With the adult care sector needing to fill around 112,000 vacancies on any given day, employers should be looking at both experienced candidates and other potential recruits with transferable skills.
The definition of transferable skills can vary, but in general they are the skills employees have developed that they take with them from one job to the next.
It’s true hiring people with social care experience can increase your chances of getting a skilled employee who can be productive from day one. But with the economy rapidly changing it’s worth looking at potential recruits who will bring valuable and useful skills from other sectors they have worked in.
A good example of this is Linda, who started her working life in the retail sector before deciding the variety offered by care work was a better fit.
Linda had no formal care experience, but she’d volunteered with her local church so felt she had the right values and transferable skills to successfully make the switch. Linda attended an open day and after speaking to the employer was offered an interview and a role.
She quickly progressed to a management role helped by her previous management experience in an online shopping team at a national supermarket. Linda was later promoted to a registered manager role, completing a level 5 diploma, and she plans to stay in her leadership role until retirement.
There are also people entering the sector without any informal experience. Logen gave up her pub job last year and didn’t expect she’d find work in a national pandemic. However, since joining the team at Radfield Home Care Wakefield and Dewsbury as a Home Care Assistant she has met that challenge head on.
For Radfield this new worker with a big personality is the perfect example of the sort of candidate with transferable skills they want to attract.
“She came to us with no professional care experience, but took all her training on board very quickly, and soon developed in her role as a care professional,” notes Gemma Bristow, Radfield’s Registered Care Manager. “Logen is extremely competent, confident and colleagues really enjoy working alongside her.”
For Logan the switch from pulling pints to supporting people in their homes has been exactly the right move as she builds her skills and knowledge.
“Working for Radfield Home Care is more a way of life than a job, I don’t feel like I’m working when I’m visiting clients,” says Logan. “It feels like a trip to a relative’s house. When you see their faces light up, that’s when it makes you realise that this is the right job to be in.”
Skills for Care has published other examples of people currently working in adult social care who came from other sectors and had transferable skills. These can be found at www.skillsforcare.org.uk/transferableskills
With vacancy and turnover rates high in the sector, it’s important to find out if new recruits with transferable skills also have the right core values that will make them a great care worker
Skills for Care has created a range of free online values-based recruitment tools that will help employers with creating job adverts and interview questions. They can also access a personality profiling questionnaire that offers a basic profile of the candidate’s values base. Visit www.skillsforcare.org.uk/values
In these unprecedented times, it’s important that the safety and wellbeing of people using our care services remains a priority. Employers of all sizes may find Skills for Care’s guiding principles for safe and rapid recruitment useful to address their additional workforce recruitment challenges: www.skillsforcare.org.uk/safeandrapid