GM's Hidden Talent team talk recruitment with adult social care providers

As the GM's Hidden Talent team broaden their links with employers, Local Authorities and employment support providers, it is a pleasure to be invited to speak at events addressing the recruitment and retention of young people.

Carol Mitchell, the North West Locality Manager for Skills for Care, attended GMCVO’s first employer workshop in September 2019.  She subsequently invited GM’s Hidden Talent to speak at an event called ‘Doing Recruitment Differently.

Scott (l) and Khizar offer their views on job adverts

Skills for Care is an independent charity that works as a delivery partner for the Department of Health and Social Care. They support the sector to recruit, develop and lead staff.

‘Doing Recruitment Differently’ took place on Thursday, March 12 at the Victoria Hotel in Chadderton. The event brought together 60 adult social care managers, leaders and HR specialists.

The GM’s Hidden Talent team were represented by Ben Reese, the programme Communications and Employer Engagement Officer, plus Scott Bradley and Khizar Ali, members of the GM’s Hidden Talent Youth Panel

The team talked about the care sector’s need to appeal to more young people and how to go about doing this. 

The sector faces sizeable challenges with recruiting and retaining staff. There is an estimated vacancy rate of 7.8% (which equates to 122,000 vacancies) and the turnover rate is 30.8%. The average age of those working in the sector is 45 years old.

Currently, about one in six staff are non-British — 8% come from the EU and 9% from the rest of the world. But, post-Brexit migration system plans could cut off this vital source of prospective international employees.

As such, GM’s Hidden Talent suggested that providers could plug gaps by ‘digging deeper’ into the UK’s domestic labour market, offering opportunities to unemployed young people; many of whom have limited experience of the workplace (27 % of GM's Hidden Talent young people had no workplace or volunteering experience prior to joining the programme).

To do so effectively, providers need to avoid inadvertently creating barriers within their recruitment methods. Scott and Khizar addressed this point in an exercise with the attendees. 

Providers critiqued a composite job advert and description for a domiciliary care assistant role. This had been created by the GM’s Hidden Talent team by amalgamating elements of live adverts. The providers compared notes with Scott and Khizar, agreeing that the advert contained too much jargon; not enough vital information about job location and shift timing; and also did not do enough to appeal to young people. 

Ben then spent time talking providers through the workplace perks that young people look for; the workplace expectations and procedures young people may be unfamiliar with; and how care providers can demystify their values and help young people to give examples of behaviours associated with values during interview and assessment. 

Ben, Scott and Khizar then led roundtable discussions exploring providers’ good practice in relation to the recruitment of young people. Providers were also asked to share what it is they want advice on.

In the coming weeks the team will look to ‘match-make’ providers: making links between individuals who need help on an element of recruitment, with those who excel in that particular facet.

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