Throughout August and September, we’re putting the spotlight on recruiting staff. Over the next two months we’ll be sharing information and ideas through blogs, articles and social media posts to help you get #RecruitmentReady. 

Recruiting new workers can be challenging at any time, but the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has made this challenge even greater.  

We can provide support to help you find and keep the right people. From our research and work with employers across the sector we know what has worked well for others.  

Some of their ‘secrets of success’ include:

  • understanding your local area to inform business planning 
  • using innovative strategies to attract candidates from the local community
  • offering quality training, positive working conditions, flexible working and competitive pay rates
  • recruiting people with the right values and behaviours, who are more likely to stay. 

A values-based approach to recruitment involves establishing strong workplace values and ensuring that your workforce matches them. Doing this will help to reduce time and wasted resources in recruiting the wrong people. Our guidance can help you embed a values-based approach throughout the recruitment process. 

#RecruitmentReady resources 


Support for individual employers and personal assistants  

Recruiting and managing personal assistants 

Our information hub helps individual employers think about their responsibilities as an employer and provides access to the latest guidance, templates, toolkits, webinars and resources about recruiting, training and managing your team. 

Access the information hub

Becoming a personal assistant  

Working as a personal assistant (PA) can be very rewarding, knowing that the support you provide to an individual helps them to live more independently. Find out more about the role of a PA, how to get started, and training and qualifications on our information hub.  

Access the information hub

Planning recruitment

Workforce planning 

Workforce planning can help ensure you have the workforce to meet your business objectives and personal care plans. A workforce plan helps you to assess your current and future staff needs and our resources will take you through the practical steps to develop one. 

View the resources

Use data 

The Adult Social Care Workforce Data Set (ASC-WDS) provides high-quality data and reports which can inform your workforce planning. It helps to identify trends or patterns in worker information such as sickness rates and how your turnover and vacancy rates compare with others. 

Access ASC-WDS

Know what it costs 

Use and adapt our ‘Calculating the cost of recruitment’ template to calculate the costs of recruitment in your service over the past 12-months. You can identify what recruitment activities work well so you can invest more in getting it right as well as reducing costs.

Use the template 

Access funded initiatives 

Funded initiatives are available to support you to recruit and develop new workers. The initiatives can support you to identify potential new talent and provide opportunities for personal and professional growth, which we know can contribute to staff retention. 

Discover the funded initiatives

Recruiting for values  

Identify your workplace values

Before recruiting people with the right values and behaviours, you need to identify and agree your own workplace values so that you know what to look for in candidates applying to work with you. Our framework will help you to develop your workplace values. 

Download the values framework


Including your values in job adverts means that right from the start, you’re clearly communicating what’s important to you as an employer and what you look for in employees. We’ve put together some job advert tips and examples to help you create your own. 

Create your own usings our tips and examples

Identifying values 

Our ‘What values do I need to work in social care?’ worksheet identifies the values essential to working in social care. You can use it as part of an assessment to help candidates identify whether a career in social care is right for them. 

View the worksheet 

Job descriptions

Once you’ve agreed your values, you’re ready to incorporate them into your job descriptions and person specifications. Our examples can help you get started and you can adapt them to reflect the needs of your workplace. 

See the job description examples

Application forms 

Applications forms provide an opportunity for you to ask candidates about their values alongside their skills, knowledge and experience. Our best practice guidance provides an overview of what you should ask in your application forms to glean the most insightful information from candidates. 

Download our best practice guidance

Checking candidate's values 

‘A Question of Care: a career for you?’ is an interactive video which tests whether candidates have the right values to work in social care. At the end of the challenge candidates will be given a detailed profile of their suitability to work in care.

View the challenge 

Values-based approaches to recruitment and retention: online workshops

See our suite of online workshops to help you implement and embed a values-based approach to your recruitment processes. The workshops follow a five-stage model and will provide valuable knowledge and practical tips to address values at each step of your recruitment and retention. 

Find out more about the workshops

Promoting your vacancies

Care Friends

Care Friends is an app that takes employee referral digital. The app allows existing staff to refer their connections for roles and rewards your staff for helping you hire successful candidates. Referrals from current staff have been shown to result in higher quality candidates. 

Find out more about Care Friends 

Effective ways of communicating to target demographic groups 

People from all backgrounds play a vital role in the day-to-day care of people in our communities. This document offers tips to target specific demographics and widen your potential talent pool to incorporate particular target groups. 

View the document 


Safe and fair recruitment  

CQC guide to safe staffing

Ensure you have enough staff, with the right skills, knowledge and values to deliver high quality care. It will help you plan safe staffing levels, embed safe recruitment practices and ensure staff are competent. 

Download the guide

Distance recruitment tips

Help employers to recruit virtually and stay connected with staff from a distance. Covering virtual interviews, preparing candidates for the virtual interview process and virtually keeping in touch with new staff. 

