Tasks can be learnt but values come from within a person. Our 1,300 strong workforce is our greatest asset, they are the ambassadors of the organisation. To put our values at the heart of all we do requires us to ensure that we recruit staff based on shared values. You don’t have to be Jewish or know anything about Judaism, just actively embrace our values and vision of a society where people support and care for one another and are able to participate fully in their community.
Put simply, to work at Jewish Care you need to be a caring compassionate person with your own moral compass. We know that those who share our vision and values are most likely to succeed and flourish at Jewish Care. We know we are not alone in talking about being a values-driven organisation but talk alone won’t ensure that we recruit the team that’s signed up to our values.
That’s why earlier this year we developed a new recruitment process to try to select staff based on their values and potential, not on their past experiences. Having previously worked in a professional care role can be a good indicator that a person is well-suited to a role, but we are also looking for people who are taking different routes into social care. Someone who has been a carer for a family member really understands what is involved in caring for people on a day to day basis and this may bring them to the realisation that care work really suits them, as does the flexibility and opportunities it offers.
We worked in partnership with recruitment consultancy, Sticky People, who have designed a personality based questionnaire for potential candidates to complete before interview stage. This helps us to determine early on in the process whether the values of applicants truly match with Jewish Care’s values. Open interview questions help us to understand how deeply the potential employee integrates caring values into their outlook. We are looking for future staff members who are passionate about supporting others with dignity and integrity, as well incorporating an inclusive, creative approach whilst delivering an excellent service at all times.
We also developed a fully accessible website, doyouwish.org, to make it easy for people to apply for roles and find more information. The site is aimed at finding people whose aspirations are similar to our values and highlights the benefits of working for the organisation. We know that staff at Jewish Care develop professionally through great career opportunities and also enjoy rewarding friendships with colleagues in a team that is made up of like-minded people with similar values. That has given us a good level of staff retention and we can already see the positive results from focusing even more on value-based recruitment.
We are proud of our diverse workforce representing 68 nationalities and encourage those of all ages with flexible working to reflect our values. As part of their induction, all new staff receive training about the Jewish way of life so they can understand the tradition and culture of people they are supporting. Though we serve the Jewish community, we are multi-cultural in our outlook. It’s important to us that people bring themselves, their values and interests to work.
Although recruitment remains a challenge, early indications imply this new approach is making a difference. Values based recruitment should help us to find and retain staff whose values closely match our own and who will be happy and succeed in their roles at Jewish Care.