Covid19 Candidate Engagement

Candidate engagement update

The mark of a good recruitment process

When it comes to candidate engagement, this is something we always rank as one of the number one features of a good care worker recruitment process. From our perspective, in an already competitive market which is now even busier because of COVID19, you need to ensure that candidates have regular COVID19 candidate engagement and communication. The providers who do it well even go into the realms of over-communicating to make sure a candidate chooses them over another provider or other sectors.


Applicant withdrawals

We are certainly seeing more withdrawals throughout the social care recruitment process – as many as 50% of all applications to our Key Worker campaigns are withdrawing at some point (this always includes a big % of applicants who never engage again after initially expressing interest via Indeed). In comparison to what we usually see this is an increase of 10% for some of our campaigns. Many candidates are withdrawing at application stage, while others fail to make contact or withdraw after offer having reconsidered. This is often linked to the challenges that care has battled with during the pandemic including issues like lack of PPE.


COVID19 Candidate Engagement

We need to be open and honest but reassuring with our candidate pools – tell them that the right tools and training are in place to deal with the working through the virus – explain your protocols and procedures. If they are joining a home or setting with cases of COVID19 – share how you are making it safe for your teams; sometimes it’s simply reassuring so they know when they do and don’t need to use PPE. Younger workers might need support in reassuring their parents too, which we have seen. Whatever the background, use the messaging going out to your residents or people you support and their families as a means to reassure candidates too.

We touched on furloughed candidates in a previous blog and good candidate engagement means support for people in this situation. Where a candidate advises that they are furloughed, support them with the conversations that they need to have with their current employers. One of our recruiters was talking to a candidate who is on furlough leave from a well-known clothes retailer. She was offered a role but withdrew after speaking with her employer who advised she was unable to work in another organisation. The recruiter did a great job of arming the candidate with the information she needed to take her employer about the changes to the rules. She’s now over the line and due to start.

We usually argue that pay isn’t the be all and end all – but for our key worker campaigns bringing in a new range of talent, we have seen some providers offer a higher pay rate. So do look at this if you can.

New Starters

What about new starters – how do we support them in very challenging environments that even we’re not used to?  Again, candidate engagement and support is important, checking in during the first few days and weeks and conducting stay interviews, but also considering if the setting is right for that individual new starter. Perhaps consider redeployment to other homes or settings if one environment is overwhelming.

Also think about the COVID19 candidate engagement you’ll need to put in place if newly onboarded employees are unable to start due to self-isolation or shielding so you don’t lose them completely.


For all the providers choosing to outsource social care recruitment to us at Cohesion, candidate engagement remains paramount both as a usp for attracting staff to the organisation, and as a way to ensure long, satisfied tenure of those who start.

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