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It’s Cold Outside
There was news in our office this week that failed to surprise me. After a four month long recruitment process, a brand new worker started his shadowing in the community. After one morning of work, the worker contacted the Recruitment team to say the job ‘wasn’t for him’. On further questioning, the individual confided that it was “too cold”. “Sorry- can you repeat that?” “Yes it’s too cold. The weather is getting colder and I didn’t realise I would be walking between my visits”.
Oh deary me. What a waste of everyones time. It’s almost laughable until you consider how often this scenario occurs, and then the realisation of the financial commitment to recruiting and training these individuals starts to dawn on you and suddenly it’s not funny. It’s depressing.
The social care sector regularly takes a public flogging. Bad press seems to attach itself to the industry and very little work is done to promote the sector and the high standards of care being delivered on a daily basis throughout the country.
Homecare is only considered when people need it, which is usually in a crisis. Many people fail to understand the enormous logistical challenges of delivering a service to communities which jars sharply against commissioners rigid service specifications. Just meeting the growing demand for Homecare is a challenge in itself. But the increasing pressure of ensuring an adequate supply of dignified and skilled care workers has mounted to unbearable levels.
Two weeks ago a highly experienced male carer handed in his resignation. After many years of working in the community, the gentleman had decided to apply for a newly built residential home, where the pay was equal to what he was receiving, and yet the benefits of working in one place had helped make his final decision.
The new worker that complained of the cold weather was recruited to cover a particular geographical area where we had experienced a sudden and sharp rise in new referrals. But after hearing the resignation news, we allocated the new worker to cover the existing service users with the intention of minimising the effects on the clients who were losing such a good, experienced and reliable carer. But now we are back to square one.
Can do attitude and a caring nature
We need people with a Can do attitude and a caring nature. People who can adapt better than a chameleon, seamlessly altering their role to each different person as required on any given day. People that can be all things to many people whilst putting their heart into everything they do.
We need to reward, praise and promote these special, caring, dignified people who will care for people whatever the weather.
The question everyone is currently debating is ‘how do we recruit people into the sector?’. The actual question should be ‘How do we recruit the right people’?
Rosie Robinson – QCS Expert Care Contributor