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28 May 2024

The Path to Attracting Staff to the Care Sector


GUEST COLUMN:


Leanne Andrews

Head of Sales

Enhanced Healthcare

enhanced healthcare

We have a growing need for skilled carers across the UK, and now is the time to address how best to attract talent to this vital industry.

Having come to care recruitment from a career spanning media, advertising, and medical recruitment, I’ve gained a fresh perspective on the challenges and opportunities within the care sector.

The care sector, like many others, has felt the acute pressures of economic shifts, societal changes, and health crises such as the pandemic. These challenges have not only tested the resilience of care services but have also spotlighted the critical role that carers play in our communities.

Attracting and retaining talent in such a landscape requires a clear understanding of what drives individuals to join and remain in this demanding yet rewarding field.

One key strategy lies in enhancing the appeal of the care sector. This involves promoting the intrinsic rewards of caregiving — the personal satisfaction that comes from making a significant difference in people’s lives.

But if we are to really make a difference in drawing more professionals into care in far greater numbers we must also ensure that the sector is recognised for offering robust career paths, competitive compensation, and opportunities for professional development.

From my discussions with colleagues and stakeholders it is clear that fostering a supportive work environment is fundamental. This includes providing access to continuous training, which equips carers with the skills necessary to excel and adapt to evolving care needs.

Addressing the work-life balance concerns that many in the sector face can also significantly improve job satisfaction and retention rates.

It is also absolutely key that employers put in place supportive measures to help carers manage the emotional and physical demands of their roles. Enhanced Healthcare, for example, has been proactive in arranging training sessions with financial advisers and wellbeing experts to assist staff with the broader challenges of today’s economic climate. We deliver temporary staffing solutions to a range of health and social care services across North Wales and beyond, and we find that this holistic support system not only helps employee retention but also serves as a model for other organisations in the sector.

Visibility and awareness are also crucial. Potential carers often do not fully understand the scope of roles available within the sector or the impact they can have. Effective marketing, clear communication about career opportunities, and sharing success stories can demystify the sector and attract a broader audience.

In my role, and through our team's efforts, we have seen the benefits of taking a people-first approach—not just in terms of care delivery but also in how we support and develop our staff. This approach aligns with the broader needs of the sector to adapt, grow, and ultimately, provide the best possible care.

As we look to the future, my advice to other business leaders in the care sector is to remain adaptable and proactive. Look for innovative ways to improve your services and support your teams. Engage with the community to raise the profile of care work and highlight the critical importance of this sector. The path to attracting and retaining dedicated carers will be shaped by our commitment to enhancing the sector's appeal and the support we offer to those within it.




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