March 20, 2024

Why you can't recruit the best employees: A guide for UK homecare businesses

Table of contents

Why you can't recruit the best employees: A guide for UK homecare businesses

Recruiting and retaining the best care professionals is an ongoing challenge for businesses within the care sector. As the heart and soul of your business, your care professionals play a vital role in delivering high-quality care to your care recipients, without them, the business cannot function. However, attracting and retaining top talent in this industry requires a strategic approach. This article will delve into five essential strategies to overcome recruitment hurdles and secure the best employees for your domiciliary care business.

Before diving into the strategies that can help your domiciliary care business overcome these recruitment challenges, it's crucial to understand the key issues that employees in the care sector face. These challenges not only impact their job satisfaction but also influence their decision to stay with or leave an employer. Here are some of the pressing issues that care professionals encounter in their day-to-day roles:

  1. Low Wages: Many care professionals in the UK are faced with low wages that often do not reflect the demanding and vital nature of their work. This not only affects their financial stability but can also lead to feelings of undervaluation.
  2. High Workloads: Care professionals often have heavy workloads, requiring them to provide care to multiple care recipients in a single shift. This can lead to stress and burnout, affecting both their well-being and the quality of care they deliver.
  3. Lack of Career Progression: The care sector has historically been viewed as offering limited opportunities for career progression. Care professionals may feel stagnant in their roles, leading to frustration and a desire for new challenges.
  4. Inadequate Training: Insufficient training and development opportunities can hinder care professionals from acquiring the skills necessary to excel in their roles. This not only affects their confidence but can also impact the quality of care they provide.
  5. Emotional and Physical Strain: Providing care often involves emotionally taxing situations, and care professionals may not receive adequate support to cope with these challenges. The physical demands of the job can also take a toll on their well-being.
  6. Unsociable Hours: Many care professionals are required to work unsociable hours, including evenings and weekends. This can disrupt their work-life balance and affect their personal lives.

Understanding these key issues is essential in crafting a strategy to attract and retain the best care professionals, if you don’t have a plan you could risk losing team members and struggle hiring talent.

By addressing these challenges and providing solutions,  domiciliary care businesses can create an environment that not only attracts top talent but also keeps them motivated and committed to delivering exceptional care. This article will explore actionable steps that can help businesses navigate these hurdles and emerge as the preferred choice for care professionals in the competitive UK domiciliary care sector.

1. Crafting an attractive employer brand

Building a reputation that attracts top talent

When it comes to recruiting the best care professionals, reputation matters. Your employer brand is the first impression potential employees get of your domiciliary care business. Care professionals seek employers who value their contributions and provide a supportive, nurturing environment. Embracing digital tools to showcase your employer brand online can significantly impact your ability to attract top talent.

Actionable Point: Invest in a user-friendly website and active social media presence. The care industry uses LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram, so having a presence on each of them is a great step to undertake to help your credibility and build your brand awareness. Share testimonials and success stories from your care professionals, highlighting the positive aspects of working for your company.

As Forbes rightly notes, "Candidates trust their peers more than they trust companies." By actively cultivating your online presence, you not only reach potential care professionals but also build credibility in the eyes of those who may be considering joining your team. You could also consider a referral programme, this way your current team can help you with the hiring process and have a say on who you employ, and who they work with!

Embracing technology for efficient operations

To recruit the best care professionals, your domiciliary care business must offer more than just a pay check. The efficient use of technology can set you apart and make your organisation an attractive employer. A modern tech infrastructure can save care professionals administrative time, reduce travel time, and improve overall job satisfaction.

Actionable Point: Implement a digital scheduling software system to streamline your operations. This not only reduces administrative burdens but also ensures the efficient allocation of care professionals to care recipients. The less time spent on logistics, the more focus can be on delivering exceptional care.

As The Guardian highlights, "Efficiency gains from technology can be transformative in the care sector." By embracing digital solutions, your care professionals can focus on what they do best—providing top-quality care to your care recipients.

2. The power of competitive compensation

Offering competitive salaries

Competitive compensation is a magnet for the best care professionals. They want to be fairly rewarded for their dedication and the challenging work they do. Offering a competitive salary is not just about attracting talent but also about retaining it.

