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Building Advocacy through Values Based Recruitment

  Dave Beesley, Talent Director Cohesion Recruitment

It’s no secret that in today’s candidate driven market, maintaining a consistent pipeline of high quality talent is a challenge for many sectors, and that’s no exception for social care. The art of attracting, assessing, appointing and retaining staff isn’t easy. But care providers are far from ignorant about this – they are hitting the problem head on. Advancements in recruitment techniques and methodologies are giving recruiters more options, and more opportunities to reach much larger talent pools of candidates.

We all know and hear about our ageing population and are faced by sector skills shortages. Skills for Care estimate that, if the workforce grows proportionally to the projected growth of people aged 65 and over in the UK, there will be a need for another 275,000 Care workers by 2025. The Guardian have recently stated, in 2015-16 about 338,520 adult social care workers left their roles, equal to 928 people leaving the sector every day.

Building Advocacy through Recruitment

Advocacy is one of the most powerful tools in any recruiters’ armoury. By developing and building on it – you’re more likely to attract those exposed to your brand, and who love what you do.

How? Carers want to be working in an environment where they’re surrounded by likeminded individuals, who also love what they do. By building up a workforce of advocates – all new employees that you recruit into your ranks will feel more comfortable in the workplace.

Fortunately, there are a number of ways that a workforce of dedicated, truly caring individuals can build advocacy – not just around your brand as a provider, but also around your brand as an employer. Values based recruitment is one strategic tool to consider.

Values Based Recruitment

Values based recruitment has been deployed by the sector for a number of years now. Realising there is a limited pool of experienced frontline workers available – providers have benefited from hiring those who match the values and behaviours of their organisation, providing them with plenty of training and supporting them to progress. They report that individuals whose values are aligned with the organisation in which they work are more motivated and engaged, perform more consistently and at a higher level, and are much more likely to stay with them.

However, before you implement a values based recruitment initiative – you need to consider whether or not your values truly represent your organisation. By holding focus groups with some of your longest-standing, best performing carers, you can really begin to understand which values are what make your services unique.

Once you’ve properly outlined your values – you need to start using them. Include them in all recruitment marketing channels and in all of your job advertisements. In many instances – it may even suit to replace any experience requirements with reference to your values.

Finally – when you’re interviewing, adopt values based interview questions. What behaviours and actions demonstrate your values? Use specific questions to prompt candidates into sharing where they match your value set.

Advocacy is not something you can buy, or something that’s easy to implement. Advocacy must be built, gradually and over time, and fed into your culture and who you are as a brand and an employer.

When you, as an organisation, connect with your workforce – you make your voice of advocacy stronger. From then on – it’s easier to recruit determined, passionate carers into your ranks.

Cohesion are a trusted recruitment partner to the health and social care sector, supporting many providers to reach, engage and retain quality workers. For more information, contact Dave Beesley, Talent Director at dave.beesley@cohesionrecruitment.com.


Edel Harris





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