Employers must compete to recruit and retain staff

Employers must collaborate to improve the recruitment and retention
of staff, according to speakers at a session at Community
Live Scotland on the social care workforce,
writes Keith Sellick.

Social care employers were in competition for staff with other
sectors such as supermarkets and call centres.

“If we lose a member of staff we joke that they have gone
to Tescos. But in most cases they have gone to supermarkets,”
said Clare Smith, human resources director for charity Leonard

Smith said that private and voluntary sector employers
identified inadequate fees as a major barrier to paying staff
adequate wages.

Carole Wilkinson, chief executive of the Scottish Social
Services Council, agreed that social care was competing with other
industries for staff and called for employers, colleges, funders
and sector skills councils to collaborate and influence the
development of training and recruitment initiatives.

Val Lockhart, HR director at Castlehill Housing Association,
said that: “local providers should get together to provide
level playing field.” Local collaboration should focus on
workforce development, leadership and resources, she added.

Edinburgh councillor Kingsley Thomas said that the council had
revamped its recruitment process and increased by 10 per cent the
numbers of its home care staff from just fewer than 1,000 in the
last six months of 2003.

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