Recruiting in the Health & Social Care sector: the ‘must-know’ fundamentals

There is nothing like a global pandemic to create employee churn. Unfortunately, in many cases since March 2020, this has been less a personal decision to move on and more an industry downturn causing mass redundancy. Yet as some sectors have had little choice but to take a rest for now – tourism clearly at the front of the pack here – others have seen a sharp rise in recruitment during COVID 19, the healthcare industry among them.

It’s no surprise demand in health & social care has risen significantly, with patient numbers increasing in public and private hospitals, health centres and care homes. Health & Social care providers are having to up their recruitment game, not only to hire more medical staff but to fill administrative vacancies too. It’s a field where many who’ve found themselves out of work since the pandemic took hold are now seeking employment – yes, to find another job and also, one they feel plays a part in the national effort to fight COVID.

Now, anyone who’s new to the health & social care sector might think it’s a simple transition to make from, say, a city-based office reception role into one within a doctor’s surgery or hospital. While many of the required practical skills are the same, the process for hiring is much more stringent. It’s why many organisations – including the UK’s largest health care employer, the NHS – use specialist recruiters to attract new talent and fill vacancies, from surgeons to support staff, removing the headache of having to manage the process themselves.

Whether you’re a health or social care organisation looking to recruit in 2021, or an individual looking to begin your career in this sector, here are your ‘must-knows’ – from the HR advisors in the know!

Disclosure and Barring Service – or, DBS

Background checks are essential when recruiting for health & social care vacancies – and not just for those professionals who’ll be managing patients directly. Anyone in the sector not tasked with administering patient care, such as a surgery receptionist, still requires a DBS certificate due to their coming into regular contact with patients and their data. There are several types available – Basic, Standard and Enhanced – with the correct one per role dependent on its responsibilities and proximity to patients. While you can acquire a Basic DBS online, both the Standard and Enhanced DBS certificates come through a specialist who understands the process and correct certification in each circumstance. It is the responsibility of an authorised DBS certificate provider to remain knowledgeable on the specific DBS requirements to the healthcare industry so that you don’t have to.

Mandatory eLearning for Health & Social care Workers

Over the years, it has become apparent a collection of skills is necessary across the health & social care landscape, regardless of the setting – from dental surgeries to private practices. In 2020, the Core Skills Training Framework (CSTF) was developed by Skills for Health UK to ensure a unified approach to training within the healthcare sector. It provides health & social care workers with 11 e-Assessments covering topics viewed as mandatory to the industry, regardless of role, providing a consistent knowledge base across the industry while improving inter-sector mobility. Mandatory eLearning topics include:

  • Conflict resolution
  • Equality, diversity and human rights
  • Fire safety
  • Health, safety and welfare
  • Infection prevention and control
  • Information governance and data security
  • Moving and handing
  • Preventing radicalisation
  • Resuscitation
  • Safeguarding adults
  • Safeguarding children

All mandatory courses are obtained through an authorised HR specialist to ensure a level playing field regarding the course content, delivery and testing. Coursework and exams are delivered and taken online, and each one CPD-accredited for consistency.

You can see this a multi-step approach to recruiting, with many boxes to tick before you can even begin the interview stage! It’s no wonder health & social care organisations turn to outsourced HR advisors for their people-hiring to make things simple, taking care of everything from CV handling to pre-screening of applicants, and supporting with the certification process.

When you’re next recruiting staff into your health or social care organisation, arrange a chat with one of our team at Optimal for some professional, independent HR advice.

In need of some HR advice? Wherever you are in the UK, you can arrange a chat with one of our friendly professional HR advisors at any time.

Call us on 01422 897152 or email enquiries@optimal-hr.co.uk

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