Recruiting for values, not qualifications, can help you find more of the right people


Skills for Care is working with four local initiatives that put values, individuality, diversity and life experience at the heart of adult social care recruitment.


Jeanine Willoughby, Project Manager at Skills for Care says: “Recruitment should be about talent, not background. To meet the growing demand for workers, social care employers need innovative ways to target and attract people who are furthest from the job market, but have the right values to work in our sector.”


This can include people who are long-term unemployed, have physical disabilities or long-term health conditions, ex-offenders, and care leavers.


One of these projects was delivered by The Care Plus Group. They provide employment opportunities through a multi award winning ‘pathway model’ of initiatives, which include voluntary placements, apprenticeships and internships.


They’re using this tried and tested model to support people from disadvantaged backgrounds in Grimsby, including long term unemployed people, people will mental ill-health and disabled people, on a 13 week voluntary placement.


Participants receive intensive one to one support from an employability support officer who coordinates a bespoke support package of interventions tailored to individual needs. This includes work experience, accredited and non-accredited training and support to find employment.


The Fairways care home has worked with Care Plus Employability Services that supports unemployed people get into work in Grimsby. As part of a pilot project funded by Skills for Care, they offered Jackie a work placement in their administration team.


Due to personal circumstances Jackie had been out of work for a sustained period of time, but her previous experience in childcare attracted her to social care. Despite continuing to learn whilst out of work, Jackie felt unsure about where to start and lacked the confidence to apply for roles. She was referred to Care Plus who supported her to return to work. She received one to one guidance from an employability officer, and did a voluntary work placement at The Fairways care home.


Initially, Jackie felt anxious about the demands of being a single parent and returning to work, but they were soon unfounded as she flourished in her role and her confidence grew. Her manager recognised her potential and supported Jackie through the first few weeks, which helped to bring out all of Jackie’s skills in her new role.


When a vacancy came up at The Fairways, Jackie applied and her talents were rewarded when she secured a permanent position as an administration assistant.


Her manager said: “I can really see the potential in Jackie’s skills and am more than happy to support her… as [she is already] a valued member of our team.”


Skills for Care is developing practical resources to help employers actively target people who face barriers to employment, and safely and fairly recruit people from different backgrounds.


Taking a values-based approach to your recruitment is a great place to start. This involves exploring candidate’s values to ensure they align with your workplace values. Download free, online tips and templates from their website here.



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