Consistently hire your best care workers

September 30, 2020

Imagine you’ve got a bad headache, so you walk into the nearest pharmacy. There are two packets of painkillers on the shelf.

The first packet says, Fast-acting relief for headaches.

The second packet says, Joint and back pain relief.

Which do you decide to purchase?

I don’t know about you, but I’m going to pick the first packet.

The thing is, both contain the same medication. The reason for choosing the first packet is that it talks to your pain point – solving your headache.

The same is true when candidates are searching for a job. People don’t choose to move to a new company unless they have pain motivating them to do so.

Most of the time, when companies are hiring, they focus on their own pain rather than the candidates’.

Let’s take a typical call-to-action you’ll find in the majority of job descriptions.

‘We’re hiring now.’

You will have seen this many times before, heck; your company may even be doing this right now.

The phrase focusses on the care providers’ immediate need for care staff.

Unfortunately, the immediacy of the language used talks to candidates whose pain is to find employment quickly. We can assume they are either currently out of work or about to leave.

These are called ‘active’ candidates – In some cases, they are active for genuine reasons, perhaps they’re relocating, or looking for work after caring for a relative. Conversely, they may have been recently dismissed from a role or regularly move from one job to another.

Either way, you’re competing against every other care provider ‘Hiring now’.

So what does this have to do with consistently hiring your best care workers?

The answer is simple – To consistently hire our best care workers, we need to find more people like them.

Luckily for us, your best care staff will have many similarities.

You’ve likely seen research conducted within the adult social care industry showing statistics like 83% of care workers are female, with an average age of 44.

This data only scratches the surface – You’ll find your best care staff will share many other characteristics and needs.

In marketing, we call this process market segmentation. To define these segments, we create personas.

The definition of a candidate persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal care worker.

By taking common attributes of your best care workers and applying them to your recruitment marketing strategy, you will be able to find more people exactly like them.

The only way to create accurate personas is to survey your best care workers. This research-driven approach to understanding your ideal candidates will always produce considerably better results than basing them on assumptions.

To reduce friction, I recommend conducting an online survey to make the process easy to complete and repeatable. There are a plethora of online tools to help, but SurveyMonkey is a great place to start.

Your survey should always be anonymous to achieve the most accurate data helping to reduce bias answers skewing our results.

The information we want to uncover is a combination of quantitative and qualitative questions. The main categories we’re investigating are:

Demographics – These are quantitative questions to make sure we’re reaching the right people with maximum efficiency. The key is to find out as much about your best carers as possible to identify trends.

Geographic – If you plot where your best carers live on a map, you will find patterns emerging, for example, a local housing estate.

Focus your recruitment marketing campaign within these areas to significantly improve the effectiveness of the campaign.

Motivations – What pains are you solving for your best carers? Find out what makes your best care staff tick, this will help you to speak directly to the pain points of people just like them.

Why did they choose to work in the care industry? Were they unfulfilled in their previous career?

If they are leaving a role at another care provider, find out why they left. From previous surveys, I’ve found 30.8% left due to lack of respect.

What are their goals? A 50-year-old female care worker’s objectives are going to be very different from a 19-year-old student nurse’s.

Behavioural – What do they do in their spare time, do they attend Church or enjoy art and crafts.

Identifying behavioural aspects can help us to discover alternative ways of reaching our ideal candidate. For example, in surveys I’ve conducted, 35.1% of care workers enjoyed crafts such as knitting and crochet.

How many care workers should you survey?

The answer to this is as many as possible. The more you survey, the more accurate your data is going to be. If you’re a large organisation, then this is going to be easier to achieve. However, if you’re a smaller business, surveying five is better than none.

What you’re looking for are trends and common attributes your best carers share.

You may find multiple trends occurring in your data; in this scenario, you will have more than one persona. A good example is if you are targetting people who have previous experience working in the care industry, and also people new to the industry. Both will have very different motivations for moving jobs.

Now we’ve identified trends; we can create the persona. There are many trains of thought on how to do this. My preferred method is to give them a name and a short biography. I find this method helps to personalise them.

Now you’ve identified trends in your best care staff and created their personas, what next?

To get the kind of accuracy we need to reach our ideal candidates, traditional job boards just won’t cut it.

Fortunately, there is one platform very well suited to doing precisely this, and you’re probably already very familiar with it, Facebook.

You may be thinking at this stage, ‘Hold on – We’ve tried posting jobs on our Facebook page.’ Perhaps you’re using Facebook’s job board.

Facebook’s demographics are perfect for hiring care staff. In the UK, 75% of females use Facebook, and 79% of 30-49-year-olds were on Facebook.

Facebook also collects an alarming amount of data. So you can be incredibly precise with your targeting.

With that said, very few care providers seem to have any success with Facebook advertising.

Most care providers report similar issues to job boards, such as high no-show rates and candidates not meeting basic requirements such as being able to drive.

The reason for this is that they are still trying to target ‘active’ candidates.

Creating a strategy solely for active candidates excludes the other 75% of the market known as ‘passive’ candidates. Passive candidates are currently employed and are not ‘actively’ searching for a job.

Passive candidates are especially attractive in recruitment marketing because they typically have a positive employment history and a low no-show rate, making them a better quality candidate. Competition for passive candidates is also considerably lower in comparison to active candidates found on job boards.

It’s worth noting, as passive candidates aren’t actively looking for a job, they won’t have a CV, so don’t ask for one. They require a soft call-to-action, such as ‘find out more’ or ‘register your interest’ rather than ‘apply now’.

Do you remember the story at the beginning of the article?

Imagine the person in the story with the headache is your ideal candidate. Only this time, their headache is their job – As an example, they feel the care agency they work for doesn’t respect them.

Rather than walking into the nearest pharmacy, they start scrolling through Facebook.

They see two adverts:

The first advert says ‘Get the respect you deserve’, accompanied by a testimonial from an employee describing how they felt unrespected in their previous job. Since joining your care agency, they’re much happier as they are a respected member of the team.

The second advert says ‘We’re hiring now’…

Now imagine you’re the candidate. Which job would you choose?

Is your primary source of care staff through job boards? Are your no-show rates 50% or higher? There’s a better way.

Visit Job boards are dead and find out how you can use marketing to grow your team of care workers.


This is an article by Robert Games, author of ‘Job Boards are Dead’ – A home care provider’s guide to hiring great care workers online


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