Posted: 18 November 2019
Angela Hine, Registered Manager at The Rectory, a residential care home that supports person-centred care for people living with dementia, talks about how joining the I Care...Ambassadors initiative has been valuable in supporting both the recruitment and retention of staff.
The nature of our work can be challenging, but also very rewarding. At any one time I manage around 40 staff so it’s important that we have a solid team, all with the right values and behaviours to deliver the very best care.
We initially wanted to use I Care…Ambassadors as a springboard to promote careers in care locally, including opportunities in our organisation. It was important that the initiative supported us to raise awareness of the variety of roles in social care and show young people, in particular, how they can get into the sector and develop their skills for a career, not just a job.
I’ve headed up the I Care…Ambassadors initiative at The Rectory since we joined and am supported by other team members, particularly our younger staff who can inspire their peer groups by talking about their personal experiences and dispelling any negative myths about careers in social care.
Sometimes we attract younger people for work experience through this route. Even if it’s not right for them, young people often tell their families and friends about their experience and word-of-mouth can be just as important.
Much of our I Care…Ambassadors work takes place in our community. We get involved in talks and careers fairs and hold reciprocal visits with local high schools. Jobcentre Plus has also visited us to get a better understanding of the job opportunities in care and the type of environment and culture that can be expected by job applicants.
As a service, we aim to recruit people based on their values and compassion and not always around what qualifications they already have. During talks and careers fairs, we reinforce this message and explain that those joining the sector will be supported through training and skills development.
Our main achievement has to be the fact that I haven’t advertised jobs in our care service since we started the I Care…Ambassadors initiative. It’s helped us to create a positive recruitment and retention culture.
I think everyone should use the initiative as it supports employers, like us, to promote the fantastic career opportunities that are available, especially to younger people. I started as a volunteer in the sector myself and love giving something back, so want to tell everyone how amazing it is.
The I Care…Ambassadors initiative has also benefited the reputation of The Rectory as a great place to work. It supports our ongoing recruitment and retention programme, helping us to attract the right people who are kind and compassionate and support our values. This, in turn, supports our residents who deserve the very best care from the best staff.
We’re really grateful for all the support from Skills for Care. As a sector we’re often firefighting with recruitment, so care services need to be more proactive and learn more about how to reap the benefits of I Care…Ambassadors. Some of our colleagues who’ve moved into other roles within health and social care still tell us how much we inspired them and that’s a real testament to this initiative.
The Rectory is a great example of how the I Care…Ambassadors initiative is supporting the recruitment and retention of those in the care sector.
- Find out more about joining I Care…Ambassadors here.
- Follow our #CareToRecruit campaign here.