Social Care Recruitment

Shaping social care recruitment that’s fit for the future

Across the board, social care has a recruitment crisis – how can better planned communications campaigns make a real difference?

Search Share – a new tool to boost recruitment

Google Search is invaluable when running paid-for activity for social care recruitment campaigns – as you’re tapping into a person’s journey when they’re already contemplating action.

You might feel you need to rely on the expertise (and expense) of a dedicated search agency to get the best outcomes. But we’re now trialling Search Share for many of our public sector clients, which provides keywords based what people are searching for, at specific times of the year and for specific geographic locations.

  • Watch this five-minute dive into Search Share from CAN’s John-Paul Danon. And book a slot direct to discuss with john-Paul how this insight could benefit your campaign work on Calendly – choose a time that suits you.

According to a report from the Local Government Association, which looked at recruitment and retention across all services, more than 8 in 10 councils are having difficulties recruiting children’s social workers and, in adult social care, 71% are struggling to recruit. This is having a huge impact on councils’ capacity to deliver services.

A BBC News report found that the shortage of children’s social workers has meant council spending on agency staff increasing by almost two-fifths (38%), leading to fears that spending more on agency staff leaves less for children’s services overall.

Common recruitment problems

In our work with local authorities, we’ve heard the most common problems with recruitment advertising in the public sector are: wastage, high costs, low quality applications and results that are hard to measure.

Last year, a West Midlands council trialled a number of approaches to marketing children’s social worker roles. The evaluation found:

ChannelCost per clickAttributable qualified applications
Trade press£3160
National jobs site£122
Regional jobs site£62
Online ads + retargeting £324

These are the clicks generated by another West Midlands campaign across several channels, this time for adult social care recruitment:

Organic social797
Press online165
Website advertising4968
Online ads + retargeting2718

What does this mean councils should do?

The insight suggests that you should:

  • Use your own, council channels intensively to increase awareness of roles free – including email bulletins and advertising across your website.
  • Build pools of job applicants for different types of roles and remarket to them – building your “brand” and reducing cost per quality application. You could partner with regional public sector jobs sites to do this.
  • Use targeted programmatic advertising to fill gaps.
  • Use trade and national press only when you have large budgets and for senior roles for which people will commit to relocating.

Our recruitment campaign model

We have been developing a recruitment campaign model over the past two years that improves outcomes, whether you’re recruiting to specific professional social work roles in adults’ or children’s teams (like Stoke Shape Our Future) or into care home vacancies.

We’ve used precise audience-targeting through online and social media ads and a simplified application process into jobs pools – getting people through the door without having to fill out a time-consuming form first.

We’ve also helped cut costs and taken the pressure off social services by promoting schemes like Shared Lives and recruiting for social care micro-providers (including current campaigns for Sutton and Bath and North East Somerset councils).

  • Contact us for more insight and to discuss if our social recruitment model would be suitable for your organisation.
  • And for a deep dive into the methods we used during Covid-19 lockdown to reach potential applicants for social care jobs under the most difficult circumstances (the resulting insight informing our recruitment model) read our blog Coronavirus and care recruitment: learning lessons for the future.