Jul 17

Recruiting more graduates into adult social care roles

Posted on Monday 24th July 2017

With 90,000 adult social care vacancies at any given time and increasing competition for high quality applicants, adult social care employers need to find different ways to widen their pool of recruits and develop new sources of talent. And recruiting graduates could be one way of doing this.

Historically social care hasn’t tended to recruit from the graduate market, instead promoting from within. However, the sector’s increasingly seeing more employers benefit from the skills that graduates can bring, and it’s important that we continue to encourage more university leavers to join our sector to meet the growing demand for workers.

Skills for Care’s done lots of work with employers to recruit more graduates through its graduate programme over the last few years. Last week we launched a new Graduate Management Programme that fast-tracks graduates towards leadership roles, based on strategic frontline experience offered by their hosts.


Graduates can inject fresh thinking into your organisation

Sanctuary Care recruited Yunus Giwa through the Graduate Management Programme to review the quality of agency nursing staff from abroad, in terms of recruitment and retention rates.

Thanks to his knowledge, experience and dedication, he created a strategic short, medium and long term recruitment structure for the organisation based on a values-based approach.

He used skills learned in his degree to analyse the journey for EU and Non-EU candidates and introduced packs for prospective nurses to ensure they knew everything they needed to know about working for Sanctuary Care and living in the UK before committing to the role.

He addressed the high cost of suitable accommodation in London for overseas nurses through an innovative approach and worked closely with another area of the business, Sanctuary Housing, to use empty housing stock, reduce headline costs to the business and create a substantial cost-saving.

Yunus made a massive impact on the organisation and they saw improvements to the entry level of candidates, with training and experiences similar to those provided in the UK, and made significant savings in relation to staff time, resources and funding.


Recruiting and retaining graduates - our advice

Recruiting and retaining high quality graduates, with the right values and behaviours, can be a tricky market to tap into; however get your recruitment strategy right and you could find your next perfect hire.

Advertising your organisation as a great place to work, with challenging work, lots of opportunities to progress, meaningful rewards and an open style management can help you attract graduates who are more likely to stay.

Targeting your recruitment activities in places where graduates look for work will ensure you’re delivering your messages to the right people. Graduate fairs, social media and online advertising on careers websites such as Milkround are all great ways to promote your vacancies.

If you’re a forward-thinking social care or health employer, you could host a graduate through our new Graduate Management programme that is run in partnership with the NHS Leadership Academy.

It’s also worth building relationships with local universities who might invite you to deliver talks or attend events. I Care…Ambassadors is a great way to do this; as an employer you register with I Care…Ambassadors and nominate enthusiastic staff to deliver careers activities. By joining the initiative you’ll get access to exclusive resources and templates, giving you the structure and support you need to deliver meaningful activities.

University lecturers, careers and employment advisors can also find your details through an online search, so it’s a great way of developing new local contacts.

Curado have been part of I Care…Ambassadors since 2014 and they’ve found it’s really helped them widen their local networks. Their managing director, Anita Walker, said:

“The I Care… Ambassadors scheme has promoted the business and given us connections with networks outside of our daily activity.”


More useful resources to help you

If you’re a social care employer interested in recruiting more graduates, finding and keeping workers has lots of practical guidance and tips to help you attract, take on, develop and keep the right people for your organisation.

Find out more about taking on a graduate on our new Graduate Management Programme, starting in January 2018.