What Jobseekers Want From Their Next Care Home Role

What Jobseekers Want From Their Next Care Home Role

According to a report last year by Skills for Care, there are some 1.47 million people working in adult social care in England alone. That’s in addition to the nurses and other healthcare professionals who are employed in care and nursing homes across the sector.

With an increasingly ageing population pushing demands on care services, this has led to an increase in the number of open job opportunities for experienced carers. Positioned as ‘good news’ for the future of the healthcare sector, this brings critical recruitment challenges for the future that need to be addressed today. Care jobseekers now have more choice than ever, good carers are increasingly transient and can afford to be more selective in who they choose to work for and what roles they decide to accept.

This presents a very real challenge for healthcare recruiters and healthcare organisations who are seeking to attract the best candidates. Bringing new people into the sector is also proving to be a challenge and the overspend on temporary agency staff is on the rise according to the latest CQC State of Care report. The average age of the caring workforce is 43 and there are currently around 320,000 workers who are over the age of 55. Attracting a younger demographic is important in order to replace those who will retire in the next few years. This is made even more vital when you consider that a further 650,000 job places will need to be filled by 2035 to cope with the care needs of an ageing population.

The challenge is that many younger candidates are looking for careers that give them the opportunity to learn specialist skills. Another challenge, at least according to some in the care industry, is that the profession is viewed as a ‘last resort’ rather than a future career that has value and the chance to progress.

What Jobseekers Are Really Looking For

Care jobseekers can largely pick and choose who they decide to work for because there are plenty of live opportunities. The healthcare organisations that are visibly appealing and able to offer additional benefits are more likely to attract higher quality candidates, and retain them.

Over the last year at Go Apply, we’ve been made more aware of the benefits that care jobseekers now value most as part of a job offer:

1. Help With Transport/Transport Costs

The cost of travelling to work is certainly one factor care jobseekers put at the top of their list when considering their next post. Carers often work varying shift patterns which don’t always chime with local travel provision, especially if their place of work is in a fairly remote location.

The price of transport, certainly in many inner-city areas, can be prohibitive. Even if carers have their own transport, finding parking and the cost in petrol can be an issue. One of our clients offer free transport to and from their care home from the local train station. This has been a hugely attractive benefit to the candidates that we have engaged with for this particular role.

2. Reduced Cost Meals Available Onsite

Most jobs come with hidden extra costs and the care sector is no different. One added benefit that care jobseekers are likely to be attracted by is a reduced cost or even free meals onsite where they work. For care homes that are again situated more remotely, where there isn’t a local shop or café at which staff are able to buy lunch or a snack, this is doubly important.

A few of our clients offer reduced daily staff meals onsite from the care home restaurant and the staff absolutely value this benefit! Staff no longer have the hassle of preparing and taking their own food to work with them, so having a cheap, easy, healthy meal option onsite is a definite bonus! Not only does it save the candidate time but money as well.

3. Flexible Shift Patterns

Not all benefits that care jobseekers are looking for is finance related. Care work involves long and unsocial work hours which can also sometimes be unpredictable. Someone calls in sick and suddenly a carer works an extra shift to help fill the gap.

Consider a carer who is a working parent and their shift starts at 7:30 in the morning and lasts 13 hours. That carer will leave home possibly before their children wake up and won’t be getting back home until well after eight in the evening.  This potentially means that this individual won’t actually see their children for all the days that they are on shift, having a huge impact on their work-life balance and spending quality time with their family. This is a major reason why younger carers move into different professions, simply because they don’t get the flexibility they need to maintain a proper work-life balance at an important time in their lives. And it’s actually not just younger carers that crave more shift flexibility.

Healthcare organisations that offer more flexible working patterns are more likely to attract a wider range of care applications. This is something the industry as a whole need to address, as often we experience the attitude from clients that “this is the way that we have always worked”. This means the balance from client to employee is not quite right.

