It’s easy to plough through hundreds of applications and recruit the cream of the crop, right? What’s not so easy is actually getting hundreds of candidates to apply for your vacancies. This is where your recruitment advertising becomes absolutely fundamental.

Some may argue that your employer brand is what attracts your candidates, and that’s either good enough to do so, or it’s not. But, surely that would mean only a handful of organisations receive the best applicants?

As with everything – it’s about how you market it. It’s about how you package your vacancies. It’s easy to forget that recruitment is a two-way street and, whilst a lot of high-quality candidates will be automatically attracted to global organisations – any company can sell themselves to the best talent. However, you need to know how.

1. Ask yourself “so what?”

Okay, your organisation won an award – so what? How is that going to benefit your candidates if they choose to apply for your vacancy and, subsequently, join you? As I said before – it’s easy to forget that recruitment is a two-way street. Bragging about who you are, and the awards you’ve won, won’t attract the best candidates. Because, well – the award you won isn’t going to benefit them.

Whenever you’re writing job descriptions and summaries of your organisation – empathise with your ideal candidate. What will they want to gain by working in your Finance department? What skills will they acquire? Will they get involved with any important events?

2. Ask your current employees

If you asked all of your employees today what they’d tell their friends about working for your business – do you know what they’d say? Do you know what really wakes them up in the morning and drives them to get to the office early? Could you tell me what makes your employees not want to leave?

If your answer to any of the above is ‘no’ – go and ask them. You should especially ask any employees that are currently working in the role, or a similar role, that you’re in the process of recruiting for.

Doing so will help you to build an honest image of what it’s really like to work for you. This can then be communicated in all of your recruitment advertising.

3. Bring your business to life

To really make an impact with your recruitment advertising – you should be using it to tell a story. Bring your business to life by showcasing the employee culture. Using video as a medium of recruitment advertising shows a true reflection of who you are, and why other employees love working there.

You can use videos when recruiting any demographic. For Future Talent – why not record previous apprentices and graduates talking about their experiences, and why they’re glad they chose to work for you? The beautiful thing about video is that you can physically see emotion. This will engage your ideal candidates, because it gives them something to relate to.

4. Get Social

There are so many different forms of Social Media available nowadays, it can sometimes be quite difficult to choose which one is best for you. In short – they’re all the best for you.

Using a number of different Social Media platforms will help you to reach a much broader audience than if you’re selective with them. In the UK alone – Facebook has more than 32 million users; LinkedIn boasts over 21 million users, and; Twitter sustains a very strong user base of around 20 million people. You should be able to find your ideal candidates somewhere in there – surely?

You can use each and every platform to reach your audience. What’s more important is my next point…

5. Be Consistent

It’s absolutely imperative that you establish a clear message in your recruitment advertising. According to the Recruitment Process Outsourcing Association – “clear brand messages across all recruiting channels and methods helps recruiters match candidates with culture.” Everything about your business should be crystal clear from your brand message, and this should be maintained all of the time.

In some ways – it can be quite dangerous losing this consistency and changing your brand message. Why? Well, by pure coincidence – at the moment in time that the inconsistent message airs, it could be found by hundreds of potential applicants. And, to make matters worse – the majority of those candidates could be completely wrong for your business.

It’s not worth the risk. Maintain your consistency, and keep your brand message the same in all of your marketing.


It’s a lot more difficult than you think to attract your ideal candidate to apply for your role. In April of this year, according to Trading Economics – there were 770,000 jobs available. It’s highly likely that a fair amount of those will be looking for the exact same candidate you are. You need to be making yourself stand out – not just in your employer branding efforts, but in all of your recruitment marketing efforts.

According to a survey conducted by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) in December 2016 – almost half of UK employers are expecting a skills shortage when recruiting in 2017.

With the above being noted – recruiters are having to rethink their strategies in order to attract the seemingly ‘hard to come by’ candidates.

So, we’ve pulled together our top 3 tips on recruiting during a skills shortage:

1. Recruit for values

Tackling the skills shortage isn’t entirely about attracting and recruiting candidates who already have the skills you need. In many cases – it can be more beneficial to hire candidates whose skills are transferable to your organisation, and have the potential and ability to pick up and learn the skills you’re missing.

Values-based recruitment is a recruitment method that’s used extensively in the Care sector (an industry that sits very high on the skills shortage scale). However, the idea also applies to recruitment across all sectors. It’s an approach adopted to help attract and select inexperienced candidates (not necessarily at entry-level; the lack of experience could just be in your sector), whose personal values and behaviours align with those of your organisation.

2. Invest in Future Talent

Graduates, School-Leavers and Apprentices all fall within the remit of Future Talent, and recruiting them can be a strong method of future-proofing your skills and filling your gaps.

Future Talent want to learn, meaning you can teach them any of the skills that you want and need them to have to become a valuable asset to your organisation. Not only this, but further investing in your Future Talent with ‘buddying schemes’ gives them time with your experienced employees, who can share their knowledge.

