Why is Care Recruitment failing in the UK?

It is not that there are no potential employees with still more than 2 million unemployed. Gross this up with the potential to recruit from across the European Union and the pool of potential talent is there.

Care Sector

A simple statement that masks a host of questions:

  1. How many actually want to work?
  2. How many would consider a role within the care sector?
  3. How many have the right attitude to work in care?
  4. Are the positions available made appealing and attractive with the ability to grow with the organisation?
  5. Is a comprehensive job description in simple English available?
  6. Are the skills required by the employer realistic and achievable in a competitive market?
  7. Do the terms and conditions spell out the full package, warts and all?
  8. Is the contract of employment transparent and fair?
  9. Money. Offering the least possible or the most available?
  10. Empowerment and the decision making process.

So the pool of talent shrinks based on employer requirements but equally on poor communication and even worse decision making.

The first question from most operators within care is how much are your fees rather than what information do you need to advise whether you can help us.

Any quality recruiter will want to carry out an assessment before quoting but 90% of enquiries fizzle out during the enquiry stage when we seek:

  • Job descriptions to ensure both the client and ourselves know what they are seeking.
  • Terms and conditions of employment so we can judge the international competitiveness of the offer. This will include information on the accommodation support offered.
  • A copy of the contract of employment to make sure it is fair and transparent.
  • A list of documentation required.
  • A 150-200 word brand statement about the clients business.

From this we will provide a written quote without obligation but will look to establish the decision making process.

As a generalisation the care sector is very poor at making commitments/decisions and waste everybody’s time by failing to establish a slick decision process that enables decisions to be made and communicated within 24 hours.

This is essential as candidates tend to blanket apply and take the first job offered with the monetary rewards that they find acceptable.

We acknowledge and sympathise with the financial pressures that the care sector is under but why would a Polish, Romanian, Bulgarian, Spanish or Greek chose to come to the UK if better terms are available elsewhere?

For employers still bottom trawling and offering pay rates below £7.00 an hour for basic care workers you might get some to join you but your staff turnover will be unacceptably high. We see this all the time in both care in the community and live in care as well which asks for higher skill levels but offers pay rates that don’t stand up to comparison against competing sectors.

If the care sector continues to follow the same recruitment path as it has done in the past it will record the same results.

We know how to solve the problems but it requires commitment from all parties and the payment of fees to recruiters such as ourselves.


Author: Chris Slay

Managing Director Skills Provision Limited