RECRUITMENT The Strongest Workforce

Brian Boxall-Hunt, Chief Executive at maritime charity The Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society, discusses how its care home Belvedere House recruits the most effective team.

According to a recent Skills for Care report, the UK care sector has to fill around 112,000 job vacancies on any given day. Due to an ageing population, this figure has been on the rise and since 2012-2013, has increased by 9%. This growing and concerning

data is why, here at the Royal Alfred, we understand just how important it is to ensure that we have the best recruitment process in

place, to attract and retain the best possible team.

At Belvedere House we pride ourselves on delivering the best quality of care to all of those in our charge and for the last 156 years we have been providing housing, residential and nursing care to former seafarers, their widows and dependants. We know that this could not be achieved without having the right team of people in place who dedicate so much time and effort to caring for our residents with compassion, warmth and understanding.

With the vast and rising number of vacancies in the sector, as care providers we must ask ourselves: what can we do to encourage and recruit more people to work in the hugely rewarding adult social care sector?


The Royal Alfred is passionate about its people, and we understand that we could not do what we do without our fantastic team around us. We support our colleagues by investing in everyone’s careers from day one. We hire with a path in mind for each individual and ensure that every member of staff has the tools to succeed and grow in their careers.

A key benefit for new recruits is a strong programme of staff training and wellbeing support. Having staff that are equipped with the necessary qualifications, skills, training and support not only increases efficiency, but can sustain high morale and enables staff members to feel empowered and valued in their roles.

At Belvedere House, our staff and residents are supported by our excellent in-house trainer, Sharon Hicks. Working with Sharon means staff have consistent one-on-one training onsite and further support if and when they need it. This ensures all staff are working to the same standards and addresses any knowledge gaps, whilst demonstrating to employees and potential recruits that they are (or can be) part of a supportive workplace. Similarly, it guarantees the care provided for residents is of the highest quality, supporting the home’s reputation as a leading care provider.

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Conducting regular staff satisfaction surveys is one way the Royal Alfred leadership team ensures colleagues are happy in their roles and feel fulfilled, with the most recent survey reporting 95% of staff are very happy in the workplace.

This high level of satisfaction was down to employees having the tools and resources to do their jobs well, as well as being informed about matters affecting them and seeing managers’ commitment to quality. The happier and more looked aſter employees feel, the more likely they are to consider their role a career and not ‘just a job’. We would encourage other care providers to put into place as much training and support as they are able to – and to continually monitor staff satisfaction – in order to recruit and retain staff efficiently.


Recruiting for roles from within wherever possible is a simple way of maintaining low staff turnover rates and showcasing to your team that you believe in their abilities and want them to succeed in their careers. The care sector’s average staff turnover rate is currently over 30% (30.4%), whilst the Society’s turnover rate is significantly lower, at 11% – a figure we’re proud to say is partly down to our strong internal recruitment process.

We have many examples of internal recruitment, but our most recent and notable is Alice Mitroi who was promoted to Belvedere House’s Home Manager at the end of 2020. Alice joined the Society as a staff nurse in 2016, before progressing to Deputy Clinical Manager and then becoming Home Manager when she replaced her long-standing predecessor, Anne Kasey, who spent 15 years in the role and 37 in total at the Society.

Having an internal recruitment policy and a culture of support is important because it makes colleagues feel valued, lowers staff turnover and ultimately ensures a continual high level of care for residents.


We launched our LinkedIn channel in 2020, specifically to support our recruitment drive, with more than 756 million members using the channel globally and 40 million people using LinkedIn to search for jobs on a weekly basis, it is an extremely useful tool for hiring purposes.

Aside from a company’s website, LinkedIn is also one of the first places potential new hires will look to when researching a new place of work and supports their decision-making process when choosing a new workplace. For this very reason, it’s vital that care providers utilise the channel to promote the culture and values of the business and showcase what they have to offer to a potential candidate. Cultural fit is an integral part of recruitment and should not be forgotten about during

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