People in healthcare series
Recruitment remains a significant struggle for health and care providers across the UK. The healthcare industry faces some of the same challenges as many other high-growth industries that are desperate for talent, such as technology, mobile platforms, construction, and social media. These include:
- Too much noise in the market, making it difficult to grab a candidate’s attention
- Suitable candidates fielding multiple offers at once
- Shortage of the skills your business requires
- Difficulty assessing a candidate’s skills
- There aren’t enough hours in the day.
There are also challenges that are unique to the healthcare industry. Advancements in medicine and technology are allowing people to live longer than ever before. Demand for healthcare is rising in terms of both volume and duration, but many businesses are not in the financial position to hire the number of people they need.
New challenges like BREXIT and the falling pound are making the UK’s care sector less appealing to EU citizens. The pandemic has exacerbated some of social care’s existing problems, with one survey showing a third of social workers considering leaving the industry due to the overwhelming challenges they face.
It is now more important than ever for healthcare providers to revisit their recruitment strategy and elevate their efforts to recruit the best talent.
Here are five ways to refresh your recruitment strategy - helping your healthcare business stand out and attract the best candidates.
1. Review your job descriptions and person specifications
In a recent Skills for Care study, just a third of employers confirmed they had reviewed their job descriptions and personal specifications in the last 12 months. Following BREXIT, it makes sense to target a more diverse pool of jobseekers. Review your ads to ensure they:
- Don’t discriminate against any group of (potential) employees
- Promote a values and behaviours based approach
Are jargon free
- Are clear and concise about key elements of the role
- Don’t include criteria that aren't relevant to the role.
2. Sing the benefits of working for your organisation
It’s important to be honest about the role and responsibilities. However, you are also competing with other care providers and industries for candidates so you need to paint a picture of why they should work for you. Consider what might motivate someone to apply, common benefits include:
- Investment in staff development
- Flexible working patterns
- Paying the national living wage, or more
- Organisational culture
- Volunteering opportunities
- Employee benefits.
Pay is important, especially when you’re competing with other growing industries. However, salary is not the only factor in a reward package. Employee benefits are a cost-effective way to improve the perceived value of your offer without increasing salary. There are options for all budgets – and benefits like a healthcare cash plan, cycle-to-work scheme or life insurance improve your attractiveness as an employer. Employee benefits also help to engage your current employees and improve their wellbeing.
3. Simplify your application process
Research shows the need to support applicants during their job search. Introduce shorter, mobile-friendly online forms and remember to promote via traditional channels too. Encourage interest from a diverse mix of applicants by inviting applications across a variety of channels:
- Ask existing employees to refer a friend for the position
- Post the ad on your website or online job site
- Print an ad in the local newspaper
- Put up signage at your premises or posters in the local community
- Post the ad on social media or elsewhere online.
Localising recruitment can allow you to reach an offline audience, but can also play a role in staff retention. Research shows that workers that travel further are more likely to leave their role.
4. Introduce values-based interviews
Evidence shows that the introduction of values-based interviews could support some candidates - men are a good example of this. The values and attitudes of staff can have the greatest impact on the quality of patient care and the patient experience. Instead of basing interviews purely on previous experience and role competencies, try to learn about a person’s “core values” and why they might be suitable for a career in care.
5. Seek out the carers in your community
It can be difficult to ensure you’re hiring the right people for your organisation. Going the extra mile during the recruitment process can help retain staff in the long-run. There are a number of things you can try, including:
- Offering work experience, visits or a trial shift
- Pre-interview assessments
- Pre-employment training
- Approach apprenticeship agencies or learning providers for entry level positions
- Provide information on becoming a care worker.
The best recruitment strategies combine a number of important factors. Whilst pay is important, candidates are also looking for organisations that promote a positive culture that supports and values staff. If you’re looking for a competitive edge, employee benefits are a cost-effective option. There are options for all budgets – speak to our health and care team today for more information.
6, 10 https://www.skillsforcare.org.uk/adult-social-care-workforce-data/Workforce-intelligence/documents/State-of-the-adult-social-care-sector/The-state-of-the-adult-social-care-sector-and-workforce-2020.pdf
7, 8, 13, 14 https://www.skillsforcare.org.uk/Documents/Recruitment-and-retention/Secrets-of-success/Recruitment-and-retention-secrets-of-success-report.pdf
9, 12 https://www.carehomeprofessional.com/top-5-tips-developing-recruitment-strategy-care-home-business/