Advanced Software (return to the homepage)
5 Tips for Successful Staff Recruitment in Social Care
Blog //27-09-2023

5 Tips for Successful Staff Recruitment in Social Care

by Health and Care, OneAdvanced Public Sector

There are 1.79 million posts in adult social care. However, around 152,000 of these positions are currently vacant, according to Skills for Care.

A successful recruitment strategy is becoming increasingly important to care providers like yours to establish a valued and stable team to care for the growing number of clients requiring social care support.

The adult social care workforce has also been predicted to increase by almost half a million by 2035. So, what can your care organisation do to develop a stronger recruitment process for these growing needs?

In this article, we’ll be having a look at some top tips for improving staff recruitment in social care.

Top five tips for staff recruitment in social care

1. Develop a written recruitment plan

46 per cent of care providers do not have a recruitment plan. Yet, a recruitment plan enables a strategic and proactive approach to the process, rather than reactive. And the initial outline doesn’t need to be long; it just needs to include the core priorities you need for recruiting into your service.

As part of developing your recruitment plan, you might want to conduct some retention interviews with your current talent, so you can learn how they came to be with your service and what encourages them to stay.

You may also want to understand your area demographics, such as travel options and how to best advertise to your applicants. Are you located with lots or little public transport options? Are people applying through specific recruitment sites more than others? This can help you to decide how to start tacking your recruitment process.

It is also helpful to measure cycle and conversion rates so you can determine where your successes are (so you can keep doing it), and areas of the process you can improve or streamline to help prevent applicant attrition.

2. Refresh job descriptions

Are your job descriptions accurate to your current service needs? You may want to do some market research, looking on job boards for similar descriptions to the roles you are advertising.

And try not to use too much jargon. 56 per cent of the adult social care workforce join without having any relevant social care qualifications. Therefore, we can assume that some applicants for roles such as administration, will most likely pick up on the jargon during their employment so try not to put them off with complex terminology before they’ve even applied.

Don’t forget to keep your job descriptions person-centred to bring the job to life. Keep it transparent and to give applicants an accurate picture of what they are likely to expect in the role, so they are not taken off guard by a role they weren’t prepared for.

3. Promote your wider benefits

Remember to promote your organisations’ unique selling points and wider benefits. Have you got any incentives that can attract people to you rather than to another opportunity?

You could use your retention interviews mentioned previously to ask your current employees what benefits they appreciate, or what they would like to see from your service.

And these benefits may be something beyond salary, as it can be difficult to incentivise social care applicants using that angle. For example, someone working for the NHS could earn up to £8,000 more per year compared to doing a similar role in social care.

You may, therefore, want to think about including other advantages such as employee development initiatives, training courses, flexible working hours depending on demographic (e.g. working around the school run), rotational roles that allow staff develop news skills or promoting your service culture and values.

4. Target career empowerment

Your service may struggle during the recruitment process because of a particular perception of working in social care. A government survey published in June 2022 found that, ‘employers interviewed said that care work was undervalued compared to other sectors....’ but just as skilled.

You may want to try to tackle stigma around working in social care and encourage positivity about career progression as applicants may not know just how rewarding it can be working in the sector.  

Research by Randstad found that only 34 per cent of social care staff are happy with their career prospects. Perhaps think about how you progressed into your position, or the career developments your current staff have experienced and use this to attract new applicants into your service.

You may also want to consider that the average age of social care employees in 2021/22 is around 44 years old, with 82 per cent of all adult social care roles filled by women. Therefore, you may want to try to attract a more diverse workforce into your organisation and widen that recruitment pool by investing in apprenticeships or using representative imagery on your website.

5. Remove recruitment obstacles

Some care providers have rigid entry requirements and recruitment barriers in place, which could be removed or streamlined. Care providers with faster, slicker processes can out-perform others who have retained rigid policies.

To reduce time-consuming processes, try asking for what you need at the time you need it, rather than requesting applicants to fill out lengthy forms that include their entire employment history. Software solutions may even offer you advanced visibility so you can keep track of your applicants, reaching out them in the future when you need to scale up your workforce.

And don’t forget to use your recruitment plan to outline the key things you need from your applicants, such as mandatory requirements and working availability, to ensure that you are covering the key priorities right from the start of the recruitment process.

How can software help social care providers boost their recruitment process?

Care business management software solutions can give your organisation vital tools to put recruitment plans in action before you even need it, all whilst having consistent visibility and control over how these choices are impacting the success of your service.

Take a look at our care business management solution Care Cloud to find out exactly how it can enhance your care and recruitment processes.

Next Steps

For more ideas, watch our video-on-demand on staff recruitment which features 12 top tips: Recruitment Top Tips for the Care Sector

Blog Social Care Advanced Care Cloud
Health and Care

Health and Care


OneAdvanced Public Sector

Read published articles