• Sinéad Nolan

Recruiting a Carer


Finding a career that you enjoy can be a difficult process for jobseekers of today. Not only do you have to worry whether the industry you are moving into is oversubscribed (after all, no one wants to waste money and time on education that takes them nowhere) but you also have to consider your aptitude and abilities.

Similarly, recruiting people who fit the roles we have here at Three Sisters Care can be just as difficult. We look for people who are flexible, compassionate, punctual, reliable and good at communicating; people who are willing to help with a client’s personal care (bathing and toileting). You’d be surprised how many people do not fit the bill! With this in mind, the Care Manager for Three Sisters Care, Una Court, and I went to St Patricks College in Holborn for their Health and Social Care careers day. We hoped that the people who would attend would be compassionate ‘people persons’ who had already thought about health and social care as a potential job; it was an ideal place for us to try and recruit new carers.

Presentation

We gave a presentation to a lecture room packed full of people of a variety of ages and cultures who were all passionate about health and social care and covered topics such as interview skills, how to get into care, what qualities we look for in a carer and we spoke about Three Sisters Care as a company. By the end there were lots of curious and enthusiastic questions such as whether they could fit caring around their studies as a part time job (yes!), whether they would need to travel (occasionally, but we like to match a carer to a client close by where they live), and how they could apply (send a CV and cover letter and we’ll try arrange an interview if you match up with our requirements). Many people with no practical experience were also interested in taking the Care Certificate with us. Engagement

We set up a stall and put out fliers and sweets. There was a steady flow of interested students with lots of relevant questions showing an interest in becoming a home carer. Health and Social Care is a choice that many people choose to study for a variety of reasons. If you enjoy meeting new people and conversing with people from all walks of life, it might be the job for you.

Follow up

Half the job of recruiting is following up. While Una and I went home with a book full of email addresses, phone numbers and names, we then had to contact all of the interested people and wait to hear back. People who were genuinely interested got back to us soon with CV’s and cover letters. Good grammar and spelling, and showing a real interest in the job can help carers stand out as well as a follow up phone call to see if we received their application. Relevant experience and qualifications in care and good references are what we look for in an ideal applicant. If someone without experience shows promise, we are often willing to refer them to the Care Certificate and give them a chance. Finally

Once we have ideal applicants then we arrange the interviews. People who turn up on time, dressed for an interview, with plenty of enthusiasm and good answers to the questions, stand a good chance of getting a role as a carer. Before a carer starts work with us, however, it can take time. After they pass the interview, we must have gotten two references from them and followed them up. We also have to wait until their clean DBS background check has come back as working with vulnerable adults is an important job. After that we do some more training and shadowing and finally our carers are ready to go out and do their job with our valuable clients!

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