The powerbase in social care recruitment has changed. Nowadays candidates are spoilt for choice, not just with care providers clamouring for their signature, but also employers offering substitute occupations, like retail and hospitality, actively targeting the same job-seekers.
Care providers now need to sell both the role and their organisation and ensure the applicant’s experience of applying isn’t turning them away. This is where marketing comes in. Marketing disciplines and processes help social care recruiters in three important ways:
- They help us appeal to our target audiences by helping us understand their needs and expectations.
- They increase success rates by enhancing the candidate experience.
- They grow our reputation by building our local employer brand.
I always recommend putting yourself in the position of a potential applicant. Does the job advert sound appealing to your target audience? Are we speaking to their needs? Will it encourage action? Frankly, do you even get their attention in the first place? A cold, hard look at how appealing your proposition is will always yield benefits.
Then, imagine how many times as an active job seeker you will be asked for the same personal information. Much of it is on your CV, which you have already uploaded. You are going to get data submission fatigue quickly. Many employers ask for far too much information too early in the process, so applicants drop out. Care providers do need to put some early hurdles in the way to filter out time-wasters, but making the application form excruciating is not the hurdle I have in mind. Seeing applicants as customers can shine a bright light on poor or off-putting application processes.
That brings us to managing our local brand and aiming to be seen as an employer of choice. Yet again marketing is on hand to help.
As care providers, we operate and recruit, in the most part, locally. In the community around our setting, word about us gets around fast amongst applicants, staff, ex-staff and their networks. The smartphones which our employees carry mean it is now very easy to leave negative reviews online about an employer, which many prospective applicants will see for months and years to come. So, your organisation will likely have a local reputation already. By using common marketing techniques, you can both raise awareness and project a positive image.
As recruiting a quality workforce gets harder, we need all the help we can get and becoming a student of marketing could be a very smart move indeed.
Interested to learn more? My new best-selling book, Saving Social Care, available on Amazon, is a great place to start.