With a disappointingly high number of job vacancies available, employers in the care sector are struggling to attract the right talent, but a targeted recruitment strategy can get your recruitment efforts back on track.

Here are six top tips for care providers:

1. Widen out the pool of potential candidates

In order to get a diverse and talented group of applicants, it’s important that you do not restrict who will apply by ensuring you take your time when drafting the job advert.

Make sure that all your job adverts are inclusive, so do not use gender-specific terms. Although the majority of people who occupy care roles are women, there is no reason you should exclude men.

You can consider taking positive action to encourage applications from people with certain characteristics because they are under-represented or at a disadvantage in the workplace or at certain job levels. For instance, you could offer a guaranteed interview scheme to disabled applicants who meet the job role’s requirements. It’s essential to place a focus on attracting applicants that are not typically drawn to the care sector, such as international employees and young employees.

You should also make sure that you place the advert on a variety of platforms to reach the widest audience possible, so for example, avoid just putting in woman’s magazines.

2. Broaden your network

Consider partnerships in the local area (for example, local job centres) and foster links with the local community (for instance, schools and colleges). This can be a very useful source of finding recruits.

3. Offer apprenticeships

Apprenticeships are a fantastic way to get skilled employees. As apprentices learn their craft on the job, they understand how you work, can be moulded to fit your style of working and become a great investment. With the appropriate support from you, they can work their way up to more senior positions.

4. Think about rewards

Employers often think employees only care about pay, but employees also consider employee benefits important, for example, you could consider whether you could offer free meals, discounts on gym membership, options to buy annual leave or child care vouchers. None of these have to break the bank, but they can be highly attractive to a prospective employee.

You can also think about flexible working. This is highly valued by job applicants, so consider how you can balance different working arrangements and the demands of your care services.

Also, remember that you should recognise staff achievements. If applicants see that you do celebrate employees’ successes, they will feel more encouraged to apply for the role.

5. Give training opportunities

If you offer training, are committed to supporting professional development and give employees the chance to gain qualifications, this will be highly appealing to an applicant.

6. Rethink your selection processes

It is not enough to just attract people; you need to make sure that they fit the bill.

Rather than grilling job applicants on just their skills, qualifications and experience, you should also think about behaviours and values. Carrying out pre-interview selection tests can help you gauge their suitability for their role, for example, you can see if they are reliable, possess the resilience needed for care work and have a positive attitude. You could also consider running taster sessions to see them in action and how they would cope with the challenges thrown at them.

Retention is a key challenge for all care providers, but you can discuss your requirements with the Care Team who can give you tailored advice and support.

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