New research released by Hays has found that close to half (46%) of social care professionals moved jobs in the last 12 months driven by unfulfillment in their roles, ahead of salary dissatisfaction.
The research which received over 900 responses from social care professionals and employers forms part of the Hays 2023 Social Care Salary & Recruiting trends guide.
A quarter (25%) of social care workers said they left a role last year due to unfulfillment, followed by 18% who said the move was due to salary dissatisfaction, decreasing from 25% in 2022. This was followed by a lack of career development opportunities (21%) or career progression (19%). Ultimately, job fulfilment is critical to retaining talent in the sector.
Brendan Ryan, Director at Hays specialising in Social Care, comments:
“Hiring plans are set to be busy this year within the social care sector, but employers are up against tough competition for talent. Organisations must therefore promote compelling reasons why someone should join their organisation.”
The importance of employee benefits
According to the survey, the most important benefits for social care workers are additional days off for wellbeing (49%), over 28 days of paid annual leave (49%) and training / professional certification support (43%).
Whilst hybrid working is not always possible in more hands-on roles, it is a factor which continues to attract and retain talent. Over half (53%) of social care professionals could be tempted to change jobs if they could decide how often they were in the workplace, illustrating the appeal of flexible hybrid work.
51% of professionals across social care gave their work-life balance a positive rating, which shows little change to last year (49%).
Professionals value a strong EVP
Professionals across social care value a strong EVP (Employee Value Proposition) when searching for a prospective employer, including whether an organisation has a strong sense of purpose (93%), a commitment to sustainability (90%) and a diverse and inclusive culture (81%).
In terms of the 12 months ahead, 61% of professionals are looking to change jobs, motivated by a better salary and benefits package (23%), concerns about job security (16%) or a lack of future opportunities in their organisation (13%). For those who don’t have their heart set on moving jobs in the upcoming months, the top factor that could tempt them to do so would be a better salary and benefits package (36%).
Brendan Ryan, Director at Hays specialising in Social Care, comments further:
“The research reiterates that social care professionals gain the most job fulfilment from the work itself, which comes with much responsibility and rewards. Therefore, employers need to facilitate this, whether that be through giving professionals more autonomy to make decisions, to improve job satisfaction, retain talent and get better outcomes.
Organisations need to clarify what underpins their values and culture and how to effectively deliver this, as these factors clearly influence whether candidates decide to apply for a role. Promoting opportunities for career progression is another way to attract talent in the social care sector. It’s all about creating a positive narrative around why prospective employees would want to work for you.
In order to compete for talent in today’s candidate driven-market, employers must be prepared to constantly review, assess and change what benefits they offer, considering employee expectations are not fixed but always shifting.”