Are you clear on what your ideal care worker looks like? Here’s why you should be

Dementia Care
August 3, 2017

Many care recruiters measure their performance by the volume of applications they receive or whether they have filled all the available places on the upcoming induction course.

But success in social care recruitment isn’t about maximising the number of applicants or running packed training courses. Rather it should be measured by how many of those candidates go on to become successful employees, happy in their role and staying with you at least 12 months. In other words – which applicants are most likely to succeed and how can we find more of them? If we don’t have crystal clear target ideal staff profiles in mind, then how can we find more of the same?

The exact profiles you seek are hidden in plain sight

Fortunately, if you are an established care provider with an existing workforce, you will already have members of staff whom your organisation considers high performers and ‘stayers’. Right under your nose. So, a great starting point is to identify them and understand as much about them as you can – what values and behaviours do they display? How did they hear about care work and your organisation?

Why not ask them, ‘How can we find more people like you?’

Time spent talking to your staff is extremely valuable: are there any common themes amongst them, for example, previous experience of caring, similar life stages, interests? Perhaps they live in the same areas. You also might find it instructive to talk to the poorer performing staff members and see if there are patterns that emerge that could influence where you avoid sourcing staff from in future, for example.

Building your blueprint

Sometimes the characteristics that emerge are easier to use as a blueprint for finding new staff than others. For example, if you identify that those with family caring experience feature, then an outreach strategy to engage with carers is a great step. In other cases, it may be a set of values or personality traits that stands out. In this case, a more values-based recruitment approach perhaps including the use of a personality-screening tool can help spot high potential applicants.

Just by going through the process of asking yourself what makes an ideal frontline worker gives you fresh focus and a benchmark to compare all applicants with. Without a target to aim for, unsuitable people get hired, staff turnover creeps up and care quality deteriorates.

Interested to learn more? My new best-selling book, Saving Social Care, available on Amazon, is a great place to start.

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Neil Eastwood

Author and Recruitment Specialist

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