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Recruitment in the health and social care industry is a never ending task for most managers.  Whilst we have staff who have been with the same place for over 20 years, there are plenty who don’t last more than a few months.  This causes constant upheaval for the managers and it’s time better spent elsewhere.  So, here’s what we’ve learned in a lifetime of recruiting and managing staff.

  1. REFERENCES

Difficulty obtaining references.  We regularly do this on behalf of clients and if the referees have to be pressured into providing a reference this is not a good sign.  Generally, if a person has previously worked harmoniously in an organisation, there isn’t any resistance to providing a reference.   Similarly candidates who struggle to give you email addresses for their referees tend to ring alarm bells.

2. ABSENCE

Number of absences in the past year –  A high number of absences should always be investigated.  There may be a good reason for it such as an operation etc, but unless you find out you don’t know if  those problems would re-occur.

3. UNEXPLAINED GAPS

Candidates with gaps in their work history should be examined closely to find out what happened and what’s different now.  People can change, but they need to demonstrate their motivation and commitment.

4. TRY SOMEONE NEW!

Look at people with backgrounds outside of health and social care.  Customer facing experience such as retail can be a very good starting point for your staff.  Understanding how important it is to be polite and helpful in challenging situations can be a great asset.  

5. JUST WHEN YOU THINK YOU HAVE FOUDN THE RGHT PERSON

Candidates who accept a job and then want to renegotiate terms and conditions are rarely good news.   Make it very clear that you don’t renegotiate once an offer is made and think about withdrawing the offer if the message doesn’t get through.

If in doubt, go with your instincts and move on to the next candidate. 

Being prepared to spend a bit more time on your recruitment can help you get a much more settled workforce and reduce your turnover of staff, which has major savings in both time and costs.

And just because you probably need it, here’s a picture of cygnets to help relieve the headache!