An informative article from one of our longest standing clients Walnut Care on how they look for people with the right values to increase their workforce. Published by Skills for Care as part of its ‘Learn from Others’ programme.
Standing out from the crowd at recruitment events
Walnut Care at Home provide domiciliary care in Lincolnshire. As a growing organisation they are constantly looking for people with the right values to increase their workforce. To attract more workers they decided to try something different at their local recruitment events.
What we wanted to achieve
Walnut Care, as with most social care providers, are always on the lookout for talented individuals with the right values, behaviours and attitudes to consider care work as a career. They firmly believe that care work is ‘the best job in the world’. But competition for good candidates can be stiff; not just from other care providers but from other sectors such as retail or the Armed Forces.
They wanted to explore new ways to excite people about care work and communicate this message to prospective employees. To do this, they needed to look at ways they could energise their recruitment efforts and stand out from the crowd.
What we did
Walnut Care thought carefully about who they wanted to attract to work at their organisation. They knew they wanted to engage with people who wouldn’t normally think of a career in care and targeted appropriate careers events. In 2015, they signed up for a local careers event where other care providers, and also employers from other sectors (for example, the Armed Forces) would be would be exhibiting and competing for the same candidates.
Walnut Care knew they needed to tailor their marketing materials and activities to ensure they stood out from the crowd. They created marketing materials using the 800th Anniversary of Magna Carta as their inspiration. Lincoln is the proud owner of a copy of Magna Carta and it was the city’s theme for the year – Lincoln went Magna Carta ‘mad’ in 2015!
Capitalising on the Magna Carta as a theme, Walnut Care created a ‘Magna Carta Cura’(great charter for care) listing the values and behaviours they were looking for in a care worker and asked people to sign up to the carta – even if people weren’t interested in a job in care it got people involved and they took away mini-care carta fliers which they could share with their family and friends.
In 2016, after discussions with their management team, Walnut Care selected the 100th birthday of Frank Sinatra as their theme for recruitment materials. The operations manager is a member of a well-known local Big Band, and plays her saxophone at some recruitment events.
Alongside the themed recruitment, Walnut Care has worked with other domiciliary companies as part of Lincolnshire Care Association to explore innovative ways of recruitment such as a scenario based local radio ad campaign.
What we achieved
The Magna Carta campaign engaged members of the public and local politicians in discussions about social care and attracted more than 2000 signatories to the care values.
During the year they were able to recruit sufficient staff to support a 25% growth in care hours.
They also recruited a number of male care staff in an area where they were previously unknown, and a number of retired health care professionals who bring a wealth of expertise and experience to the organisation.
Recruitment is now seen as fun within the organisation which is infectious, particularly when speaking to young people at the start of their career.
What we learnt
Melanie Weatherley, CEO of Walnut care told us what she’s learnt from the project.
She says … “Spend as much time thinking about your recruitment campaigns as you do about planning a marketing campaign. And monitoring the success of each recruitment campaign is crucial. Always try to ask ‘how did you hear about us?’ so that you can repeat successful campaigns again in the future.”
“Ask existing staff for their views – Why did you join? Why do you stay? And think about the negatives – What might put people off? Can we do anything about it? You could learn some extremely useful insight into what you should focus on in future recruitment drives and perhaps also where you can improve.”
“Be creative, and have fun! Particularly at careers events, you are the frontline image for your organisation. Bored Recruiters are bad recruiters – not just for their own organisation but for the sector.”
For more information please visit www.walnutcare.co.uk