Why it’s important
Attracting the right candidates to apply for your role is important for a number of reasons. You will save a lot of time and cost if you attract good quality candidates at the first stages of the recruitment process. One size never fits all in care – so ensuring the people you eventually interview and hire are a good fit, will support with improving retention too.
Things to consider
There are a number of stages of your attraction strategy that will need some thought.
- Review sites – take a look at websites such as Glassdoor and Indeed particularly, to discover what your employees and previous employees think of you as an employer. Both sites allow employers to comment on the reviews whether negative or positive. Commenting on negative reviews with a simple “Sorry to hear that, please contact our HR team to discuss this further” helps candidates see that you are an engaged employer who cares what employees think.
- Targeting underrepresented groups – less than 10% of the workforce is made up of under 25s, and we’re made up of mostly women. Sector initiatives such as Step into Social Care will support you to open up doors with students and young people.
- Open Days – Consider holding an open day at your care home or service. Open days can be a good source of new candidates for you as well a good way of engaging with your local community. Not everyone will be aware of what it’s like to work in a care home or support setting and would appreciate “seeing” the environment ahead of putting in an application and having an opportunity to ask questions. Perhaps think about including a ‘virtual tour’ on your careers website where your open day cannot be held face-to-face, and having FAQ’s easily accessible. Care Home Open Week is held every year and provides an excellent opportunity to tie in with organised activities.
- Referrals – there are multiple sources of referrals which can be a quick and easy route to finding new employees. Firstly, you can ask your existing staff whether they know anyone – many organisations have a ‘refer a friend’ reward scheme for this. Also, you can ask candidates in your recruitment process who else they know or even have a share button on your adverts.
- Adverts – your messaging should be compelling and leave the candidate wanting to know more; consider different styles aimed at different demographics. You should also ensure to include salary information in adverts. Many candidates will check location and salary ahead of all other details, yet many employers leave salary blank or unpublished (many adverts say “competitive” when the reality is far from competitive). We recommend you are are open and up-front with these details as well as the key criteria for the role so that only the right candidates apply.
To help you with drafting your adverts we have included a template that you can use along with an example of a ‘good’ advert and a ‘bad’ advert. Good and poor advert examples (776 downloads)
It’s worth being aware of who you are competing with in your local area both in and out of the care sector – who else is advertising jobs and what are they paying? What information can you find online about other care providers that will be useful to you in competing for the best candidates for your roles? Skills for Care collate a lot of information about the adult social care workforce.
You can also get in touch with us to speak about benchmarking services.
Suggested first steps
Suggested second steps
Your careers site
Find a Job – this is free job listing service from the DWP
By listing your vacancy here, it will also link to the National Recruitment Campaign.
Care & Support Jobs – created by the experts at Cohesion which allows care providers to share good news stories about working in care and their vacancies
Indeed can be used to list vacancies for free or adverts can be sponsored to drive additional traffic to your adverts
Social media – such as Facebook, Instagram & TikTok. Ensure you’re sharing engaging content including stories and videos within your recruitment messaging.
Carehome.co.uk – where you have an account in place, make sure to look into the vacancy listing service too
Partnering with schools and colleges – teaming up with your local college that delivers Health & Social Care courses, or arranging to speak to pupils at a local school builds early talent awareness. See Step into Social Care for a supportive initiative tool.