“We don’t look specifically at the jobs people have done before – some of the best carers come from quite strange backgrounds – they are just the right person for the role.”
That’s the experience of Freedom Support Ltd who have taken a values-based approach to recruiting and retaining new staff.
They are one of an increasing number of adult social care employers who are taking this approach, to help them attract, develop and retain a quality workforce with the right values and behaviours.
Modelling in Skills for Care’s latest ‘State of the adult social care and sector workforce in England’ report shows that the sector may need to find people to fill 500,000 extra job roles by 2030 to meet the demand created by the aging population.
Factor in that on any given day there are 90000 open job vacancies across adult social care, then finding those extra people will be a challenge for every employer.
What is a values-based approach to recruitment and retention?
Values are the beliefs that people hold about what’s wrong or right and good or bad. They influence how a person behaves in the many different situations they will face in their working lives.
Employers who have strong workplace values and help their workforce live them, will deliver high quality and consistent care and support.
A values-based approach does mean looking beyond someone’s experience and qualifications to get to know the real person. It involves a holistic approach where values are embedded throughout recruitment, application, selection, induction and ongoing people management to ensure you have the right people working for you.
How can it help you meet your recruitment and retention challenges?
Taking this approach can help you find more applicants with the right qualities, and – as importantly – keep them.
If you don’t get enough applicants for your vacancies, then it’s possible your job adverts might include too many barriers at the first hurdle. For example stating that candidates need a specific qualification, previous care work experience or a full driving license could deter people with the right values from applying.
It’s worth thinking about reviewing and refreshing your job adverts so that they focus on values rather than qualifications and experience.
We spoke to employers who had taken this approach and many provided positive examples of candidates who under ‘traditional’ approached would have been discounted at the application form stage, who had gone on to provide high quality care.
Once you’ve agreed your workplace values, use them as an early ‘sifting’ tool to help you find more candidates with the right qualities. Including values on your website, in job adverts and application forms will encourage more of the right people to apply.
ADASS’s national workforce development group endorse this approach saying:
“The right values, behaviours and attitudes are the raw materials for quality care and support – good induction, training and management will do the rest.”
Once employers have got the right people in place then embedding values in the retention processes can help keep them.
Skills for Care spoke to employers who had a turnover rate of less than 10% and they said that getting the right people in the first place was half the solution to their retention challenges. Their experiences showed that embedding values in induction, supervisions and team meetings can ensure the culture of the organisation matches staff expectations and encourage them to stay.
In a 2016 study, employers who used this approach to recruitment found that they had a lower turnover rate than employers using a more ‘traditional’ approach.
Employers told Skills for Care that developing a positive organisational culture, where staff are supported and valued, reinforces the message that working in adult social care can be a good career choice.
It works, and as one employer who used values-based recruitment commented:
“Because they are valued as staff, they don’t migrate.”
Find out more!
Find out how you can get started with values and behaviours-based recruitment on our free workshop. Book your place at www.skillsforcare.org.uk/gettingstarted.
You can also download tools and templates to help at www.skillsforcare.org.uk/values.