The big question we need to ask is: How many loyal and caring employees leave the care industry because of the strain of unsocial hours on family life or perhaps don’t apply for a role in the first place?

4. Care Home Career Progression

This is a major issue within care. The majority of candidates that we interview are looking to move jobs in search of an employer that will support them with training and career progression. Many candidates say that they joined their current employer who promised training and career progression, but that this was a false promise, and the employer has not been forthcoming. Millennials in particular are driven by constant career growth and progression opportunities and they will continue to job hop until they find it.

Whether it’s support in gaining qualifications such as NVQs or learning specialist skills, healthcare companies that actually deliver are very much more likely to attract higher quality and committed candidates to their business. If your healthcare business is looking to recruit the best candidates, then making a commitment and fulfilling on development training should be a high priority.

If you’re about to recruit staff for your healthcare or nursing home organisation and want to attract the best candidates, introducing value-added extras into your package can make a huge difference to care jobseekers. Whether it’s the chance to learn new skills, help with travel expenses or a more flexible approach to shifts and working, it can make a definite impact to the level of care you provide, your reputation and of course reduce the reliance on and cost of temporary agencies.

We at Go Apply are specialists in developing a happy candidate experience for care and nursing homes. Our goal is to help healthcare organisations fill internal vacancies and reduce agency spend. Get in touch today for a complimentary no obligation health check.


Why Local SEO is Crucial for Your Care Home Website

Why Local SEO is Crucial for Your Care Home Website

If you have a care home website, the first thing you want to make sure of is that local people can access your details and see what kind of services you have on offer. Most businesses are beginning to understand the importance of search engine optimisation or SEO. What they don’t always realise is that focusing on local SEO can have significant benefits. If you run a care home, chances are you mostly cater to a local audience. For example, if you run a business in Brighton, you ideally want local Brighton residents visiting your site as they are more likely to be interested in what you have to offer in the first place.

What is Local SEO

First of all, it’s an incredibly effective way to market your business online, helping you to promote your care home to local customers at the exact moment they are looking for your services online.

If you carry out a care home search on Google, you will see a number of different results come up. One of these is a box containing local searches. It’s important if you are looking for a specific shop or service, such as a care home. These results will generally come with a map, pinpointing your business location. Further down the page, you will also see organic search results (as opposed to paid for ads at the very top and bottom) which include businesses that have optimised their care home website to show up for your particular search term.

Why Local SEO is Important for Your Care Home Website

If someone searches for ‘care homes in Colwyn Bay’ on Google and you have optimised your site for this kind of search, you stand a good chance of appearing on the first page of results. Why is this important? Because the majority of people will only look at the first page of search engine results rather than clicking through to page 2, page 3 or page 4. According to research, over 90% of searchers will pick a business they see on the first page of internet results from an initial query.

Positive results are easier to achieve with local SEO strategies because of the smaller pool which means there’s less competition and the fact that other care homes in your area may not have carried out optimisation on their website.In doing this, you are not only making yourself more visible to families looking for a care home for a family member, however. If you are planning to recruit staff, people looking for jobs online will be more likely to see you as well. Including a dedicated recruitment page on your website which is also SEO optimised to attract local candidates, for example, means that you can catch the best employees before anyone else and get them to work for you.

What Local SEO Involves

There are several strands to effective local SEO marketing. To get it right, you need to utilise a number of different strategies. This can include keyword optimising your care home website to ensure it shows up in organic results. You can also join free services such as Google My Business which enable you to put your location on Google Maps and accept reviews from clients.

Producing a dedicated recruitment page for your business could be important if you want to continually attract the best candidates to work in your care home. You should also nowadays optimise your site for voice search – many people use options like Siri on their phones or have digital assistants like Alexa rather than typing their query into a box.

Bring all these different strands together and you should create a strong and effective digital marketing strategy that raises your visibility for local searches, putting your care home website in full view of potential clients and job seekers.

At Go Apply, we have vast experience of supporting businesses such as care and nursing homes to resource and maintain their recruitment processes so that they attract the right staff. Contact us today if you want to find out how recruitment can be easier and work seamlessly with your website.

