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attract recruit and retain people to your care business

How to attract, recruit and retain people to your care business

The link to a slide presentation is here for you to download. There is so much discussion around how to attract, recruit and retain people in care at the moment. The slides supporting this presentation will enable you to check that you are doing everything that is needed.

Slide 2 – Awesome, dazzling people – What we can learn from other sectors

I have yet to find a care company that matches this one in financial services for the way they recruit. The reason I clicked on this was because of a post on LinkedIn which was from someone who had been rejected from their recruitment process. For someone to feel strongly enough to post about their positive experience is a massive marketing opportunity for you to say “come and work for us”. The wording “awesome people, dazzling futures” is so powerful. They talk about the ease of the application process. Again this is very attractive to people. What can you do to update your website to show this but also have a process that feels the same?

Slide 3 – How should the process feel?

Following on from the above, you need to have a process that is measured and managed. Is it easy for people to apply? My advice would be definitely no long application forms. It shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes for someone to apply for a care role. You can screen them quickly and easily via a telephone screening process. but remember you are selling to them as much as they are selling to you. Take time to listen, make sure you are in a quiet room with no chance of disruptions. What you want to establish is, do they have the right values to work for your care business (see slide 6). You can teach skills but it’s much harder to teach values.

Culture – This is something you feel as you walk into an organisation – People are making judgements about you as soon as they interact with you.  How do new recruits feel when then come for an interview? Does the office feel like a professional office? Is it calm and welcoming? Do they come away feeling you are a great, professional company to work for?

Leadership – an employer brand starts with you as leaders.  If you are the person interviewing how you show up matters and people will pick up on how you feel. If you are thinking “this is a waste of time”, they are going to sense this.

Feedback – This is an absolutely essential part to having a successful employer brand.  Having a process to receive feedback is critical.  You want people to be honest. Don’t take it personally. All feedback is valuable. Send out anonymous questionnaires after each interview to track this.

Evidence – Put in place the measures that will assess whether you are achieving success.  Key performance indicators – what would they look like and how will you know they are working. Having someone who has overall accountability for the recruitment and retention process is key.

Slide 4 – A professional carer journey – Does your process achieve this?

What language is on your website that attracts people to it?

  1. If you want to attract people to care they are often nervous and don’t know what to expect. By going through what the role is and how supported they will feel will make them feel reassured
  2. Having a tailored approach to training to incorporate all learning styles.  We all learn differently so your training program needs to reflect this.
  3. Implementing a 12 week mentoring program will massively reduce people leaving after this point.
  4. Have a rewards and recognition process in place.  Lots of discussions on this and how you do it is down to your business but what I know means more than anything is receiving a thank you card from the boss or manager to say they’ve done a great job.
  5. Career progression doesn’t have to be about qualifications.  Some people don’t want to study but they may want to become a dementia specialist or want to be able to deliver end of life care.
  6. A leavers process – Try and make it positive. Keep the good ones on file. Keep in contact through email if they were good employees. They still have the ability to refer or even come back.

Slide 6 – Start with Values

I cannot emphasise enough how important it is to have values that are not just written down somewhere but are embedded and used on a day to day basis within an organisation.  This makes recruitment and retention significantly easier.  You have to live and breathe those values and incorporate them in every part of your business e.g. your recruitment, observations, 1-2-1’s, appraisals and team meetings.

Slide 7 – Go through an employee segmentation process

Fundamental basics of having a winning formula to attract great employees.

  1. Initially you need to look at what your business needs and when you need it e.g. what are your core hours of business, what gaps are there? Could they be filled by offering other services or activities to enhance the client offering e.g. companionship, nutritional support, wellbeing calls.
  2. By looking at your employees you can establish who best supports the range of clients you have?  Understanding who you have as professional carers will help you focus on targeted recruitment adverts.
  3. Design an employment offering that attracts those different types of identified professional carers. Companionship, wellbeing and nutritional support are particularly suited to older people. There is an opportunity to recruit the older workforce but wearing a uniform may be a barrier. A discretely branded polo shirt or a dress-code, would be more appropriate.
  4. Promote your recruitment offering to those different types.

If you would like a copy of my employee segmentation for you to go through contact me here.

Slide 9 – Use Maslow as a structure to ensure you deliver a great employee journey

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is the simplest way of designing your recruitment process that attracts the best people to your business.  Every human aspires to have self-actualisation but for some safety and physiological needs are more important e.g. regular income, feeling secure in their role, being cared-for themselves. Tailoring your recruitment and retention process that encompasses this structure and embedding it in to your recruitment and retention strategy will help.

Slide 10 – Create Care Professional stories

People engage with stories.  By creating stories of the care professionals enjoying their role or have progressed within the business is so important. Videos are great too. Promote them on social media, website etc.  There are some great examples on social media. Look at what home care franchises do.

Slide 11 – Where to recruit

So many companies use Indeed as their only way of recruitment but Indeed in my experience has the lowest retention rates. It is much better to concentrate on the following:

  1. Communities – Now everywhere is back open the best place to find potential people are in your local community, places like social clubs, pubs, hairdressers, churches, charities, shops
  2. Social Media – Focused campaigns e.g. targeted at hospitality workforce, Facebook (mention indeed)
  3. Refer a Friend scheme – Your existing employees will have their own networks. Tap into those, ask them what clubs, associations, groups they are part of. Offer incentive. If you have tried to implement and not been successful ask why? There could be barriers that you need to know about.
  4. Targeted leaflet drops – Offer incentives to employees and get them to deliver e.g. £5 per enquiry and more e.g. if they come on board and stay 3 months.

Slide 12 – Have a process that is monitored and managed

What is your target e.g. How many net new recruits do you need? How will you market to them? Where will you market to them?

Who is accountable? What is the process for taking the calls. Do you monitor what they are doing? i.e. what is the experience of , how they are responding to recruitment enquiries.

How will you measure it?  What key performance indicators that will tell you whether it is successful.

If you cannot complete these tasks outsource to a company who can but you still need to monitor and manage their results.

Slide 13 – Retain

Implementing a values led care journey that has Maslow’s hierarchy of needs at the heart of it will positively impact your retention level.s

Additionally having career pathways for every employee is important. Back to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and use that as your structure of self-esteem and self-actualisation. We know people don’t go into care for the great pay so you have to offer them something that is valuable to t hem.

Feedback from employees is important but you do need to act on the feedback. Knowing that you are listening to them will really increase engagement.

Implementing a support program as part of the recruitment process shows you care and is attractive to new recruits and helps to retain employees.


All I can say is that I don’t see recruitment ever not being a problem in care. The one single biggest piece of advice is to stop using job boards as the only way to recruit. By all means use outsource recruitment specialists who have a great track record, they can be a valuable outsource function, but as a business you are still accountable for the experience your candidates receive. You have to target people who are not actively looking for a role in care and they are not on job boards. This is why working within your local community through networking and local social media is a critical place to put some resource. I do have a complete end-to-end solution on how to recruit, attract and retain people to your care business, and happy for you to book a 30 minutes call to go through this. You can book this here.