According to social care experts Skills for Care Workforce Intelligence, there are around 1.65 million jobs in UK adult social care. Of these, 1.54 million are based in local authorities, independent sector providers and working for direct payment recipients.
Filling these jobs with the right people is crucial for the welfare of those they look after. It is also essential for the future of the organisations they work for. This is why it is so important that a care home manager knows how to recruit care home workers properly. Residential care and other care sectors should choose proper care home workers who are qualified enough to provide good care to the older people and also are good in aspects of health and social care.
Hiring the right people
Care home workers work in care home, in community or even at person’s own home. As with any business task involving people, there are many aspects to consider. For instance, care home workers must have the right attitude, skills and personality. The pay package they are offered must match the available budget. All legalities must be in place and suitable training and support offered. If you can get all of the above right, you will be rewarded with competent, loyal and happy care home workers. Here are some things you should do – and a few that you shouldn’t – when you recruit care home workers.
· Be specific in your requirements
You cannot expect to recruit care home workers matching your needs if you don’t state what you want in your advertising. For instance, do you need people with certain care qualifications? Perhaps they need to be able to drive or speak multiple languages to communicate with residents. You cannot complain if they arrive without these skills if you don’t ask for them in the first place. Make your advertising clear and concise to avoid any misunderstandings. That said, though, make sure your advertisements are legal and do not discriminate.
· Attract top talent
Think about why care home workers would want to work for you. What can you offer them? You will attract the better candidates if you can offer an attractive proposition for them to join you. This includes competitive salary or wages, reasonable working hours, training and other additional benefits. It also helps to be a great place to work with a good reputation for quality care. People like to be associated with successful organisations, so make sure you ‘sell’ yourself in your recruitment advertising.
· Check things out
It can hardly be front-page news that not everyone is 100% honest in their job application letters and CVs. So, it is important to check out any claims made by your preferred candidates and not just take them at their word. For instance, do they really have the qualifications they are claiming? Follow up on previous employment
references. Check that they hold the relevant insurance and have a driving licence if required. Always do a thorough DBS check because they will be working with vulnerable people.
· Personality matters
What a person is like is just as important as what they can do when it comes to care work. Probably more important, as residents must feel comfortable in their presence. Always meet potential employees in person, or at the very least over a zoom or other video conferencing meeting. Ask previous employers about their personality as well as their competence. You can get online personality screening tools to help you assess if they will be a good fit for you or not. If the candidate is genuine and experienced in the sector, they should be happy to oblige.
· Respect all applicants
It should go without saying that it is vital when you recruit care home workers that you do not discriminate against anyone. You should never make anyone feel uncomfortable during the process, even if you do not ultimately plan to hire them. All applications must be given fair and equal consideration.
This is regardless of gender, ethnicity, age and any other consideration or background. Applicants who have a disability must be given suitable adjustments to enable them to interview on an equal basis. Treat all candidates kindly and respectfully. You never know when your paths may cross again one day.
· Involve your residents
Anyone you hire as a care home worker will be in direct contact with your residents and other care home staff.. So, it is not only courteous, but also very wise to involve them in the decision making. A couple of trusted residents could attend the interview to ask questions from their perspective. Or have the candidates meet and chat to residents as part of the recruitment process. You could even ask people to run an entertainment or health-related session to see how they interact. Ask residents for their views after the candidate has finished and left the premises.
· Support new hires
Once your new care home workers are in position, keep a close eye on them to make sure they are settling in ok. If they feel happy and supported, they are likely to stay longer in the job and provide service to care home residents. They are also more likely to go the extra mile and put effort in to do their job really well. Meet with them regularly to assess their progress. Organise any training they or you identify that would help them move to the next level in the care profession. Invest in decent care home management software to keep on top of issues like payroll, hours worked and employee expenses.