Actionable Point: Conduct a thorough market analysis to understand current salary benchmarks in the domiciliary care industry. Adjust your compensation packages accordingly. Remember, it's not just about meeting the industry standards; offering a little extra can make a significant difference.

As per the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), "Pay and reward structures are a key driver in recruitment and retention." Your investment in competitive compensation can help you attract and retain top talent in the care sector.

Incentives and benefits that matter

While competitive salaries are crucial, don't underestimate the power of incentives and benefits. Care professionals often look for employers who provide a comprehensive benefits package that goes beyond monetary compensation.

Actionable Point: Consider offering flexible work hours, professional development opportunities, and health and wellness benefits, dependent on cost you could offer discounted health insurance, more paid time off, free food and drink! The options are endless - yet the presence of job perks can give you the edge over another hiring care business. If you need some more inspiration check out the following article. Don’t forget to listen to your current team - tailor your benefits package to the unique needs and preferences of your care professionals, listen to their needs and implement actions where necessary! Benefits don’t have to cost the world - but they can help you recruit and retain the best care professionals out there.

Research by Mercer shows that "employees who feel valued and supported at work are more likely to stay with their current employer." Providing additional incentives and benefits can make your company a top choice for care professionals seeking a fulfilling career.

3. Leveraging digital recruitment strategies

The digital recruitment advantage

In today's digital age, traditional recruitment methods may not be enough to secure the best talent for your domiciliary care business. Digital recruitment strategies offer distinct advantages in reaching and engaging potential care professionals.

Actionable Point: Invest in an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to streamline your recruitment process. An ATS can help you manage candidate applications more efficiently, track progress, and enhance communication.

According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), "An ATS can reduce your time-to-hire by up to 50%." By embracing digital recruitment tools, you can significantly shorten the time it takes to bring the best care professionals on board. A list of the best ATS can be found here!

Social media and online presence

As previously mentioned, social media plays a pivotal role in the job search process for care professionals. A strong online presence can help you connect with potential candidates and showcase your commitment to employee growth. But what do we mean by ‘strong presence’?

  • Recognisable, engaging and consistent branding

Actionable Point: Create engaging content on platforms like LinkedIn to highlight your company's expertise and commitment to employee development. Share success stories of care professionals who have thrived in your organisation.

LinkedIn reports that "75% of job seekers research a company's reputation before applying." By curating a positive online reputation, you can attract care professionals who resonate with your values and mission.

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It's not easy being a homecare provider! Long hours, situations change quickly and people need your support every moment of the day. We asked the team at Walfinch Mansfield why they feel so supported by Birdie - and what kind of difference that makes to their day:

4. The importance of training and development

Investing in employee growth

To recruit and retain the best care professionals, your domiciliary care business should invest in their growth and development. Providing ongoing training and development opportunities is a testament to your commitment to their career advancement.

Actionable Point: Establish a structured training and development program for your care professionals. This can include access to specialised courses, workshops, and certifications in domiciliary care. Encourage them to set career goals and provide the necessary support to achieve them.

As the Skills for Care organisation asserts, "Training and development opportunities are a key factor in retaining care staff." By nurturing the skills and aspirations of your care professionals, you create a motivated, engaged workforce that delivers superior care.

5. Streamlining the hiring process

An efficient recruitment pipeline

The recruitment process can be time-consuming and daunting. Streamlining it not only saves time but also ensures a smooth onboarding process for new care professionals.

Actionable Point: Utilise digital tools for candidate assessment, interview scheduling, and communication. An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) can help you manage candidate data efficiently and keep applicants informed throughout the hiring process.

A study by TalentNow found that "a prolonged hiring process can lead to losing top talent." By simplifying and digitising your recruitment pipeline, you increase your chances of securing the best care professionals before your competitors do.

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Recruiting the best care professionals for your domiciliary care business in the UK requires a multi-faceted approach. Building a strong employer brand, offering competitive compensation and benefits, leveraging digital recruitment strategies, prioritising training and development, and streamlining the hiring process are all key strategies to attract and retain top talent.

Failure to address these areas may result in losing out on the best care professionals who can make a significant difference in the quality of care provided to your care recipients. Embrace these strategies today, and position your business as the employer of choice in the competitive domiciliary care sector.

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