Skills for Care

How we recruit nurses and nursing associates in social care

07 Sep 2023

5 min read

Dr Paula du Rand

  • Culture and diversity
  • Nursing
  • Recruitment

Paula du Rand, Registered Manager at Kineton Manor Nursing Home discusses the recruitment process they use for finding and keeping nurses and nursing associates.

The role of the registered nurses is to take the lead on assessment, planning and evaluation. The registered nurse will also lead on managing and coordinating the care of the people we support. Registered nursing associates will contribute to most aspects of the care including delivery and monitoring.

At Kineton Manor we also have a role for nursing associate in training. We want all staff to progress in their role and for those who wish to become a registered nurse, Kineton Manor is committed to providing a route for this exciting opportunity to support nursing associates.


The recruitment process

When we’re recruiting for a new post the first step is to analyse what exactly it is that we need from the role and to make sure the job description matches that requirement.

When there are vacancies for nurses or nursing associates, we usually analyse the job role to determine if the role is still relevant. We look at it, and update if necessary, the job descriptions for nurse and nursing associates.

We immediately post the advertisements in the local newspapers and on social media. We inform our staff about the role and ask that they look out for people and do referrals. When we don’t get applications we take up the route of overseas recruitment.

We also often look to recruit internationally. Kineton Manor is an A-rated sponsor for UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and we’ve recruited excellent senior carers and nurses via this route in the past. We advertise through social media and by word-of-mouth.

In the job advert we highlight Kineton Manor’s values and the rewards, plus benefits and working hours. We support candidates to relocate and provide staff accommodation that is highly subsidised.

When applicants enquire, we act very quickly so as not to lose the possible candidate. For overseas candidates we conduct the interview via Zoom.

Before we offer the role to anyone, we check the qualifications, complete a disclosure and barring service (DBS) check, and follow all the requirements from the UKVI regarding right to work. We then seek references after the applicant has been given a provisional offer.


An effective induction

We put all our effort into making new staff feel welcome and to provide enough opportunities to gain the knowledge and skills they need to carry out their duties and to be happy in the workplace. We really nurture them in the induction period. It’s important to introduce them to all our lovely residents at this point and give them time to get to know them. We also make them aware of our residents’ committee, introduce them to our relatives’ committee, and give them time to go through the care plans. We also introduce them to the team. Of course, we give attention to all health and safety aspects and emphasise all fire risks as well as manual handling.

For those new recruits who have relocated, if they prefer to live in staff accommodation, we make sure that their room is ready for their arrival. The housekeeper usually puts a welcome treat in their room, such as flowers, chocolates, and a welcome card.

We follow our induction checklist and provide an induction pack. All staff get three months to complete their Care Certificate and we have a person who is trained to support them with this.

All registered nurses and nursing associates are initially given four weeks to shadow a nurse or nursing associate. It works well not to expose them to additional stress for the first month. After a month, supervisions will be conducted to assess the level of support they require.


What's unique about recruiting nurses or nursing associates in social care

To work in social care is not only unique but also exciting because as a nurse or nursing associate in social care a medical doctor is not always nearby. You must be knowledgeable and confident enough to make your own clinical judgment and also be able to perform a range of clinical tasks such as taking bloods, doing complicated wound dressings, and much more. The cherry on the top of the cake is that the residents become your family as you look after them for a long time, and not only the residents but also their relatives.

It's very important that you must make sure the person you recruit has a passion for caring for people. This is very difficult to determine during an interview but after a month with close supervision you can get a good indication of their values and attitude. My personal view is when in doubt it’s in everyone’s best interest to end the contract during the three-month probation period if it’s not working out. People who draw on care and support deserve the best care, love, and support.

The workforce at Kineton Manor Nursing Home is very diverse with staff coming from many different cultures. We all work towards one goal, so we all get on well with each other. At one stage we had ten different cultures with us. Students from universities always enjoy their placements at Kineton Manor because the atmosphere is enjoyable and unique, of course they receive free meals whilst on duty, as do all our staff.

A person who chooses to work in social care must recognise the importance of giving each resident a sense of security, purpose, achievement, and significance.


Find out more about the role of registered nurses and nursing associates in social care.

Find more recruitment support with our #RecruitRight spotlight.


This article was originally published in July 2022. It was updated in September 2023.

Resources to help you #RecruitRight

Social care workers honoured at Number 10 reception