Home Care Recruitment. Recruiting Carers. Solving the problem of home care recruitment with effective recruitment marketing. Baby boomers are reaching old age, demand for home care or domiciliary care is increasing. The sector currently employs 1.5 million, by 2025 the social care sector will need to fill an extra one million jobs in order to cope with the increasing demand for services brought on by an ageing population.
At the same time that demand is rising, it is becoming increasingly difficult for home care agencies to recruit and retain care staff. The National Care Forum in 2008 showed that 40% of home care staff leave their agency position within one year of taking up the post. This jumps to a massive 60% who decide to leave within two years.
HOME CARE RECRUITMENT
A recent Key to Care report by the Burstow commission noted that home care is “facing a recruitment crisis”. Paul Burstow, a former care minister, argues in the report: “We must make care work a career of esteem, where a living wage is paid, staff are trained and recognised as valued key workers who contribute a huge amount to society.”
Home Care Recruitment. Recommendations from the commission include a living wage and clear routes of career progression for all care workers. The living wage is not necessarily being passed within framework contracts from Local Authorities to the care facilitator, who are already working with minimal margins.
The cost of home care recruitment marketing, interviewing, induction, training, vetting, CRB checks, shadowing and then deployment, is around £1,500 per candidate. High staff turnover then, equals high costs – we need to make sure the people we’re recruiting are going to enjoy what they’re doing and deliver quality care to clients.
Other factors compound the recruitment and retention problem in the home care sector. Alternative employment has increased as the economy becomes more buoyant. Other sectors offer more favourable working conditions, regular hours and higher rates of pay, and the underfunded care sector just can’t compete. Typically, jobs in supermarkets or factories are luring quality and trained staff away from the care profession.
Recruiting carers is tough, the problem of carer recruitment in rural areas is an even greater challenge. Some market towns even enjoy 100% employment. The pool of suitable candidates is even smaller, even non-existant, making it more challenging to maintain an acceptable service. What compounds this issue is that more travelling between clients is required in rural areas, expenses for which are not adequately compensated by local authorities.
One known problem with social care is that an endless succession of workers are in and out as quickly as possible, and there’s no quality or continuity of care. This ‘change of face’ can cause unnecessary anxiety especially with the elderly. Identifying people who genuinely want to pursue social care as a career, and are within a few minutes of their clients, allows time for those all-important bonding conversations that have a positive human impact on people’s lives.
How do you go about solving the problem of care recruitment and improving retention without necessarily increasing wages? The successful agencies attract and retain staff well, so why can’t everyone? Perhaps it’s time to invest in a different approach.
HOME CARE RECRUITMENT. HERE ARE A FEW OF THE CRITICAL AREAS.
EMPLOYER DIFFERENTIATION BRANDING
How does an individual considering joining the care sector differentiate between the mass of care jobs, all offering the same thing? You need to be compelling. Carers are unique people in many ways; they have clear value sets. They are strong on compassion. Their motivations are selfless. They see care as their calling to ‘give something’ back to society. They feel good about going to work every morning. They build close relationships with their colleagues and clients. They are drawn to an employer with these values, values that need to be part of the very fabric of the organisation.
Carers value employers that can clearly demonstrate this commitment to quality care and share these value sets in a real way. Care agencies often post statements on their websites, but saying something does not necessarily make it so. There has to be a guiding principle of why the care agency exists that is congruent throughout.
THE CREATION OF A STRONG DEFINED RECRUITMENT BRAND
- Establishing a behaviour and culture that lives up to the brand.
- A powerful, resonating consistent recruitment campaign .
- Clear differentiation from other home care agencies
- Developing engaging online real estate
- A management that listens and reinforces values
- Strong internal communications
- Excellent staff support and communication
- Great stories from carers
- Become the industry voice
- Effective and structured training
- Recognition of care staff achievement
- Care staff career progression
DOMINATE THE ONLINE SPACE
Recruiting Carers. The majority of individuals look for work online; a care agency has to have an excellent online presence and engaging user experience. Users are often presented with cloned websites, with every care organisation presenting themselves in the same way. Generic care imagery, generic messaging with no discernable differentiation to someone looking for a career in care. Most websites are not even responsive for mobile users, who are now the majority. A well considered and differentiating online strategy is the key to success and is a powerful factor in attracting the best care candidates away from your competition.
To take advantage of the growing home care domiciliary market, you need to attract, recruit and retain the best care staff. Your costs go down, the quality care that you deliver improves, your reputation becomes stronger. You become the ‘go to’ care agency for people seeking good quality dependable care. When we are dealing with people’s loved one’s – this is critical.
Recruitment marketing can be a costly investment, when done correctly, but in our studies this cost pales in comparison to typical staff turnover costs. Say you lose 100 staff, and have to replace them every 12 months: That’s £1,500 x 100 which is £150,000 a year. Some larger care agencies are turning over 400 members of staff a year… That’s an eye-watering £600,000 in staff costs!
Richard Branson’s Virgin has entered the social care market, and you can bet he will do all of the above, right – first time.
With a solid recruitment campaign and a value set that you live by and reinforce on a daily basis, care agencies have the ability to grow and deliver a service that dominates the local market. Naturally, with 14 years of experience working within the sector, we can help you. Call us for a chat about how we can unleash the potential of your brand and grow your business exponentially.