The care-at-home franchise has taken a great deal of work getting recruitment just right
Every business faces industry challenges – both ongoing sector challenges, and those driven by market forces such as the pandemic, or Brexit.
Over the past six months, our team at Right at Home national office has focused a huge amount of support on addressing the biggest current challenge in the care industry: staff recruitment.
Demand for our services is higher than ever, but like many other industries right now, we’re experiencing a shortage of candidates applying for jobs.
A Skills for Care report in October showed that the equivalent of 105,000 adult social care vacancies were being advertised on an average day in 2020/21 – 6.8 per cent of roles were unfilled. Staff turnover was also highlighted as a major issue.
Right at Home is known for a commitment to supporting and retaining its staff: we’re very proud to be an accredited five-star employer, based on the outcome of independent and anonymous feedback from employees which is benchmarked against other companies.
That’s why our team set about turning the situation into a positive opportunity to shine the spotlight on our sector; giving the incredible talent across our network a voice to showcase the many rewards, benefits and opportunities that come from working for a good company that is focused on delivering quality care.
In December we launched a wide-ranging recruitment campaign, incorporating a broad variety of online and offline content, that our franchise offices could easily roll out in their local marketing strategy.
1. Proud of My Profession – a library of digital and video content of our care teams talking about why they love their jobs and their colleagues
2. New Year, New Career – a multimedia campaign aimed at attracting people from sectors such as retail, leisure and hospitality – highlighting the job security in care, that was lacking in other industries through the pandemic
3. Careers In Care – wider education: editorial, social and website content highlighting the varied roles and career progression opportunities within the care sector. This included a new careers brochure demonstrating some of the progression routes that can be taken with Right at Home and the support on offer to help our employees get there
4. Careers Quiz – our national office team also devised an innovative interactive online quiz, to help people considering a career in homecare match their skills and personality to the best job fit.
Since the first of January, the careers section of our website has seen more traffic than any other topic area, delivering record results:
• Visitor numbers up 892 per cent year-on-year
• Jobs pages viewed 197 per cent more times than in the previous period
• Time spent on page up 103 per cent
• Job applications have increased by 488 per cent.
Creating future care leaders
We are also employing a long-term strategy to build our own highly skilled, motivated leaders of the future, by developing and nurturing talent from within the network.
This year, we launched the Gold Standard Career Pathway Programme to allow newcomers and established workers to have visible and structured progression routes into multiple roles. This encourages career aspirations among our employees and recognises outstanding performance in their roles.
This programme was backed by the launch of 17 brand new, bespoke, in-house training programmes to aid internal learning, development and progression.
From coaching and mentoring, to quality and compliance training, and leadership and management, we can guide employees into any number of progression routes.
This approach allows us to support homegrown talent and leaders from within, supporting and developing people who absolutely share our values and commitment to quality.
As a brand, we also champion for change in sector-wide challenges – such as social care funding and the post-Brexit sponsorship process for health and care workers – achieving regular coverage in the industry press such as Homecare Insight, as well as on the BBC and in national newspapers.
We’re particularly well-positioned to represent quality-focused care providers via our CEO Lucy Campbell’s role on the board of the Homecare Association.
COVID-19 has gone some way toward shifting perceptions of care workers, and we’re passionate about continuing that change.
Our national people and brand development manager, Heather Wehrle, told Wales Online: “The pandemic has more than demonstrated the vital role we play in the communities we serve and how we are able to protect the NHS by caring for people at home. At the peak of the pandemic, caregivers were for the first time recognised by the government as the heroes that they are. Caregivers are highly skilled professionals with a multitude of skills and abilities.”
Ongoing support for franchise owners
We work in collaboration with franchise owners and their managers via a Recruitment and Marketing Steering Group, and wider consultation and feedback from our franchisees’ regular one-to-one support calls.
Working this way makes sure that our support incorporates franchisees’ ideas and directly addresses their experiences, whilst freeing up owners who are under operational pressure to focus on the day-to-day running of their business.
We have also invested significantly in boosting our recruitment support capacity at the national office by recruiting:
• A second full-time talent attraction consultant
• Two new digital marketing co-ordinators
• A campaign co-ordinator
Our experts work strategically at a network-wide level; they deliver regional clinics to franchise owners, shaped around data from the network; and they’re also directly accessible for one-to-one support calls.
What franchise owners say
“Recruitment is always a challenge, but we are constantly given ideas and prompts on how to recruit effectively.”
“Right at Home’s in-house talent attraction consultant is first class. She has a great no-nonsense, practical approach to everything. Always encouraging, I love working with her and my recruiter feels the same.”
“From previous experience, the recruitment support offered by RAH is far superior and more detailed than anything I have seen…franchisees should really appreciate this service, as it is very supportive and comprehensive!”
The difficulty of caregiver recruitment isn’t going away quickly. But with a quality franchise behind you, there is a team working full-time on supporting you to address and overcome such challenges in your business.
At a glance
Number of franchised outlets:
Location of units:
£120,000 inc. working capital
Minimum required capital:
Kate Dilworth, email@example.com