be challenging when not having the knowledge, the customer base or which channels to take. Partnership working is an important factor for being able to achieve your business goals, whilst keeping costs low. For example a challenging factor with many companies is their recruitment, the cost of a bad hire can be detrimental for a business and therefore having the option to outsource your hiring tasks to a company will take all this worry off your hands.

We care about your bottom line and go the extra mile to ensure we are on the same page.

To find out more about getting the most out of partnership working and how Cohesion can assist you with this, call Adam Baldry now on 0121 713 6956

Written by Josephine Lester, Marketing Executive




Clients often approach our temporary managed service specialists with the question “how can I reduce agency spend?”

Depending on the size of your business this is no mean feat, you need to adopt a strategic approach and get everyone on board. It may seem like an unmanageable task, but I assure you, it isn’t. There are many ways you can reduce agency spend – all you have to do is look.

Here are 6 steps on how to reduce agency spend:

1. Visibility is key 

Getting to the root of the problem is where you need to start. A data discovery exercise is a great way of doing this. Gather internal data and talk to your employees and your suppliers. By surveying all of your stakeholders you’ll gain visibility over what commission and pay rates are in place across the organisation. Chances are that they’re very varied.

2. Set commission rates 

Have set commission rates that you will use across the organisation. This will not only save money on agency spend, it will increase visibility.

3. Standardise pay rates 

Many organisations do not do this and it’s a simple step to take when it comes to reducing agency spend. Why should one administrator be on £8ph and another be on £12ph for doing the same job? Clear rates must be set! A benchmarking exercise will allow you to know what the market rates are for a particular worker, set the rate and don’t budge!

4. Be ready to negotiate

You and your staff will need to negotiate new rates with suppliers. Ensure that whoever is dealing with agencies has the ability to challenge and ensure that agreed commission and pay rates are stuck to. This is extremely important.


Strong negotiation skills are imperative when dealing with agencies

5. Only use temps when it’s essential

One person has called in sick, they are likely to be off for 2-3 days, do you really need to call in a temporary worker? Is there someone else on the team who can help out? Instill a culture whereby your employees are really questioning whether or not that they need to spend money on getting someone else in.  

6. Consolidated invoices

If you’re working a Managed Service Provider (MSP) you should be able to request one consolidated invoice- this will save you time and cost on processing a number of invoices at any one time.

Taking these steps will help you to reduce agency spend. We often carry out data discovery exercises for clients whether they would like to outsource their recruitment to us or not.

We offer to carry out data discovery exercises, producing powerful data and making recommendations so that HR teams can come up with a DIY solution. However, those who have outsourced their recruitment to us (permanent or temporary) have saved money on agency spend.

We saved St Mungo’s £830k in the first two years of the contract, halved Midway Care’s agency use in the first six months of our partnership and the savings we made for Metropolitan Housing equated to over £3M within the first 5 years of working with them.

To find out more about getting the most out of your temporary workers and how Cohesion can assist you with this, call Lee Burman now on 0121 713 6956

Or download our Temporary Managed Services ebook.



Getting the most of your temporary workforce by keeping them motivated

They are a specialist, flexible part of your team and can save you time by acting as extra resource. Employers who get temporary recruitment right can enjoy the many benefits that temporary workers have to offer.

But how do you motivate them? Read on for our six tips on how to motivate temporary workers.

1. You want enthusiasm and energy
Skills are hugely important, but don’t forget to put a focus on culture. Does the candidate have the right attitude? Will they fit in with the team? These steps don’t mean you’re outright motivating the employee in question, but you’re setting yourself up for a much easier ride by getting the hire right.

2. Get them on-board
Whether hiring temporary or permanent employees, a good recruitment process should involve on-boarding. Plan ahead- create the right workspace and ensure your new employee feels welcome. When it comes to on-boarding, it’s the little things that can make a big difference- find out what they like and leave a new-starter pack on their desk full of goodies.

ready desk

Prepare the desk of your temporary worker- it’s a small task, but it will make a big difference

3. Ensure they’re involved
Buddy up your temporary workers with full-time, permanent staff. Make sure this is someone who’s an efficient trainer and can monitor performance but doesn’t mind popping out for a drink and helping them to integrate in to the team and build relationships.

4. Offer support
Try and match tasks with skills sets- give each worker guidance and be ready to answer questions. Being supportive and willing to help will ensure that your employees are engaged which will results in maximum productivity and satisfaction.

5. Give them the opportunity to learn
Many temporary workers want to learn, offering them the opportunity to pick up new knowledge and skills will help them in the long run and is a strong motivator for coming to work.

6. Say thank you
Yep, it’s pretty simple. Let them know they’re appreciated and don’t let being busy get in the way of that. Maximum appreciation equals maximum output.

Well, there we have it, our 6 top tips on how to motivate temporary employees.

Cohesion specialise in temporary recruitment and work with clients to improve their processes and ensure their workers are engaged.

We can help to improve the quality of temps who transfer on to permanent contract whilst ensuring your PSL is competitive. Read some of our case studies here.

