Flipping the face of recruitment

18 December 2018

Flipping the face of recruitment

The challenge

The state of the adult social care sector and workforce in England September 2018 report, has published its findings on the current staffing and recruitment challenges across the country.

The staff turnover rate was 30.7%, equivalent to around 390,000 leavers in the previous 12 months.

The vacancy rate was 8.0%, equivalent to around 110,000 vacancies at any given time. The majority of these vacancies (76,000) were care workers.

The Skills for Care retention and recruitment strategy states that health care companies need to look at diversifying their workforce and look to transform the face or social care, to attract new employees. However capturing these staff and retaining them is still challenge for most care companies with a 31% retention rate on average.

The solution

Flexicare at Home is a family run business based in West Yorkshire, specialising in practical care and emotional support services in the comfort of a client’s home. Their current retention of staff is excellent with a low absence rate. Currently employing around 70 staff the company is growing and recruitment is imperative to support business growth. 

Over the past 7 years Flexicare have had challenges in recruiting new carers. This is due to a number of reasons; the main barriers have been a negative perception of care work and what it entails and lack of a driving licence (which is essential to be in the home care team).

From the last six months however the company has adapted the way in which they look to recruit and are focussed on changing the perceptions of a career in care. By doing this job enquiries into jobs have increased massively.

Flexicare at Home has an excellent retention strategy of staff. To ensure they are capturing the right people the company focusses on:

-Improving public awareness;

-Clear explanation of what’s expected in a social care career;

-Selling how worthwhile and rewarding a career in social care is;

-Selling the longevity of a career in care and the progression routes people can follow;

-The importance and acceptance of training and personal development;

-Promoting company values and ethos using current staff via word of mouth

As long as an individual is caring, reliable, motivated, empathetic and compassionate the company will work with them to become excellent qualified carers.

Once Flexicare at Home has recruited an employee, they work hard to ensure the new recruit is happy and feels supported.

1. Each employee has a company induction before they start employment. This ensures the employee understands the company’s values and ethos.

2. Full training is provided and tailored to a number of different learning styles and innovative in delivery. The training is excellent and includes 6 full days classroom-delivered, a number of supplementary online courses and additional practical training courses, such as catheter care. 

3. Recruits are introduced to their clients, shadow each of their clients’ visit types and are supported until they feel and are competent in their role. 

4. Clients are introduced to a small team of carers. Recruits are matched to clients based on personality, interests and availability. This helps build a positive relationship and continuity of care, essential for the well-being of both client and carer.

5. Every employee, including directors and office-based staff, provide care directly.  This gives management a better hands-on knowledge and appreciation of the work the carers do, and facilitates their supportive role. Flexicare at Home have therefore formed a cohesive team environment without a barrier of hierarchal status.

6. Every employee has the opportunity to gain level 2 and 3 qualifications in Health & Social Care, and management are encouraged to complete level 5-7 qualifications.

Carers looking to progress are offered further in-depth training towards becoming care-coordinators

These efforts to support staff have supported employee retention rates and the company’s growth. Existing employees have started to refer people to the company via word of mouth as their experience and the benefits included in the job are really positive. 

Stephen Forster HR Manager at Flexicare comments

‘’We have a real family ethos at Flexicare, our staff enjoy the flexibility of the role and everyone who is here is in the industry because they want to make a difference and help people. Recruitment has improved over the past six months immensely, and this is due to good communication, looking after our current staff and re-evaluating how we sell a career in care.

Qualifications in health and social care are not essential as people receive full training and can learn further on the job whilst receiving full support.  We are constantly recruiting as the demand for our services is always high.”

If you would like to look at other ways to improve your recruitment process our Works Better job connector.

Works Better is part funded through the European Social Fund and delivered through a collaboration of six partners (Kirklees Council, Fusion Housing and Paddock Community Trust, Calderdale Council, Newground, Wakefield Council and Groundwork) across Kirklees, Calderdale and Wakefield.