Covid19 – Social Care Recruitment Options

Group of carers with face masks during Covid19

Recruitment process efficiencies

Our first topic within this series of articles about social care recruitment during Covid19 explores social care recruitment options and a number of tools and processes that allow both recruitment teams and hiring managers to get more out of applicants to current care roles.

Our aim at Cohesion, as recruiters for a number of large care organisations across the UK has been to:

  1. Increase the numbers of applicants to the hugely increased numbers of roles that the care sector is recruiting to
  2. Work with our client organisations to change the nature of those roles in order that a greater number of applicants are appropriate to deliver them
  3. And then work to make sure that the entire recruitment process but particularly assessment and compliance is effective and swift.

Enhanced candidate attraction possibilities

With one commercial domestic care business advertising for workers during the evening news on ITV, it is clear that we are in unprecedented times for care worker attraction.

But there are likely to be more efficient ways to target specific groups of likely applicants where your organisation doesn’t have TV advertising budgets.

We will cover specifically where we are finding success with attracting from new streams of applicants, with different non-care backgrounds, in two blogs time. As a general rule though, more effort is required at this time, going beyond advertising in Indeed. Consider your potential target audience in a focussed way, and aim messages directly at them, remembering that many applicants are spending hours more time than usual online, and on social media.

Expanding the types of roles and shifts available

A major new social care recruitment option for many of the care clients that we are working with, is recruiting to a new type of generic, entry level role – a support assistant – generally on short term contracts. Individuals recruited to these roles could be doing anything from care to domestic cleaning to kitchen duties, and previous care experience is certainly not necessary. The influx of new care workers with a range of skills allows care organisations to focus experienced staff on the most important care, with support assistants enabling this by taking care of their other roles and responsibilities.

This type of role also works well for a volunteer workforce, as many organisations are ramping up their efforts in this area too.

For some time now we’ve been recommending greater flexibility when it comes to shift patterns, considering candidates who would have been previously excluded because of rigid rotas. The shift puzzle debate has not been resolved during COVID19, but we have seen many providers change their approach quite quickly to ‘come and speak to us, tell us when you can work, and we’ll consider it’.

For many of these lower level roles, our revised recruitment process allows us to offer successful applicants immediately from telephone interview, without the need for face to face interview. This short, engagement intense process for candidates ensures that drop out rates remain low in these times of need.

 Speeding up the social care recruitment process

Our recruitment processes are never slow, but in the current climate, where Tesco are offering candidates a role within 3 hours of an application being made to start tomorrow, all of us have to look at our processes and make changes in order to succeed.

Video interviewing

At Cohesion, we exclusively use video interviewing for our early talent campaigns outside of care and have tried to incorporate video interviewing into the social care recruitment processes in the past too.  As a social care recruitment option, the previous attempts proved less efficient than telephone interviews.

COVID19 has changed this, with video screening in various forms taking hold. Consider Whatsapp video, Zoom and FaceTime, as apps that we are all used to using. Microsoft Teams has worked for us as the candidate does not need to download any software. The trick is to make it pain free for candidates. Adapt your hints and tips guides to include video interviewing, and whatever you decide to use, the harder you make it, the higher the withdrawal rates.


Care Character

Care Character is a Psychometric test designed specifically for the Care sector and based on research data from a three-year study of recruitment in care. The assessment can be used to inform the interview process, and both hiring managers and candidates get a report on their strengths and areas to consider.

Adult First and relaxed references

You will be aware of the interim changes around DBS and fast track options available to you. We would also recommend reviewing your referencing processes because these will be taking longer to return given the empty offices that prevail. Providers are starting candidates with less references while the full process is completed in the background. Of course, you need to consider the risks of a referencing process and ensure you are compliant with your internally agreed standards – but do review this if you haven’t already, even if it is on a case by case basis.

 Online induction

Online inductions have also featured in many providers adapted processes, allowing more efficient and more frequent inductions. We suspect that online induction will become the norm in the future.


With a constantly changing environment, we are looking at processes non-stop, but hope that this summary has been useful.


We will be back with the next segment of our blog series next week …………….



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