Ben Miller, Registered Manager/Registered Mental Health Nurse at Castleford House Nursing Home, shares his advice for recruitment and retention in social care.
No matter what platform you use to get your social care information, I’m willing to bet that somewhere in there someone is asking for advice about recruitment and retention. It’s the thing everyone is talking about and wants help with.
Recruitment and retention in social care
Here’s the bad news – there isn’t a quick fix. There isn’t anything you can do right this minute that will attract several people to come and work for you. But you can put things in place right now so that in a few weeks, months, years you will be able to not just attract the right candidates, but cherry pick the best ones. I’m speaking from experience.
Recruitment and retention are intrinsically linked. In my opinion, the best way to avoid a recruitment crisis is to not need to recruit in the first place and in order to do that you need to make sure that you’re visible and have a reputation for looking out for and after your team.
Your visibility and reputation
The best way to do this is social media, the second is your local paper. Get the word out there, loudly and proudly, that what you do that sets you apart from all the other workplaces – not just social care, but retail, hospitality and more – in your local area.
Celebrate people getting qualifications. Reward people for going above and beyond. Have the best team party ever. Share positive feedback from customers. Do things for the team “just because”. Enter awards. Don’t be generic about it and certainly don’t do it for the sake of doing it. Make it important and person/team-centred.
Get quotes from team members, customers, relatives, the community and make sure these are shared. If your team do something amazing, for example, helped celebrated two residents 65th wedding anniversary, put it on Facebook and also write an article and submit it to your local paper. Involve the community and let them know that this is the place to work because it’s fun, exciting, rewarding and fulfilling.
Supercharge your job adverts
And make sure that this noted in your job adverts. Be innovative, don’t be generic. Do your research – there are so many resources you can use to help you develop adverts that can attract people.
Ask your team why they work for you, ask people you’re interviewing why they applied for your role, ask the community what would make them come and work for you and adhere to that feedback.
Don’t stick to one platform, utilise them all – various social media, local papers, Indeed and job websites, Government website, job centre and lots more. Your local council will also run recruitment initiatives to support social care, so get in touch with them and work with them to get involved.
Whilst you’re doing that, get involved in their wellbeing initiatives so that your team can have access to better resources to improve their physical and mental wellbeing, making them happier and, potentially, improving their happiness and standards in work.
The key to successful recruitment and retention is to go out there and implement ways to combat the issue, not sit back and complain and hope for things to resolve themselves.
Ben Miller is the Registered Manager/Registered Mental Health Nurse at Castleford House Nursing Home. Ben has been working in social care for almost two decades and is proud to be part of the team receiving outstanding recognition for the service Castleford House delivers:
- Castleford House rated overall Outstanding by CQC June 2019 (previously Good)
- Castleford House wins “Healthy Workplaces Gloucestershire Foundation” award and Caring UK “Activities Team of the Year 2021” award in the same night, December 2021
- Castleford House wins highly commended “Best for Recruitment and Retention” award at Care Home awards July 2022