Social care organisations could face increasing challenges in their recruitment unless they do more to recruit a diverse workforce.
As more and more men are accessing care services, adult social care employers need to recruit a more diverse workforce that better reflects the people they support.
Research by Business in the Community shows that 90% of employers that are more inclusive have reported improved staff morale, higher skills levels and enhanced reputation.
The latest 'Size and structure of the adult social care sector' report from Skills For Care estimates that only 18% of the sector’s workforce is male, and organisations need to do more to attract and recruit more men.
Jeanine Willoughby, Project Manager for Recruitment and Retention at Skills for Care, believes that the care sector has lots of opportunities for men, but that more needs to be done to change the perception of social care within the male population.
She told us: “We know from previous research that many men are ‘put off’ by some of the myths surrounding care work. However we know there are thousands of men who have long and rewarding careers in the sector, who couldn’t imagine doing anything different.
"Forward-thinking employers should be exploring innovative ways to recruit and retain more male workers who have the right values to work in care. It’s vital that as a sector we break down some of these myths to show that there are lots of different job roles, working with a range of people, and that there are plenty of opportunities to develop and progress.”
There are lots of ways employers can widen their talent pool and attract more male workers who have the right values.
Employers can sign up to I Care…Ambassadors, and nominate enthusiastic male workers to deliver careers talks and activities in local schools, colleges, Jobcentres and other community groups.
The initiative is a great way to break down some of the negative stereotypes about working in care. Hearing from someone actually doing the job can really inspire people - feedback from ambassador events revealed that 93% of respondents have a better idea of what it’s like to work in social care having heard from an ambassador, and 35% were more interested in a career in social care.
Research also suggested that many men thought that they didn’t have the right personal attributes and skills to work in social care.
Skills For Care say the sector needs to do more to highlight the underlying values and behaviours needed to work in care, so that more men themselves consider social care a realistic career choice.
Employers are encouraged to do this by taking a values-based approach to their recruitment. This involves identifying the values that mean the most to your organisation, and ensuring that your staff align with these. You can include values and behaviours in your job adverts and descriptions so potential recruits know what you’re looking for.
Skills for Care have produced an online toolkit which has lots of practical guidance and templates to help you recruit people with the right values.