ID Fraud in Healthcare – Have You Checked?

ID Fraud in Healthcare – Have You Checked?

The UK healthcare industry is in shock after the latest unearthing of right to work fraud in the healthcare sector. The Reliable Care scandal highlights the importance of supplier checks for reassurance, corporate compliance and most importantly patient / resident safety.

Whilst the Reliable Care Scandal is an isolated event, incidents of this nature damage the reputation of healthcare and temporary staffing and reinforce that it is critical for organisations to work with 100% compliant nursing agencies, without exception. It also provides all healthcare organisations the opportunity to review their current position. It is important to remember that most temporary staffing contracts between healthcare provider and temporary staffing agency are for staff, not care services (except in home care environments where the agency would be CQC registered). This means that contractually the agency is not responsible for the care provided.

Therefore the responsibility to ultimately ensure that agency staff are fully compliant, could legally be argued as down to the healthcare organisation procuring the staff. Remember the beneficiary of the care services is the end client.

And ignorance is not a defence, with the serious consequences of being found employing someone illegally and not having carried out the prescribed checks being so serious, why take the risk:

  • A civil penalty of £20,000 per illegal worker
  • Up to 5 years imprisonment
  • And many more including damage to reputation

Ask the question internally now, when did your organisation last perform a temporary staff audit with agency suppliers? Our recommendation would be at least every twelve months or more often where there is extended use with a certain staffing supplier. I suspect this is not the case and audits are rarely carried out.

What is a temporary staffing audit?

This can be a fairly simple process that can be done on-site at the agency or even as a secure remote process. The following elements are essential to review:

  • Face to face identity checks against an original official photo ID (passport, visa, driving licence)
  • Passport and photo ID scanning software utilised (NHS minimum requirements)
  • Right to work document checks – use latest home office guidance updated January 2019 – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/right-to-work-checks-employers-guide
  • Checking references were obtained correctly prior to starting employment – Best practice could be two references obtained covering a minimum of 3 three years. A minimum of one work reference from an official source (work email domain).
  • Regular NMC pin checks for registered nurses
  • Checking validity and date of DBS – evidence that the original DBS was checked in person if using update service or a new DBS is obtained in the agency name, to be checked or renewed annually

We challenge all healthcare providers who use agencies to audit their providers to double check the response. Give clear instruction, randomise a 10% pool of agency staff and provide deadlines to analyse response times.

Helping healthcare organisations manage agencies is a key focus at Go Apply. We can support internal vacancy reduction and reducing agency costs, the agency PSL process as well as essential audits and audit process guidance. Get in touch now to arrange an informal chat and discuss how we can help your organisation.


The Benefit of a Dedicated Healthcare Recruitment Webpage

The Benefit of a Dedicated Healthcare Recruitment Webpage

Effective recruitment is a key part of any healthcare business. Making sure that you have quick access to well-trained and experienced staff when you need them is vital. Stories in the news about care and nursing homes closing their doors because of a lack of qualified nurses and other healthcare professionals are unfortunately more common than we like to believe.

According to a report in the Guardian last year: “On average, in care homes there are about 2,800 unfilled manager jobs at any one time while, despite concerted recruitment drives, vacancy rates for social workers in the statutory sector have jumped from 7.3% in 2012 to 11% in 2016, and turnover rates continue to climb.”

Staff shortage is an ongoing challenge that has effected many areas of healthcare in recent years. The demand is not always met by the supply. Unfortunately, that can lead many nursing homes and businesses to have a shortage of the most qualified staff they need on site on a day to day basis. Most care organisations have their own websites. While this is a powerful tool for marketing the business, it can also be used to attract the relevant staff. The truth is that including a dedicated healthcare recruitment webpage on your company site can greatly improve your chances of attaining the right person at the right time.

