Recruitment in the social care sector is more challenging today than it has ever been. Social Care has to compete on many fronts and the pipeline for new carers is not looking great. The recent headline about ploughing money into social care was warmly received until we read that only a small proportion would be going into social care, with the NHS taking the lions share. Professor Martin Green of Care England commented that the government treated social care “like the child they are irritated with” while the NHS was “the favoured child”
This is nothing new but the impact in the current climate is that the NHS are recruiting hard. Providers of social care find that they are unable to compete with the pay and benefits afforded by the NHS, or indeed Local Authorities who themselves increasingly provide social care services. (It is important to note that Local Authority care services cost the public purse significantly more than services from private providers. The prospect of social care being nationalised is not a financially attractive one).
If the pandemic has taught us anything it is that social care and the NHS are inextricably linked. Taking jobs from social care into the NHS adds more pressure on the NHS.
So, we have an increasing demand for care and a reduction in the supply of carers. Is this a blip or is it structural? There is no doubt that pushing carers into vaccinations is having a negative impact on staff retention. However, less than a year ago, social care providers based around the c4b office didn’t have enough work for their carers so I’m going to take the optimistic view that we need short term answers in this blog.
So, what can we do about it in the short term? How do we provide the level of care that our clients deserve over the coming weeks and months? Without a fresh supply of carers entering the industry, we are competing for a diminishing pool of carers. The hard fact is that you are in competition with every social care provider in your area. In reality, it’s even more competitive as social care pay is often lower than many unskilled jobs in your area. Luckily, good carers love what they do and pay is not always a factor.
My first recommendation seems obvious. Retain the carers that you already have. Pay the best rates and benefits in your area; provide opportunities for progression (a career lasts longer than a job); make the job enjoyable and promote, promote, promote (in a marketing sense). You need your enterprise to be a place where people want to work and are proud to tell other people about. Social Care staff are under-valued and under-paid…. but that’s another blog!
Less obvious are the practicalities of recruitment. Getting ahead of the competition requires something different.
For many of us, job sites are a permanent monthly subscription – check.
Careers page on the website – check.
Social media – check
Open days – ?
Referral incentives – ?
Local paper – ?
Consider the ‘customer journey’ for a carer looking for a job. Let’s assume they are new to the area, have no recommendations from friends and family but want to work locally. They search for care jobs on the internet, they ignore the ads and the job sites and they identify who operates in their area. They see 4 care homes and 3 domiciliary care agencies. They take a look. First site looks a bit rubbish, move on. Second site, no careers page and no Call to Action for job applications, move on. Third site, (and here is the sales pitch) …a chat box pops up and asks if they need assistance. They engage, answer a few questions and get passed through to the recruiter who agrees a date and time for an interview.
Since the beginning of this year, 37% of all engagements with our chat service are care staff looking for work. (52% are for admission enquiries).
Our service engages immediately with a website visitor, qualifies their details and experience and invites your recruitment team to join the chat. This is followed up with a branded email and chat transcript.
One of the unique functions of C4B Connect is that we invite your sales team to engage with the website visitor whilst they are chatting. If your sales team engage at that time, the success rate goes from just over 40% for a traditional web chat enquiry to 75% for a C4B Connect enquiry.
Looking to implement chat onto your website but not sure where to start? Launch a chat now to speak with a member of our team or contact us here.
C4B – We Power Chat that Drives Sales