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RECRUITMENT


Recruit and Retain


Steve Sawyer, Managing Director of The Access Group’s health and social care division, explains how social care providers can deploy technology to manage employee wellbeing, and reduce staff turnover amid the ongoing employment crisis.


The impact of COVID-19 has been overwhelming for the health and social care sector. The consequences of the pandemic have resulted in unprecedented challenges for providers, staff, residents and their families.


More than a year on and the ‘pingdemic’, requiring staff to self-isolate, is adding to the long-term staffing problems which have plagued the industry for some time. While the vaccination programme has been implemented and is bringing an increasing sense of normality, many short- and long-term challenges remain for the industry to attract and retain the best staff.


GROWING CONCERNS


Recruitment and retention has been a common problem for care providers for a long time. Since the pandemic began, research from the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development found 44% of social care workers are struggling to cope with the pressures of their job and as a result, 24% said they have considered giving up their job entirely.


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Skills for Care’s monthly tracking reported that, in June, care vacancies in England fell to 7.4% from 8.8% pre-COVID. While vacancies have fallen across the sector, domiciliary providers reported an average vacancy level of 11.6%.


The figures also highlight the short- and medium-term disruption caused by the pandemic. Up to June 2021, 5% of days were lost to sickness, almost double the levels seen pre-COVID.


Calls to make COVID-19 vaccinations compulsory for care workers has added another layer of obstacles. The BBC reported that over 45% of care homes had more than a fiſth of staff yet to take up their option on a vaccine which could lead to difficult choices for operators looking to minimise ongoing disruption and ensure the safety of residents.


RECRUITING THE RIGHT CANDIDATES


According to figures from Skills for Care, in 2019/20, 34% of care leavers departed the sector altogether. It’s no secret that working in care can be demanding, both physically and emotionally, and this figure highlights the importance of


www.tomorrowscare.co.uk


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