Optimising your care home vacancy listings

care home vacancy interview

When it comes to recruiting new care home staff, posting a job vacancy online is only ever half the battle. To get the greatest visibility from applicants and build up fresh interest for working at your care home, there are a few vital tips and tricks that can instantly optimise your vacancy listings.

Growing care vacancies are making recruitment a key challenge for the sector as a whole. Care sector charity, Skills for Care, approximates that around 430,000 care workers leave the sector every year, with around 112,000 vacancies at any one time. This could be due to the challenges of the pandemic, to regulations around mandatory vaccination, as well as the possibility of experienced care staff jumping ship for better wages — but it’s never been more important for care home owners and providers to reinvigorate interest in new care roles by offering something different.

How does your care home compare to the competition?

The first thing to check before listing a care worker job vacancy is how the competition have messaged themselves in other care home recruitment adverts. A lot of care home job listings tend to be very simply and similarly worded, due to having been copied from the same job description templates, or from having been recycled year after year. This can give care home owners and care management teams responsible for recruitment a great foundation of what the job market looks like to potential applicants and where they can introduce their care home’s point of difference.

You can quickly research the messaging of similar care work vacancy listings through job search websites, such as Reed, or Indeed, filtering the search results to cover your local region(s).

What is your care home’s point of difference?

There are a number of key items that potential care work applicants will be looking for in vacancy positions, which are important to include if they are part of your care home’s recruitment offering. These include:

  • Higher than average wages
  • Choice of shift hours
  • Training support and experience
  • Rewards for staff loyalty
  • Compensation or support for workers’ travel
  • Opportunities for career progression

Listing the perks and benefits that new care workers could be entitled to can increase the attractiveness of your recruitment adverts — as well as other experienced care sector staff looking to transfer and develop from their current positions. Having these desirable keywords in your job listing are also a great way of improving its visibility, as some people will be searching for particular benefits or salary ranges.

With the average care worker salary remaining at around £17,000 (roughly around the UK’s minimum wage), even small increases above this figure may be enough to increase the attractiveness of the role. For example, Greensleeves Care announced a 5% pay increase for all care and nursing staff at their care homes from November, to help encourage more interest for recruitment.

Finally, have you considered the care home’s location? For rural areas, it may be beneficial to list the postcodes of neighbouring urban areas as well. This way, you can ensure that the advert is more likely to be seen by larger groups of people who may only be searching within a radius.

Increase your care worker vacancy’s visibility

This one is simple: the wider you cast your net, the bigger the catch. While many care homes were often dependent on word of mouth and local recruitment agencies pre-lockdown, it now helps to be a little more tech-savvy to stand out from the competition.

To achieve as much visibility as possible for your recruitment listing, we recommend:

  • Posting your vacancy to all job search websites that suit your region
  • Advertise your care role for free on the government’s ‘Find a job’ service
  • Investing in advertising with local media services, such as magazines, newspapers or online portals.
  • Regularly posting about new care worker opportunities via social media channels, or in emailed newsletters
  • Asking your existing care staff, residents and their families to share the listing as well

At Fulcrum, we have helped many of our care home clients optimise and improve their chances of recruitment interest across this challenging period. Through targeted campaigns and strategies, identifying where a care home excels or can improve, and advising on ways in which to build more presence within the community, our expert care consultants can support you with filling new care vacancies.

If you’re an independent care provider, or work with a care home group that needs help reaching more people with recruitment, then book a free 15-minute 121 with us.