Last week I had the pleasure of spending a morning with colleagues from Skills for Care, Alternative Futures Group, Profiles4Care and Avenues Group. The strand that holds us together – values based recruitment.
Now it’s no secret that social care has its fair share of recruitment problems. It speaks volumes that the sector is growing, yet thousands of front-line jobs are still sitting vacant. HR teams are at pains to come up with a reliable and consistent way of filling care and support vacancies. Even harder still is the need to fill vacancies with the right people, who will actually stay.
Why values based approach to recruitment may be part of the answer.
At the heart of values based recruitment sits the idea that skills are something that can be taught and developed with the right training. What really matters are the values and behaviours sitting at the core of the individual. When you plug this approach into recruiting a high performing support worker, this means that what you might be looking for is that passion for making a difference to the lives of others. It’s a part of their DNA. Not making a difference is simply not an option.
I think the social care sector is onto something here. We’ve seen it with our own clients. These individuals are easy to spot. When you talk to them they have a genuine and sincere enthusiasm and passion for enabling others to live happy lives. Putting higher calibre applicants in front of hiring managers becomes much easier, because you can spot a ‘fraud’ a mile off.
I say values based recruitment is part of the answer. It doesn’t solve attraction problems on its own. The sector still has far more work to do in how it sells itself and retains staff.
Freeing from the shackles of previous experience
What it does do however is open the potential candidate pool far wider. When you remove the shackles of having to recruit for previous experience, you have far more interesting places to go with your candidate sourcing strategy. We’ve seen it first hand – one of my most memorable interviews was with an applicant who was working at B&Q, but the one thing he loved most about his job was his role as an employee champion – supporting his colleagues to ensure they were living a fulfilled life at work. He blew the client away at interview and was offered the job on the spot.
So often social care is berated for being behind the times but I can’t see any reason why this approach shouldn’t be adopted elsewhere. How many times do we complain about the customer service rep who just doesn’t care, or the pushy sales person who doesn’t have our best interests at heart. If these skills can be taught and developed, then recruiting against values is surely a no-brainer.