Social care recruitment is and has been a high-priority activity for many councils.
There are recruitment shortages in many areas of adult social care including qualified social workers, staff for care homes, home care professionals as well as a shortage of people considering adult social care as a profession. Shortages in social care also extend to micro providers, shared lives, volunteers, and children’s social care which are in need of qualified social workers.
Shortages within social care are caused by a range of factors:
- shortage of non-UK nationals for care roles
- qualified social workers retiring or leaving the profession early due to a range of pressures
- qualified social workers working for agencies
- low wages vs. other less demanding work
- lack of awareness of social care as a career
- fear of the risk of exposure to COVID-19.
Westco and the Council Advertising Network (CAN) are working together to help councils overcome many of the barriers to running successful adult social care recruitment campaigns such as:
- prohibitive advertising space costs
- creative development resource
- access to digital platforms
- applicant user experience.
Key audiences to consider:
To minimise the shortages that are occurring it is important for councils to reach the following audiences:
- qualified social workers to work in adult and children social care, nudging them from agency to council
- unqualified workers' in hospitality, maintenance and administration
- people looking to start or change careers who may require some training, signposting to
- the benefits of work-life balance, making a difference and working for a council.
Tactics you can take forward now:
From all the campaigns we work on and have assessed, our best advice to improve your results is to:
- promote social work generally then help people find a way to deliver care that suits them
- utilise council-owned channels – promote campaigns through website and email advertising as organic social, press and groups work did not perform well
- partner with local jobs hubs for audience building
- avoid the trade press as this is very expensive and will only result in poor coverage and targeting control of the application process – begin with short applications as there is minimal required data for an application
Want to improve your social care recruitment outcomes?
Social care recruitment shortages have a direct effect on how councils can offer help to their communities. Therefore, changes within local campaigns are necessary to minimise this issue.
To gain access to the strategies and solutions mentioned above, sign up to the Campaign Hub which will provide expert resources and advise on what your next steps should be.