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Recruitment events for social and care workers flop

12 Apr 2024 3 minute read
Photo Welsh Government

Elgan Hearn Local Democracy Reporter

Recruitment events to find more social and care workers had “limited success” and at two of them, nobody turned up, councillors have been told.

Powys County Council’s Social Service have also been told by a senior councillor not to rely on social media to publicise events.

At a meeting of the council’s Health and Care scrutiny committee on Thursday, April 11 councillors received a report on “responding to our recruitment and retention challenge in social care.”

Part of the report looked at the ways the council had looked to find new workers which included four recruitment events last year.

“Limited” success

The report explained that their events had been “purposely scheduled” to target people on their way home from work.

Venues had been chosen for their location close to major road networks in Powys and just over the border.

Senior manager for safeguarding and quality assurance for children’s services Holly Gordon said: “There were some successes, but they were limited, and at two of the venues we didn’t have anyone attend.”

Powys Children’s Services Recruitment campaign

Committee chairwoman, Conservative Cllr Amanda Jenner said: “I know recruitment events are advertised online as I’ve seen them.

“I just get a sense that less and less people of adult age are using social media.

“I think people are just a bit exhausted by everything they see online.”

She added that she wanted to know the other non-online ways these events are advertised.

Enticement

Head of children’s social services Sharon Powell explained that the strategy of using social media advertising was evaluated and that people had been enticed to the events by the adverts on social media.

She added that the council’s communications team were “liaising” with local media and that a press release to promote future recruitment events was being prepared.

But she stressed it was a decision by individual newspapers whether or not to use the press release and help the council promote its recruitment event.

Ms Powell said: “There has also been discussion for potentially something on the radio.”

She added that the standard ways of advertising had become “increasingly incredibly expensive” which is why they had become “reliant” on social media.

“It’s tricky balancing cost and what we may get,” said Ms Powell.

Cllr Jenner said: “One of the things I have suggested and is really cheap is using councillors and their intel (intelligence) of the local area.”

She believed that newsletter and community leaflets that are published every month or two months in some parts of Powys could be sent details of these events – which would then be published at none or “very little” charge.

Cllr Jenner said: “In my ward that newsletter goes to every single householder, it is read by people of a certain age and they talk and share that information on.”

Shortage

Another idea by Cllr Jenner is to ask schools to share the information.

Ms Powell said: “There is a national shortage of social workers, it’s about marketing ourselves and selling our good news stories.

An example of this according to Ms Powell is agency staff deciding to become council social workers.

“It’s a fluid area and we can always do more to communicate that narrative wider and what we have succeeded on,” said Ms Powell.


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