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Keeping social care recruitment moving during the coronavirus pandemic

There is no doubt that the coronavirus pandemic has brought the crucial role of Social Care into sharp focus. With a government campaign to attract more people into the sector, including TV advertising, and permission given for anyone on the job retention scheme to be able to work in the sector, social care recruitment is in demand.

Reports say there are 122,000 job vacancies, eclipsing even the NHS, so it is incredibly positive to see such a push to ensure there is a greater interest generated in social care careers.

The social care workforce is notorious for expecting workers to be flexible, while also working long hours. Social care is a vocation and to be successful in the sector at any level you have to be motivated by the wellbeing, comfort and security of those in your care.

The social care recruitment market  

Search Health and Social Care has a long-established team of nurses, support workers and social workers to meet the flexible demands of clients. Ultimately however, social care organisations need to build secure permanent teams.

Like in any business, permanent teams are more successful with more  efficient results, and crucially, clients thrive better with consistency. Whether the support needs are due to a learning disability, mental health or reduced physical ability, relationships and trust are built up over time and ultimately achieve better outcomes.

The pandemic has had unexpected effects on the job market. Although sadly many people have found themselves looking for work, social care organisations have had to enforce social distancing measures, which limits access to training and induction making it difficult for some organisations to employ from outside the sector.

Furthermore, experienced social care workers who may have potentially been looking for new social care jobs have been putting job search plans on hold, both due to the economic uncertainty and the demands from their current jobs.

Unlike other sectors, social care recruitment hasn’t paused due to lockdown restrictions and as such, social care jobs are still a huge priority to fulfil. We’ve been working with clients to ensure their operations continue, as well as setting up teams for new services, under difficult circumstances.  

Andy Lockett, Divisional Manager for permanent recruitment has said, “During the week leading up to lockdown, there was some anxiety amongst our clients that permanent recruitment would be curtailed somehow.

“That wasn’t the case, however, we have to provide experienced individuals, and as such can’t take applications from those without experience in the sector. However, there have been some exceptions with larger organisations who have been in a better position to employ people new to the sector, providing training and inductions.

“If nothing else, the current climate has definitely made a career in social care seem more secure, given the effect the pandemic has had on other industries. In addition, there has been much positive press given to health and social care such as the #clapforourcarers campaigns, undoubtedly lifting some of the stigma associated with working in social care.”

Supporting our clients with social care recruitment

For Search Health and Social Care it’s been an honour to work alongside our candidates and clients and help address the challenges faced by social care organisations through the pandemic. Recruitment hasn’t needed to go on hold.

We have been able to help our clients keep recruitment moving through a number of different ways. The investment in video interview technology has enabled interviews to happen and virtual inductions. We have also been able to support HR teams with their compliance and pre-employment screening through our Secure Search service.

Inevitably, the restrictions are starting to lift and following the Prime Minister’s address the team predicts a sharper increase in recruitment activity when this happens, so forward thinking organisations are continuing, if not increasing recruitment activity now to be ahead of the game.

If you’re keen to keep your social care recruitment moving, and would like some advice or help, then get in touch today.

Further blogs of interest

Impact of Coronavirus on Learning Disabilities Services

Support Workers on the Front Line

The Impact of Coronavirus on Social Workers

Nurses on the Frontline