To find out more about getting the most out of your temporary workers and how Cohesion can assist you with this, call Adam Baldry now on 0121 713 6956
Written by Hannah Ratcliff, Marketing Executive



“Social mobility opens you up to a far deeper talent pool, and brings you into contact with driven, ambitious people with talents you would otherwise miss out on.” AGR

Graduate recruitment often presents a number of challenges, and, no matter what industry you’re in, if you’re recruiting graduates, you’ve likely asked yourself a number of questions: “How can I win the war for talent?” “How do I beat my competitors?” “How do I get candidate engagement right?” in short, you probably want to know more when it comes to hiring graduates.

The early 2000’s saw a fall in birth-rate numbers, so it’s true that we will likely experience a shortage of graduates as 2020 approaches and need to use new techniques to future-proof graduate recruitment. Attracting top talent is an ongoing challenge, and it may be about to get harder, but have you considered that you may have narrowed your search for talent before you’ve even begun?

It’s usually unintentional, but a number of employers use recruitment and selection methods that act as a wall when it comes to candidates from less privileged backgrounds. For example, are you asking that your graduates achieved at least a 2.1?

According to 26.5% of students achieve a 2.2, the majority of these individuals either studied part-time or do not originate from the UK. There is a huge and diverse pool of talent here that you are likely missing out on if you have a minimum expectation of your graduates achieving a 2.1.

Social mobility means working together to knock these walls down.

Embracing social mobility should matter to you- not only will it create solutions for some of the questions above, it will widen your talent pool, increase diversity in your workplace and demonstrate Corporate Social Responsibility.

This then poses the question “how do I increase social mobility?”

social mobility

Embrace social mobility to grow your talent pool and business


Stipulating degree classification- or even using UCAS points, is this a fair way of deciding whether someone will be a good fit for your business? Yes, you have high expectations of your future talent and academic ability may be important, but lower academic achievement doesn’t necessarily reflect an individual’s ability to do a great job.

Pay your interns- if an individual is from a less privileged background, they probably can’t afford an unpaid internship.

Be flexible- take the wider needs of your graduates in to consideration, could they have care responsibilities at home? Bringing this to the table will make your recruitment proposition far more attractive.

Reimbursement- less privileged graduates may not be able to afford travel or clothes for an interview. Helping them out here could make a big difference.

So, when social mobility gives you the ability to make your business better, why wouldn’t you embrace it?

Cohesion encourages employers to take this approach to their recruitment and selection methods. Whilst many businesses won’t budge on degree classification, we help our clients to knock down the barriers of social mobility and access a wider talent pool. Having filled 98% of our client’s graduate roles this quarter, we know that this is a solution that really works.

To find out more about our graduate recruitment campaigns click here or call Adam Baldry on 0121 713 6956

Written by Hannah Ratcliff, Marketing Executive


“One of the most common criticisms leveled against HR is that it’s incapable of being truly strategic.”

Whether or not you agree with this statement by Thomson Reuters, it is true that HR plays a pivotal role in recruitment strategy which is key to business performance. However, research by the CIPD found that almost one in five business leaders is unaware of HR’s contribution to business strategy.

“Strategic HRM focuses on longer-term people issues, matching resources to future needs, and macro-concerns about structure, quality, culture, values and commitment.”
CIPD 2015

So, what are you doing to serve your business strategy through recruitment strategy? Of course there are number of HR pillars outside of recruitment, but when it comes to people issues, workforce planning and, well, nearly everything mentioned in this definition, recruitment is key to consider.

Sort your recruitment strategy and everything else will follow.

Think about it, in your current role, do you spend more time recruiting, or more time managing issues as a result of recruiting mistakes? Recruitment is an essential part of success- the right recruitment partner will work with you to serve your business strategy.

Recruitment can be a real headache, but it can also be easy.

Recruitment Strategy

Get recruitment strategy right

Before my marketing days I recruited care and support workers for a number of clients in some very difficult areas, including Cambridge, Hertfordshire and a number of others. It’s probably no surprise that I have experienced a number of clients worrying over hard-to-fill areas, sighing about high volume campaigns and simply reaching the end of their tether when it came to recruitment.

From hiring managers to HRBP’s, everyone has pulled their hair out at one time or another because of recruitment, and that doesn’t have to be the case.

You can get recruitment right in 1 of 3 ways:

DIY recruitment
Good, old fashioned ‘do it yourself’- if you have a recruitment specialist with the right expertise then this can really work. You need someone who can take ownership of the essentials, with the ability to reach, engage and retain the right people for your business as well as creating and implementing an effective and robust recruitment strategy. But do you have that individual?

Recruitment agency
They have the connections, they’re fuelled by the promise of commission and they probably will fill your roles. But you need an effective PSL in place, do you have that? Are you being charged fairly by agencies? And, even if you’re sure of these things, do they really know your business and understand your needs?

Outsource Recruitment
You can outsource all or part of your recruitment processes. Whether this is a recruitment project, the temporary division of your business or a graduate campaign, it’s definitely worth considering. Of course it’s difficult to feel secure when outsourcing, but if you find the right partner with the right expertise, you could be on to a winner. A good partner will know your business strategy and will work with your to achieve this.

Find out more about the benefits of recruitment outsourcing 

Written by Hannah Ratcliff, Marketing Executive


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