Recruitment tips: How to advertise your care vacancy to attract the best carers
January 9, 2020
If you run a social care business, you’ll know that recruiting the right people - and keeping them - can be a challenge. It's often the hardest part in running a home care agency.
The demand for care is high; our ageing population is growing at a phenomenal rate thanks to healthcare innovations and longer life expectancies. Social care, and home care in particular, is growing rapidly in response, but finding people to do the job can prove difficult.
Here at Birdie, we build technology designed to make your care management more efficient and help you improve the quality of your care. We strongly believe that having the right system in place is a great way to make your agency more attractive to potential candidates. But we also know that attracting great care professionals is hard work and goes beyond the care management system you’re using.
We asked our partner agencies which methods they found the most useful for recruiting care staff and compiled them into a handy guide with tips and advice so you can do the same. So, if you've got a role to fill, here are some of the top ways you can advertise it...
Advertising on job boards
The first 70 characters of a job ad are the only things that are shown on an online job board in the search results - so yours needs to be engaging from the first letter. Don't start with the story of your business. Candidates are primarily interested in what appeals to them. What will they get out of the job? What's the benefit? What skills do they need to apply? If you need a specific skill, list it first - this way you’ll get only relevant applications.
How to make your job board adverts stand out
The below ad is a good example of an eye-catching advert as it includes an hourly wage, the areas covered, the recruitment timescale, a company logo and an image that engaging and friendly. Any one interested in the role immediately knows what to expect and can easily apply for the role.
The ad below is a bad example as it is vague, includes no logo and does not display an hourly rate. Whilst the ad mentions joining a friendly team and the option to work as contracted or on call staff, the benefits aren’t immediately visible, and so may get missed when shown next to more eye catching adverts.
Students and recent graduates make excellent candidates for caring roles. As they're relatively new to the career market, an excellent place to find them is at a recruitment fair.
Take a look at the upcoming fairs in your area and apply for a stand or stall. Just remember to make your stand look attractive and highlight the benefits of why a candidate should apply. Consider things like marketing handouts, freebies on the stall and if you can, see if the fair has speaking slots where a member of your team can talk all about a career in caring. thejobfairs.co.uk is a great place to find a recruitment fair near you.
One of the quickest ways to recruit potential care professionals is to get help from staff that already work for you. The care professionals you currently employ are your biggest asset - they can refer people from within their personal circles and can attest to your agency being a great place to work. This is something you are probably already doing, but having a defined and structured process when dealing with employee referee's will really encourage consistent referrals, which is a good addition to any recruitment strategy. Agencies we work with have found this to be a valuable way to encourage and motivate their own care professionals to refer their agency to their wider circle.
You'll have to give your employees some compensation in exchange for them referring candidates to you but employee rewards don't always have to be monetary. They can come in many forms like additional holidays, gift cards or vouchers, the option to swap shifts or anything that you think your employees would actually want. If you’re not sure, ask them!
Why employee referral schemes are your secret weapon
Employees that are referred to your agency are more likely to be reliable and be employed by you for longer. Recruiting care professionals requires a lot of time, money and effort - employee referral schemes helps do some of the legwork for you. As you are recruiting through current employees, you'll attract people who are likeminded and will be a good fit for your care agency. Using a referral scheme for means you'll be able to bypass some stages in your traditional hiring process making the journey from candidate to care professional quicker.
How to implement an employee referral scheme at your agency
1. Decide what the incentive for the scheme will be and when it will be given (make sure you're offering something that you know your employees actually want).
2. Let everyone at your agency know that you have a referral scheme up and running and make it easy for employees to tell their networks about open vacancies. (The best way to do this is via an email or newsletter to all of your staff.)
3. Acknowledge and celebrate those that refer people, even if their referred individual is not successful.
4. Keep the referral program at the heart of your agency. Tell every new member of staff so that you are consistently receiving referrals. You could even make this part of your training and on-boarding process.
Recruiting on Facebook
Even if you’re not a social media pro, recruiting on social media is simple. Start with a great photo - using real people, like your staff is a good idea to kick you off, just make sure you get their permission first. Then, use the job description you're using everywhere else and shorten it a little. Your job board message should highlight things like hourly wage, location and process but you can humanise and make your social messaging a little more fun.Start with the benefits, and draw people in with the reasons they should join your business. You should also use great photography or a video here too, to really capture attention.
For even more tips and advice on recruiting the right staff and a more in depth look at recruiting on social media, download a copy of our free recruitment eBook and discover:
∙ How to define the ideal candidate
∙ How to create a job advert to engage and attract candidates
∙ How to advertise your role on the right platform
∙ How to create and follow a solid recruitment process
∙ How to reduce the risk of no-shows at interviews
∙ How to retain great care professionals once you've hired them