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97% of Social Care Employers Faced Skills Shortages Last Year Survey Reveals

The majority (97%) of employers across the social care sector experienced skills shortages last year, according to new research released by leading specialist in workforce solutions and recruitment, Hays.

The research, which received nearly 380 responses from employers and professionals across social care, reveals that competition from other employers is the main cause of skills shortages (66%) followed by pay levels (54%).

The skills gap is reportedly having a negative impact on employee morale (65%), care delivery (65%) and productivity (45%), so what can hiring managers do to overcome these shortages and attract and retain the top talent?

Pay an even greater priority for professionals today

According to the research, over half (52%) of social care professionals intend to move jobs in the next 12 months and almost two thirds (65%) say they are dissatisfied with their current role as the salary is too low. The top reason professionals want to move jobs is due to their salary and benefits package (27%).

The economic landscape is impacting career plans across social care, as close to half (45%) of professionals are more inclined to move jobs due to the rising cost of living, and social care employers say the cost of living is currently posing the greatest external challenge (74%).

An organisation’s purpose crucial to attract talent

Whilst pay is important to social care professionals, working for an organisation with a strong sense of purpose is also essential and was cited by 97% of professionals as a deciding factor when assessing a new role – a slight increase from last year (95%).

When it comes to demonstrating an organisation’s purpose, social care professionals want employers to showcase that their company works with charities (48%), has clear goals and achievements for meeting ESG targets (41%) and recognises awareness days with a clear call to action (40%).

Different hiring methods key to combating skills shortages

With skills-based hiring on the up, nearly seven out of ten social care employers (68%) say it’s not important for potential employees to have a degree. Hiring for potential is another solution; most (88%) social care employers say they are likely to hire a professional who does not possess all the required skills, with the intention of upskilling them.

To help directly address skill shortages, over half (52%) of organisations are actively hiring older workers over the age of 50 and more than half (56%) of employers have adopted flexible working approaches in an effort to attract and retain staff.

Brendan Ryan, Director at Hays specialising in Social Care, comments: “Over the last 12 months, we’ve seen the ongoing skills shortages across social care intensify the competition for talent, and grappling for talent is expected to remain a challenge for employers in the year ahead.

As our research demonstrates, offering an attractive salary and benefits package, being open to alternate ways of hiring and having a strong purpose that is communicated throughout the employee life cycle are all effective ways to attract the top talent today.

Talent retention is another internal challenge social care employers must contend; offering career development opportunities, so professionals have the chance to upskill and progress, is a tried and tested way of holding on to staff and creating, rather than solely consuming, talent.”

 

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