As the demand for care at home grows, so does the need to recruit and retain committed and skilled care workers. But according to the latest data from Skills for Care:
- Approximately 430,000 care workers leave their job every year
- There are around 112,000 vacancies in care at any one time
This paints a stark picture for the care sector, highlighting the struggles that providers face in recruiting and retaining the right employees. It comes as no surprise therefore that care providers are exploring what they can do to attract and hold on to good people. Alongside organisational culture, workplace wellbeing and benefits packages, technology can play a supportive role in developing an outstanding workforce
Recruiting the right people
Using an applicant tracking system can help to take some of the pain out of recruitment – reducing admin and standardising processes so that hiring is fair and transparent.
IQ:careplanner from Unique IQ has a 5 stage online application form to ensure that candidates are pre-qualified and relevant to the roles a care organisation is advertising. Those applications are saved within a central database so that anyone involved in the recruitment process can view them, rather than emailing or printing CVs. And should a candidate be successful, their details will automatically create a new staff record, without the need for retyping.
The first few weeks in any role are particularly important to ensure new starters understand the culture, vision and values of the organisation. It’s important to provide a thorough induction, so that new recruits feel fully supported from day one.
Using the simple scheduling tools in IQ:careplanner, care managers can easily create a roster for new employees – using carer matching to ensure they are scheduling people with the right skills to the right clients. They can also arrange shadowing visits with more experienced carers (doubling up care visits) – and use the scheduling tools to identify members of the existing team that may have free time to offer peer support.
Learning and development
Providing employees with the opportunity for personal or professional growth is an important factor that can contribute to staff retention. With IQ:careplanner, alerts can be set to ensure that all employees have up-to-date qualifications, with notifications to remind line managers when any are soon to expire.
Alongside this, Unique IQ has recently partnered with My Learning Cloud so that care organisations can fully digitise learning and development. For example, individual learning paths are created in My Learning Cloud’s elearning system, based on job titles or roles within IQ:careplanner. And once a care worker embarks on a course, their progress is passed back to IQ:careplanner’s HR dashboard. The partnership also has the potential to offer a new level of insight from a workforce management perspective – with the ability to spot patterns in staff engagement and performance.
Safety and Wellbeing
Putting technology into the hands of care workers is an important way of keeping them safe. By using a mobile app to clock in and out of visits, a timestamp and GPS location can be pushed instantly to a central monitoring system, giving reassurance that carers are where they should be. In IQ:timecard from Unique IQ, care managers can view a team’s last known location on a map at any time, using data pushed from carers’ mobile devices.
Many workforce management systems also have in-built alerting functionality, which sends text or email alerts if a carer fails to clock in or out, or does this outside of an expected timeframe. Care managers can therefore respond quickly if a carer fails to show, giving the employee reassurance that someone is looking out for their welfare.
For more information about how technology can support the recruitment and retention of an outstanding care workforce, please visit www.uniqueiq.co.uk.
By Unique IQ
It’s not about software, it’s about care