everyLIFE’s take on the Skills for Care national recruitment campaign workshop for social care – ‘Every day is different!’
I’ve titled this blog ‘everyLIFE is different’ as it occurred to me that I was the only person in this workshop who wasn’t involved in recruitment or front line care delivery. As a technology partner to the care sector, one of the ways in which we are different is that our origins are rooted in care business ownership. Through identifying the requirement for reducing risk, improving operational efficiency and a focus on quality in a care business, everyLIFE and the PASSsystem were born. So, whilst everyLIFE may seem different in this room, we are completely aligned with the goals of everyone present. We, just like every care business owner, need our sector to attract, recruit and retain a talented and happy workforce.
It was a real privilege and a great pleasure to attend the first workshop about the Skills for Care national recruitment campaign funded by the Department of Health and Social Care. This is the first time the DHSC have allocated separate funds outside a larger NHS recruitment campaign, providing social care with a unique voice and, more specifically, a very targeted message. This is an important milestone for the sector and one that hopefully indicates that we are beginning to generate a significant change in the way that social care is regarded after too many years of being seen as something of a second-class citizen to the NHS.
This campaign aims to “drive a new generation of people to consider and apply for a job in social care. To spread the word that working in social care can be rewarding, varied and worthwhile”. Supporting care business owners, managers and social care recruiters with content, communication tips and digital platforms, Skills for Care seem to have provided all the necessary tools for leveraging the message to a national audience – but there is still much to be done. It now requires active involvement. All those associated with care in some way need to get involved in order to create the level of noise needed for this message to be heard outside of our sector.
On February 11th the website www.everydayisdifferent.com launches and will house the communications support and materials needed to promote this work. Sharing amongst our own social networks has great value alone. Research shows that referral is one of the top tactics in supporting value-based recruitment in the sector since many of those who work in social care are likely to know like-minded people with similar values.
However, this alone may not be enough to solve the recruitment crisis. We need to make a greater effort with how we communicate this to a broader audience – those who perhaps don’t even know that there is a shortage of workers in social care and even some who don’t know what social care is! There are job seekers that have never been shown the vacancies available in social care, because the usual search methods for jobs, were not connected to their search. Much effort has been made in this campaign to join up the digital dots between national recruitment and social care recruitment. The Department of Work and Pensions have enabled new filtering categories for social care work vacancies on their website as part of this campaign. The links will be available to share in local recruitment campaigns– but again, those who would never consider a job in care, still need to be made aware of social care work as an option, to make sure that they know how to search for it.
The tactical approaches of digital advertising used in this campaign will, to some extent, communicate this message across a broader network but we still have an individual responsibility to make use of these digital signposts by sharing them as broadly and widely as we can. The first phase of this campaign appears to be a test bed for future funding rounds, therefore the use of ‘above the line’ advertising such as TV or national newspapers, which would be ideal for this sort of campaign, were unfortunately beyond budget- however, local radio will be incorporated into the PR road map. Until there is enough evidence of success in this campaign, additional funds probably won’t be made available. So, it is up to us as individuals working the sector to prove the value in this.
We all work in social care and we can make it our responsibility for those we serve to make the care sector a great place to work. Whether we serve the sector directly as a care worker, or indirectly as a business providing services used in care, we can all do our bit to make a change. I would recommend making use of any downloadable ads from the www.everydayisdifferent.com website and simply post on your social media platforms. A little goes a long way in the world of social media. If you are a care business owner and wanted to get more involved there will be a host of tools and tips for running your own events and recruitment campaigns. If you want to raise awareness in your local community, you can download printed ads that can be posted in local shops, doctors’ receptions and community centres.
Nothing changes, if nothing changes – so we all need to actively get involved to create the change in our sector.
By Anoushka Farouk, Director of Market Engagement