A dedicated healthcare recruitment webpage provides a number of distinct advantages:

  • You can combine your recruitment with your brand message as a business or organisation which means you create consistency.
  • You can use it to direct the right potential candidates to your site where they can find out about the latest vacancies and, just as importantly, what your business does and whether it fits with their needs and qualifications.
  • You can use better marketing to highlight all the benefits of working for your care company, making it more likely suitably qualified and engaged candidates will apply.
  • You can link to your recruitment page from platforms like social media and create even more engagement.
  • Candidates get one link from your recruitment page to the application software making it easy for them to apply. The simpler it is, the more likely you are to get applications for any given job.

Undoubtedly, not having the right number of staff on board can put pressure on other members of staff. They have to make adjustments such as moving beds around or delaying admissions because there’s no one to care for patients. There may be times when staff are doing more than their fair share of shifts which leads to people to leave or take time off due to stress. Many care companies don’t put enough emphasis on their own recruitment, often depending on a local third party service which may or may not suit their needs. Putting in the right processes and systems is vital in ensuring that a steady supply of potential recruits is available and one of the best ways to do this is to include a recruitment page on your site.

At Go Apply, we have vast experience of supporting businesses such as care and nursing homes to resource and maintain their recruitment processes so that they attract the right staff. Contact us today if you want to find out how recruitment can be easier and work seamlessly with your website.


Invest in an Effective Healthcare Recruitment System

Invest in an Effective Healthcare Recruitment System

A key requirement for any successful healthcare organisation or business is an effectively system with which to recruit and onboard staff. An effective healthcare recruitment system can mean the difference between successfully attracting and securing a qualified, strong team, and a recruiting nightmare amounting to no attraction or retention.

Get your recruitment strategy right and you should be able to access the best candidates at the right time and move them seamlessly and relatively speedily, through your selection process. With a potentially quick turnover of staff in many healthcare environments along with the need to attract the best candidates in a competitive employment landscape, your recruitment process needs to be effective. It also needs to be simple to implement, creating clarity at the same time for both recruiters and candidates.

For many nursing home and care home organisations, getting this type of system in place initially involves a major investment both in time and money. It can sometimes seem more expedient to use traditional methods of recruitment to save a little cash. The trouble is these solutions may have limited reach, even locally and generally don’t provide the outcomes you should reasonably expect. You might also miss out on the best candidates because your process is outdated or behind the times.

A healthcare recruitment system is a good option if you want to keep control of your costs and maximise your pulling power when it comes to attracting good candidates.

Here are just some of the main advantages of an effective healthcare recruitment system:

  • First, it’s not as expensive as many people think. The combination of state of the art technology and greater competition means that the price has come down in recent years. Services can also be tailored to your needs.
  • The recruitment process may be a little stop start if you’re handling it by traditional means. Opting for a digital solution means that every stage of the recruitment operation should run seamlessly, making it more effective.
  • Everyone involved in the recruitment process for your healthcare company will easily be able to track each stage of the hiring process.
  • The introduction of automation might sound a little daunting and impersonal but it can greatly reduce time spent on those more mundane tasks. You can, for instance, send out automatic emails with attachments, make immediate email responses, and send notifications to staff as a candidate moves through the process.
  • You are able to access reports and updated information at any time because it’s all held on the system. That’s something you can’t do easily if you are running a traditional recruitment campaign.
  • You can also pull out useful information that helps measure and analyse your recruitment strategy and that, in turn, enables you to tweak and improve your approach through an ongoing trial and error basis.
  • It also means that you keep everything uniform and impartial across the recruitment process, maintaining integrity and professionalism for your prospective candidates. That may well lead to more applications because you are seen as a reliable and trustworthy organisation to apply to.
  • Finally, there are facilities for personalising the recruitment process so that you get a better response from candidates. You can also potentially link to assets such as social media accounts to get candidate backgrounds and images.

An effective healthcare recruitment system doesn’t have to be expensive. If you want to improve your candidate selection and get the right people in post, contact Go Apply today to find out more.