Selecting candidates

Once you’ve attracted the right people to apply for jobs, the next step is to select the candidates who have the right values for your organisation. 

When selecting candidates, it’s important to look beyond just a person’s skills and experience.

For applicants who don’t have social care experience, this 'practical worksheet' helps to identify any transferrable skills they’ve gained from other life experiences.



Consider holding interviews at more flexible times to suit potential employees, outside of the traditional Monday to Friday 09.00 – 17.00. Ask short-listed applicants if they have any specific requirements to enable them to attend interviews.

Using behavioural rather than competence-based questions helps to ask the right questions to draw out the qualities and values needed for the role.

Our practical Values-based interviewing seminar explains what values-based recruitment is and teaches you how to do this. You’ll learn a specific interviewing technique and develop the skills to uncover candidates’ personal values.

Think about how different methods could be used to get to know potential recruits, such as informal meetings over coffee, webchats or social media to discuss vacancies.


Employment checks

DBS checks

Our 'Safe and fair recruitment guide' supports social care employers to understand their legal rights and responsibilities when carrying out criminal record checks. It helps you to implement safe and fair recruitment policies and procedures.


While there is no legal requirement to provide references about people who are or were in their employment, employers have a duty of care to both the people who use their service and staff to ensure that all reasonable checks are undertaken.

The NHS Employers employment history and reference check standard (which provides a basis for good recruitment practice) advises that employers should seek references to confirm a minimum of three consecutive years of continuous employment or training prior to their application.

Further guidance, including when it’s not possible to validate a minimum of three consecutive years of continuous employment or training, can be found in our 'Safe and fair recruitment guide' (page 23).


Skills for Care is working with the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), Reed Screening, Dominic Headley and Associates and VBA Consulting, to create some guidance and tools to help employers share effective references and conduct information. We're currently consulting with the sector to ensure the resources we produce meet your needs. We hope to have them available by Spring 2021.