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Can using a values based recruitment approach, really solve my recruitment and retention challenges?

Skills for Care estimates that there are around 345,000 leavers per year in adult social care – that’s over 900 every day – and approximately 90,000 vacancies at any one time. 

These figures suggest that the sector needs to stem the flow of wasted resources in recruiting people that are not going to stay with them – and values-based recruitment can help you do this.

We’re hearing the word ‘values’ mentioned more and more in adult social care, particularly in relation to recruitment. But, do we really know what that means and how to apply a values-based approach?

Amanda Ashworth, Project Manager at Skills for Care, looks at what values are and challenges employers to think how they can apply them more effectively in their recruitment and retention.

Values are the beliefs and views that people hold about what is right or wrong and good or bad. They apply to all aspects of life and influence how a person behaves in different situations.

As an adult social care employer you should have workplace values which reflect the things that you believe are most important to your organisation, the way it works and how these are applied to the people you care for.

When the values of your staff match your workplace values this can help you deliver high quality and consistent care and support. When they don’t, it can lead to recruitment and retention challenges and foster bad practice.

That’s why it’s so important to identify your workplace values and ensure they’re embedded throughout your organisations processes, including in the way you recruit staff.

If, as an organisation, you pride yourself in providing, for example, a stimulating and supportive environment for the people you care for, how do you promote this to potential recruits? What values, attitudes and behaviours should potential recruits have? Are these stated in your job adverts? And what kind of people would you be looking for to support this ethos and way of working?

If you don’t have any clearly defined workplace values, start by thinking about how you answer these questions.

  • What’s worked well for my organisation?
  • What makes people who access care and support happiest?
  • When were you most proud of your staff in the workplace, and why?

Look at your answers and think about why each one was important and memorable – you might see common themes in your answers which can help you identify your core values.

For example, if you said that you were most proud of your staff when someone left a great review of their visit, because staff were friendly and made them feel welcome, you might say that you value cheerfulness as one of your top values.

Or if you said that people who access care and support are happiest when they’re joining in social activities and interacting with others, you could say that fun is important to you as an organisation.

Or you might think it’s important that staff and people who access care and support share their ideas and actively contribute to your organisations decision making. Therefore you might choose teamwork as one of your values.

There are lots more values you might choose – accountable, assertive, caring, creative, treating people with dignity, happiness, loyalty, or positivity, to name a few – and some values might naturally combine with others.

Identifying your values and aligning them with the behaviours you’d expect to see from people with those values, can be particularly useful to ensure they’re ‘lived’ every day by everyone in your organisation.

Having a clear picture of these behaviours can provide you with an effective process for evaluating performance and help you to retain staff that align with your values.

It’s not an easy process which is why Skills for Care has lots of practical templates and guidance to help you identify what values mean to you, and support you to embed them throughout your organisation.

Visit www.skillsforcare.org.uk/values

Amanda Ashworth is a project manager with Skills for Care, leading on their work around values-based recruitment and retention. She can be contacted on randr@skillsforcare.org.uk.




Edel Harris





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