Vacancies in Social Care

In 2024, the importance of successfully marketing your care home has never been greater. The social care sector faces significant challenges in recruiting and retaining staff, with a staggering 152,000 vacancies found in 2022/23, a rate of almost ten per cent. With an ageing population and increasing demand for care services, this is likely to get worse, not better.

Finding dedicated employees is more important than ever. If you’re looking to fill vacancies in your care home or group, consider these four strategies to attract and retain talented individuals providing the highest standards of care for your residents.

  1. Leverage local educational institutions

Many colleges and universities offer programmes in social work, and establishing partnerships with these institutions can create a pipeline of qualified graduates who are ready to enter the workforce.

Particularly attractive to students are part-time roles that they can fit within their studies. This not only provides them with valuable experience but also a source of income, and you are able to prepare young people for the unique challenges and responsibilities commonplace in the social care sector.

To maximise your reach, it is useful to participate in careers fairs, offer guest lectures, and engage with student career services. This enables you to highlight the rewarding nature of a career in social care and the potential for professional growth within your organisation.

Additionally, it could prove advantageous to establish a scholarship or sponsorship programme for students pursuing degrees in relevant fields like social work. This can build goodwill and loyalty, encouraging graduates to consider your care home as their employer of choice upon completing their studies.

  1. Adopt a coherent care home marketing strategy

A well-defined care home marketing strategy can significantly enhance your recruitment efforts. By effectively promoting your care home’s values, culture, and benefits, you can attract individuals who resonate with your group.

This involves leveraging various marketing channels such as social media, your website, and community events, marketed through local, regional and national media to highlight the positive aspects of working in your care home.

One key component of an effective marketing strategy is creating compelling content that showcases the rewarding and fulfilling nature of working in social care. By sharing stories of current employees, highlighting their experiences and their impact on residents’ lives, you can provide potential candidates with a clear and inspiring picture of what it means to work in your care home.

Additionally, working with a specialised care home marketing company can amplify your message and reach a broader audience. Specific experience within adult social care enables these experts to craft compelling narratives and secure media coverage that showcases your care home as an employer of choice.

  1. Utilise online job portals and social media

In today’s digital age, many job searches occur online. Therefore, ensuring your job vacancies are listed on the most popular job portals like Indeed and LinkedIn is more essential than ever. These platforms allow you to reach a broad audience of job seekers actively looking for opportunities in the sector.

Most importantly, make sure your job postings are detailed and highlight the benefits of working in your care home, including opportunities for professional development, a supportive work environment, and flexible working arrangements for parents, students, or others who can only work part-time.

Social media is another powerful recruitment tool. LinkedIn again, but also critically, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and increasingly TikTok can help you connect with potential employees. Use these platforms to share job openings, employee testimonials, and behind-the-scenes content that gives insight into the work environment at your care home.

Engaging content can attract candidates who are not only qualified but also passionate about working in social care. Regularly update your social media profiles with fresh content and engage with your followers to build a robust online presence.

  1. Foster a distinctive workplace culture

A positive culture and regular recognition are known to lead to higher job satisfaction and engagement. However, the extent to which this is essential in retaining employees cannot be understated, with research finding nearly three-quarters (73 per cent) of professionals actually having left a job due to experiencing a poor cultural fit.

Employees who feel valued are more likely to stay, reducing turnover and improving recruitment. Central to this is a supportive and inclusive atmosphere where employees feel valued. This can involve team-building activities, regular meetings, and an ‘open-door’ policy to encourage open communication.

Furthermore, regularly acknowledging staff contributions at your care homes through Employee of the Month awards and public acknowledgements can make carers feel more valued. Financial incentives such as gift cards can further enhance this feeling.

Finally, in an age of employee burnout, supporting mental health with counselling services and stress management workshops can help not only highlight your interest in employee wellbeing but also further improve retainment by reducing the number of staff leaving social care due to fatigue and exhaustion.