Download the tips 

Safe and fair recruitment guide  

Criminal records shouldn't stop a successful and rewarding career in social care. Our guide will help ensure your recruitment practices are fair and adequately safeguard people who need care and support.

Download the guide

Seeing potential: widen your talent pool

People from all backgrounds can have the right values to work in social care bringing skills, experience, perspectives and ideas to your workforce. Our practical resources and guidance can help you safely and fairly recruit people from different backgrounds.  

Access the 'Seeing potential' information

Involving people who need care and support guidance

Actively involving people who need care and  support in recruitment means they can provide first-hand experience of what is needed from new recruits and have a greater influence over who will support them. 

Download the guide to help you do this


Support your new staff 


Apprenticeships are a fantastic way to bring new staff into your organisation and get new people started with a career in social care. Apprenticeships last for at least 12 months and can run across roles including care worker, registered nurse, occupational therapist, and many more. 

Find out about apprenticeships 

Care Certificate 

The Care Certificate is an agreed set of standards that define the knowledge, skills and behaviours expected of specific job roles in health and social care. The standards should form part of an induction programme and are considered essential for anyone ‘new to care’.  

Learn about the Care Certificate 

Rapid induction / essential training 

Ensuring new workers have skills and training to work safely is vital. The rapid induction programme has been designed to cover a variety of topics, including the main knowledge elements of the Care Certificate, all of which prepare workers to perform their duties at the highest standard. 

View the programme  

Guide to employing workers aged 16-17 

It’s both legal and beneficial to employ young people in social care services, providing them with the opportunity to start a career in care. The guide provides information on the legal requirements around employing a young person, as well as how you can support your new employee. 

Read the guide 


Careers in social care

Think Care Careers 

Discover everything you need to know about a career in social care. Working in social care is a worthwhile and rewarding career. Whether you’re looking for a role that suits you or someone else considering their own career path.

Discover Think Care Careers 

Every Day is Different 

The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) 'Every Day is Different' offers free digital resources to make sure that you’re attracting the right candidates for your positions when recruiting. This includes useful templates, social media assets, print assets and more. 

Visit the resource centre 



#RecruitmentReady blogs

Our blogs and articles include top tips, checklists and real insights from people in the sector to help you recruit the best people for your organisation.  

What is values-based recruitment?

Values-based leadership and wellbeing coach/trainer Kerry Cleary explains what values-based recruitment actually means, and how this can be embedded through each stage of the recruitment process.

Read the blog 

Interview: what values-based recruitment means to us

We spoke with Laura McSherry, HR Officer at Active Social Care -  about what values-based recruitment means to them, and how they embed this through their hiring process.

Read the blog

Recruitment checklist: what you need to do when recruiting in social care

Check out our checklist for social care employers covering everything you need to do during the recruitment process, from before you even decide you want to hire right through to on-boarding your new member of staff.

Read the blog 

Nine unexpected careers in social care you may not even know exist

Many may think of a residential care worker role when thinking of a career in social care. While a residential care worker is one important and valuable role within social care, the variety of jobs available in the sector stretches far beyond this.

Read the blog 

Embracing apprenticeships 

Jenny Docherty, Learning and Development Partner - Funding at Housing 21, who has had 180 staff working towards apprenticeships across their organisation explains how they use apprenticeships, the benefits, and what impact the pandemic has had on apprenticeship programmes. 

Read the blog 

What is workforce planning? 

Find out what workforce planning means. Access a checklist of questions to ask to help you get started with workforce planning and insights on how to use data in workforce planning. 

Read the blog 

The importance of references in social care

Dominic Headley, founder/director of Dominic Headley and Associates a consultancy providing training and advice to employers to support recruitment. Gain and provide effective references and explore why this is so important in the social care sector.

Read the blog 

Recruitment round-up: top 10 tools to help with your recruitment activity

See our range of information to support social care employers with their recruitment activity. We've rounded up ten of our top tools and resources to support you with your recruitment processes.

Read the blog 

How to recruit a personal assistant as an individual employer

We take look at what individual employers need to know when recruiting a personal assistant. Being an individual employer can help you to live independently and in a way that you choose.

Read the blog 

What is a personal assistant and how can you get started in the role

As part of our #RecruitmentReady spotlight we've rounded up information on what's involved in working as a personal assistant and resources to help you get started.

Read the blog 

Planning to recruit for values 

Our step-by-step guide sets you up with how to get started in planning a values-based recruitment process, from identifying your workplace values to fostering a good workplace culture. 

Read the blog 

Interview: recruitment expert Neil Eastwood shares his top advice

Working in social care as a child Neil helped elderly parishioners in his father’s church, before moving on to Allied Healthcare as a Director. We speak with Neil about the masterclass, his recruitment advice, and the importance of values-based recruitment.

Read the blog  



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