Jun 21

Appy recruiting: the digital solution to recruitment and retention in social care

Posted: 14 June 2021

This month marks one year since Care Friends launched their innovative employee referral app in partnership with Skills for Care.

The refer-a-friend app allows people already working in social care to refer their friends and connections for open roles, and to earn points (which can be redeemed for cash) in return for doing so.

Care Friends was launched as a unique digital solution to the challenge of recruiting social care staff by taking the premise of employee referral schemes, a typically effective way of finding new staff, and bringing it online using gamification to make it fun to use.

As well as being used to find new staff, Care Friends bonus points and app notifications can also be used as a reward and recognition tool to help retain existing staff too by ensuring they feel valued.

Find out more about why getting appy could make you very happy when it comes to your recruitment efforts.


Candidates at the click of a button

Employee referral schemes have proven to be an effective way of sourcing new staff and are known to bring in high-quality candidates. However, the logistics behind manual employee-referral schemes can often be time-consuming and difficult, and it can also be hard to keep these schemes at the top of your staff’s mind.

By bringing the same premise online it makes the whole process much simpler and quicker for everyone involved, from the employer to the referrer to the candidate.

Care Friends has found that their app brings in more referrals than a traditional manual referral system – typically almost tripling the number of candidates.

Your existing staff can champion your company

The more people who can help support you in sourcing good-quality candidates, the larger the pool of talent you’ll be able to find.

By actively bringing your existing staff in on your recruitment efforts you can tap into a whole host of their friends, family and connections you may never have discovered otherwise, and your employees can provide first-hand feedback to candidates on why your organisation is a great place to work.

By incentivising app users through the points system, which gives users points for recommending an interested candidate or sharing a job role with a connection, it’s easier to keep staff enthusiastic in the process as they’re getting rewarded for their efforts in an ongoing and easy-to-understand way. Every point which a user gains on the app equates to £1, and points can be cashed in for money.


Putting values before experience

Skills for Care is a supporter of values-based recruitment, which means establishing strong workplace values and ensuring that the people you hire fit these values.

In practice, this can mean hiring people from outside of the social sector but who have the right values to fit into your organisation and provide high-quality care for those you support.

By using the refer-a-friend principle of Care Friends, this allows the emphasis to be placed on those values among candidates, rather than solely focusing on previous experience. Your own existing staff will know better than anyone the values which are important in their organisation and will be able to recognise those same values among their friends and connections, including those outside the social care sector.

Tapping into and trusting your employees’ recommendations will allow you to discover hidden gems of talent within your community you wouldn’t connect with otherwise.


Return on your investment

The Care Friends app is available to care workers whose employers have paid for an annual licence.

Using the app and the input of your own staff, can allow you to hone in on finding the right candidates with the right values for your organisation – which can result in higher-quality staff who will remain in your organisation long-term.

Feedback from employers using the app is that they’ve actually saved money by using Care Friends in place of their previous methods – and the money they do spend on points is going into the pockets of their staff.


Say thank you to your staff

The Care Friends app not only allows you to say thank you to your staff for their support in your recruitment efforts, but it can also be used to reward staff for all their work. Using the app employers can award bonus points to employees at any time to reward good work and ensure care workers feel valued, a key factor in staff retention within social care.

Popular examples of awarding bonus points include ‘Hero of the month’, completing a qualification, picking up a shift at short notice and acknowledging compliments from a client, or their family member.

Find out more about how the Care Friends app works and how it could be used in your organisation on their website.