3. Increase your Online Presence

Technology is improving leaps and bounds every single year, and will continue to for the foreseeable future.

These improvements have provided recruiters with more tools than ever to reach out to and engage with their candidates – your talent pool is bigger than it ever has been. Increasing your online presence and taking advantage of all online platforms will put you directly into contact with the candidates that you want to speak to, whilst building awareness around your employer brand.

Shout about who you are online – your candidates will hear you.

To give you the best possible chance of filling all of your vacancies with the skills you need – you should look to implement a number of different recruitment methods. Sticking to what you’ve always done can be dangerous.

It’s important to remember that, especially during a skills shortage, you don’t always need to recruit employees with years of experience, because experience doesn’t always demonstrate skills or ability. But, at the same time, you don’t want to be solely recruiting inexperienced candidates who don’t have the potential to learn what you need.


Monday night’s BBC Panorama: Nursing Homes Undercover made some shock revelations about two homes in Cornwall. Reporter Janice Finch posed as a resident and secretly filmed the conditions of the home whilst another Panorama team member, Lucy, posed as a carer who had not received completed DBS check.

There’s no doubt that the images recorded were graphic, emotional and upsetting and the conditions that residents were living in were completely unacceptable. We can all take solace in the fact that the company had decided to close one of the featured homes down, with residents moved to more suitable accommodation.


Our Talent Director, Dave Beesley,  was especially moved by this episode but not for the reason you might think. I asked him about his take on BBC Panorama Episode.

BBC panorama care homes

Dave Beesley, Talent Director:

“It is a shame that more often than not we hear about the extremes, the bad and the ugly in the social care sector. There are plenty of exceptional providers and care workers that rarely take to the spotlight.

The programme exposed staff that who weren’t caring and examples of new starters working without DBS checks and references in place.  “At Cohesion, we have a precise recruitment and onboarding process. Carers with the right values are hired, and where we manage pre-employment for our clients, our rigorous process means that candidates only start when they are DBS compliant and their references have been fully checked.

Download our Social Care Recruitment e-book!


There are so many examples of exceptional care that I really wish we’d hear more about in the media. In fact, if you have a look at the CQC Map of Care Home Ratingsyou can see that most Care Homes in the UK are rated “Good.”

As of November 10th 2016, CQC had rated 19,010 active adult social care – over 14,000 were good or outstanding but nearly 5,000 required improvement or were deemed inadequate. Who’s to blame for this – the organisation? The CQC? The councils who commission the service? I’d argue all have a responsibility, especially if we’re ever going to change the perception of working in care as it currently stands.

I am hopeful that we can continue to paint a positive picture of working in care for those who are thinking of joining.  My message  is simple – don’t be put off by the horror stories.  On the whole, we have a fantastic health and social care system and if care is your calling, you will thrive!”

So what do you think? Without doubt, the social care sector needs reform but we also shouldn’t forget about some of the great social care providers we have in the UK.


As we fast approach an important date for the UK, more and more views about Brexit are being aired every day. Opposing arguments, facts and figures can muddy the waters, and when speaking with friends and fellow colleagues there’s uncertainty with both arguments.

With 1 in 20 workers in the UK from the EU and potential changes to free movement, Brexit could have a major impact on the UK’s employment market. With skills shortages across some of our major sectors, it’s hard to picture employment without uncertainty; Brexit or no Brexit.

Whether the UK remains or decides to leave the EU, combatting challenges in recruitment should be an important consideration for any employer. More than ever, the debate has meant that we’re speaking with clients, partners and other industry experts about breaking down barriers; advising on better ways to attract candidates and open more employment doors.

Being Flexible – according to Glassdoor, around a third of workers would prefer the option of working flexibly to a pay rise. Some employers will want staff to be fully flexible, but now is the time to be rethinking this – why should employees be flexible if employers aren’t trying it themselves? A change to rota patterns may be a headache in the short-term, but longer term flexibility for staff may create better working environments and aid retention.

Talking with future talent – with the apprenticeship levy announcement, more employers are considering apprentices as an essential route to hire. It’s been disheartening to hear that some schools and colleges are unable to engage with employers or advertise vacancies where they aren’t the chosen learning provider, and we feel strongly about an attitude change to ensure access to employer information is provided to all pupils and students.

Creating a buzz about your sector – thanks to negative press, bias and misconceptions, it’s not easy to uphold positive industry reputation. For those who face these difficulties, we say do something about it! What does it really mean to work in your world, what exciting challenges can be expected in role, and what rewards go with them? We’re seeing more employers turn to the power of video, social media and gamification to get their message out there – and if you’re one of them – we salute you!

Brexit or no Brexit, the employment sector is ever-changing. As recruitment experts, we have a duty to challenge and break down employment barriers no matter what route the UK takes.

A blog written by Dave Beesley who is passionate about breaking down barriers in recruitment. Get in touch with him at

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