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How can Social Care tackle its image problem?

By Amanda Ogede on 04 May 2016

A 2015 YouGov survey showed that the majority of people (75%) think that care workers are underappreciated and don’t receive the status or praise that they are due.

This is alarming as an estimated 71,600 jobs in the adult social care sector (or 1 in 20) are currently unfilled, and the ageing population of the UK is likely to increase demand dramatically. The social care workforce is itself ageing and a high level of retirements, plus a generally high staff turnover and restrictions on bringing in migrant workers are likely to lead to a crisis in social care recruitment over the next five years.

Why is it so hard to find people who want to work in care?

It’s undisputable that caring can be tough – requiring long hours for relatively low pay, lots of training and often working intimately with difficult patients.  But social care is also extremely rewarding and allows you to directly make a positive impact on people’s lives.

Social Care also has difficulty attracting male employees, with an 82% female workforce, due to the perception from society that this is a female profession and unsuitable for men. However, the drive towards personalised care services means that there is a huge demand for male social workers to help look after men receiving care.

What can employers do?

In order for social care employers to continue attracting talent, they need to work on combatting the negative perceptions around careers in care and work on attracting more entry-level candidates to the sector.

When asked what people are looking for from a fulfilling career, the most popular things mentioned are a good work/life balance, working with a good team, having a challenging and varied role and flexible working.  These are all things that social care jobs are able to provide, and employers should word their job advertising to emphasise these points. And with more and more jobseekers looking for a career outside of a typical office environment, there must be an opportunity to capitalise on the varied and rewarding nature of social care.

The fact that social care can be a job for life, with excellent career progression and the ability to tailor roles to different life stages, can also be a really powerful motivator for jobseekers in an unpredictable economy. 

Eliminating any gender bias in recruitment, unconscious or otherwise, is also vital if we are going to attract more men to the sector.

How can TPP help?

TPP can offer impartial advice on how to give your vacancies the best chance of being filled. We work together with our clients to make sure we really understand them, their working culture and the role itself. This enables us both to make a really good fit with a candidate, and to sell the benefits of working for that organisation to them.

If you’d like to find out more about working with TPP Recruitment, please contact us on 020 7198 6070 or