On February 12th 2019 the Department of Health and Social Care launched a social media campaign in partnership with Skills for Care.
This new campaign, called ‘Every day is different’ focuses strongly on the emotional draw of working in care rather than the financial, and the variety of day to day work involved:
The website is well laid out and simple to use and provides direct links to the Skills for Care quiz on suitability to work in care. My only criticism is that the sections that describe the potential duties skim over the more challenging aspects of personal care, personal care referring to assisting with activities such as showering and dressing with no mention of continence care or toileting and let’s face it there is no point in getting someone to interview who isn’t aware of what may really be expected of them.
In my 30+ years of working as a manager in Health and Social Care I have seen too many potential employees run at the first sight of toileting because they were unprepared for the holistic requirements of working in care.
I understand the need to attract people though their emotional desire to help but painting care as ‘let’s help an octogenarian sky dive’ (checkout the Skills for Care quiz), is unfair to the potential employee. They need to know about the real day to day challenges they will face and are generally stronger than they look. Most people, when made aware of the full nature of the job accept it on the basis that for every unpleasant thing they have to do there are far more rewarding elements of the job. Even continence care can give a great sense of satisfaction when you know that you personally have helped someone who was in discomfort and distress, gain control back as well as comfort.
My personal experience shows that there are two main reasons why people are drawn to care, aside from having the qualities required for the role and a desire to work primarily in the sector.
The first is that they see it as a career, want to work full time and are usually motivated to improve their qualifications and potentially climb the promotion ladder. Rates of pay, continuity of work & hours and the potential to gain qualifications (in that order) all feature highly as their priorities. The website for the campaign gives good clear information on the variety of roles and potential qualifications. The link to the Department of Work and Pensions social care job adverts is easy to use and, once there, they can clearly see the number of hours and rates of pay on offer from different organisations.
The second group is that of those people who want to work part time or get back into work after having a family or deciding on a change of role. These people often want to work only part time (at least initially), do not necessarily want to progress and rates of pay are not usually a main driver. Their priorities are often job satisfaction, flexibility of working hours and access to support and skills training (in that order). The website gives information on what to expect and what level of initial training will be given. It uses case studies to show how care staff can make a real and lasting difference to the quality of people’s lives.
Over all I like the campaign and think it is well structured but care companies need to understand the motivations of anyone that they recruit and be flexible in working with them. Why miss out on a potentially great care worker because they cannot commit to working every second weekend? Why lose a dependable full time worker because the company down the road pays 25p an hour more than you and you haven’t enrolled them on the Diploma level 2?
Lastly the new campaign states that there are over 110,000 care worker vacancies yet the Department of Work and Pensions job advertisement pages show only 16,239 vacancies currently.
If your company wants to take full advantage of the campaign you need to get your vacancies on the site. Anyone who visit the ‘everyday is different’ sites needs to see YOU when they click the link to find a potential job. Department of work and pensions job page: https://findajob.dwp.gov.uk/search?q=social+care&loc=86383