2021 recruitment tips from Neil Eastwood

2021 recruitment tips from Neil Eastwood

Social Care Induction Training


Our thanks to guest blogger Neil Eastwood for these 11 tips for your 2021 recruitment. Neil is the author of Saving Social Care and the founder and CEO of Care Friends, the employee referral app for the care sector, operated in partnership with Skills for Care.


11 Recommendations for 2021

Retention first!

My starting point for building a high quality, long staying workforce is always: improve retention where possible. Since staff loss is most acute in the periods from job offer to commencing work and in the first 90 days of employment – these are the places to focus. Some proven actions include:

  • Send a welcome card to the new starter’s home as soon as they accept the job offer
  • Start training early – before their first day, and reward and acknowledge their professional development
  • Have the recruiter, who has built a relationship with the new starter, undertake retention check-in calls during their first 90 days
  • Have the boss greet them on their first day
  • Implement a peer-mentoring programme
  • Invest time and effort in your employee referral scheme – referred new starters typically have between half and a third of the turnover of those from other recruitment sources


Recruitment mainstays…

Some key principles of best practice recruitment in social care are worth repeating too:

  • Diversify your recruitment channels – don’t rely on just one source
  • As above, maximise employee referrals as this is the highest quality recruitment method
  • Always respond promptly
  • Listen for the candidates’ ‘why’ – why do they want to work in the sector?
  • Look for markers of high potential, such as caring for a loved one, a family member already working in the sector, or persuasion by a friend to consider the role


The social care sector has proven itself to be resilient and adaptable during 2020. By its very nature – made up of thousands of mostly small, locally-led businesses, highly in tune with their communities – we have seen rapid adaptation and an embracing of innovation and new approaches to recruitment. We will all be glad to see the end of 2020, but now is the time to build on the changes already in place and ensure our recruitment strategies are optimised for the year ahead.

If you missed it – you can read Neil’s previous blog; a 2020 recruitment round up here.

Sign up to stay connected

We want to make sure you never miss one of our events, blogs, or whitepapers. Sign up to stay connected with Cohesion