Recruiting care workers: 4 tips for hiring the right people

To secure staff with the right skills and personality, employers should be specific with their job ads, make use of personality tests, use standardised interview questions and check out new care workers are settling in

Care worker and older woman
Copyright: iStocck

The care industry has a recruitment challenge. A 2018 King’s Fund report stated that “securing (an) adequate workforce is one of the greatest challenges facing domiciliary care”.

The whole care industry is struggling to find staff with the right mix of skill and personality. Fairly low-entry requirements tend towards large numbers of applicants that often lack the right personality for the work.

We’ve put together some suggestions to help attract the right candidates for the job:

  1. Advertising. It’s worth clearly defining your values and the requirements you have for a candidate and weaving this into your advertising approach. You should aim to include these values and personal attributes in your job adverts, thinking about your use of language and tone. Your values should be apparent when reading the description, and the personal qualities you want from people should be obvious – if you need ‘empathy’ or ‘resilience’, make sure to say so. If you project the reality of what the job really involves, it can help discourage applications from people that don’t fit the bill.
  2. Screening. As it’s likely that you’ll still have an abundance of applicants, screening can help to narrow things down further. A good tip for the initial stages following an application would be to use personality tests, giving applicants a chance to fill out a quick questionnaire. Tests such as the very widely used ‘five factor model of personality’ can help to shed more light on the kinds of people that your applicants are.
  3. Interviews. Standardised interview questions to further qualify candidates offer advantages over taking a less-structured approach. Competency based questions rooted firmly in day-to-day care duties allow you to ask candidates how they would respond in real world situations within a care context. Making your questions as uniform as possible helps you score people more objectively.
  4. Monitoring. Post-hire, it’s important to monitor how newly hired staff are feeling and how satisfied they are in their role. The use of anonymous feedback gives staff an opportunity to say what they really feel, and if you make a commitment to act on this feedback, this can help to amend problems before they grow to the point that people start thinking of looking elsewhere for work.

For more information of practical ways to improve your retention, including checklists to work through, check out our free guide today.

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