Are higher applications and increased interest in front line social care jobs here to stay?
More than ever before, working in social care seems to have become a job of choice, with organisations reporting higher than ever applications to care and support roles from a more diverse range of candidates.
And while Covid-19 has been catastrophic in many ways to the country and our social care sector, it could still have a positive legacy on the social care recruitment and employment landscape.
At the end of April, 72% of attendees at Cohesions Virtual Social Care Forum “Recruitment during Covid-19: Making it Happen for Care” said they had received higher levels of applications.
These higher applications to care and support roles have also likely been influenced by more positive media attention than ever before on social care recruitment, in particular the launch of phase two of the DHSC campaign.
Motivating those with a genuine desire to help people in need is of course a positive step, but are these application levels here to stay? And what can your organisation do to make the most of the current situation during this difficult period?
Here are a few ideas that could help:
Changing the job role:
Some organisations responded by creating new roles, such as Sanctuary Care’s new “Wellbeing Assistant” specifically targeted at workers from retail, where personal care is not involved. This has generated huge interest and may prove a “bridge” for those with strong customer service skills transferring into social care.
Targeting workers from other industries:
84% of our Forum attendees thought it was an opportunity to attract more people to the sector and back in March, several care organisations were pro-active, targeting workers on furlough in the hospitality, leisure, travel and retail network who have transferable skills. Many large UK providers such as Care UK and Sunrise Senior Living have specifically targeted this audience on their websites and in social media.
Don’t forget the basics:
Once working, first day checks, one to ones, wellbeing conversations and retention / stay interviews are critical to hold onto new workers, making sure we erode the 122,000 vacancies the sector still needs to fill. Communication for new starters is critical!
Make it a positive experience:
With supermarkets recruiting in a matter of hours, social care needs to offer a swift, positive experience that addresses fears of PPE, and infection control while showcasing the impact that an individual can have. Not least because pubs, shops and the leisure sector are now returning to work.
Are higher levels of interest in working in social care here to stay?
Let’s hope so. Not everyone on furlough who has made applications to care and support roles will stay, but some will.
As a sector, we can all play our part, communicating the career paths and opportunities that exist in adult social care.
And to a large degree it will depend on the governments much delayed green paper, their policy for social care and let’s be honest, the funding that is made available for providers to address the many challenges they currently face.