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Recruiting Frontline Care Staff: Why We Can’t Keep Doing What We’ve Always Done – See more at:


As Bill Clinton famously said: “The price of doing the same old thing is far higher than the price of change.” A real truism for social care providers faced with the significant challenge of finding ever increasing numbers of quality staff over the coming years.
A combination of employment pressures such as greater opportunities for the female workforce, increased competition for staff from new providers (and other service sectors) and social services funding cuts have only added to the relentlessly rising demand for quality hands-on carers.
So what to do? Most structural remedies such as professional registration will require governmental or societal changes, unlikely to arrive in time for care providers and their vulnerable clients.
After almost seven years researching recruitment methods used by best care providers around the world, it is clear to me that there are highly effective changes any recruiter can implement; instantly and for very little or no cost.
Here are four of my favourites:
1) Make sure someone in your organisation wakes up every day focused on recruitment
A successful recruitment strategy cannot be undertaken as an afterthought, or when a busy Registered Manager can spare time. The best care providers around the world assign someone to own and oversee the process.
2) Community outreach is essential. Get out of the office!
Many of your best future staff could be sourced from seeking out high potential groups in the community. These people are unaware of how suitable they are for a career in care – and how rewarding it would be for them unless you go and tell them.
The infographic below shows some of the community sources that the best care recruiters in the world have learned are honey-pots of high quality potential recruits.
3) Multiply your recruitment horsepower
It should not be the sole responsibility of your recruiter to shoulder the staffing burden. Any provider can amplify their recruitment effectiveness by enlisting an army of foot-soldiers to search for suitable recruits, such as staff, their families and friends and your clients and their families.
4) Look beyond job experience
There are simply not enough trained and experienced care staff in circulation to satisfy the recruitment needs of today, let alone the next ten years. Also, many of the best and most suitable qualified care workers are committed to their clients and loyal to their company. So providers need to look beyond work experience and qualifications and more to values, personality and attitudes.
What is beyond doubt is that the price of doing the same old thing in care recruitment will very soon become far too high, just as Bill Clinton predicted. Not only for providers but also for society.
The social care recruiters that succeed over the coming years will be those that embrace change. Implementing simple methods such as the four examples above will ensure the price of change is actually encouragingly low.
neil_eastwoodNeil Eastwood is Founder of Sticky People Ltd and a leading authority on social care recruitment and retention practices.

Register today to hear more from Neil Eastwood on Recruitment and Retention within Care at the Care & Dementia Show, 3-4 November 2015.
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