Local authorities need to develop more flexible pay and reward packages for social workers in order to compete for staff in the current job market, recruitment experts have warned.
Research by resourcing and engagement consultancy TMP Worldwide has identified the key drivers in attracting and retaining both adult and children’s social workers.
The report recommends that employers should be more creative in the way they design their rewards packages. In practice, this might mean:
• Allowing individuals to give up some elements of their package, such as holidays, to receive more pay;
• Using pay as a performance inducement;
• Continually monitoring and benchmarking pay and rewards against other authorities within an hour’s drive time.
The research, which was based on a survey completed by 769 Community Care readers, looked at how social workers perceive their employers, what rewards attract them to the job and what would persuade them to move to another organisation.
It found that employers are generally meeting children’s social workers’ expectations, although there is “room for improvement in terms of flexible working, holiday entitlement, administrative support and pay”.
However, the picture was “markedly different” for adult social workers, who feel less valued and poorly reward for the quality of work they deliver.
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