Finders, Keepers: Nurturing Australia’s Aged Care Workforce
Aged Care Workforce

“Workforce, workforce, workforce.”

 

Australia’s aged care advocates and industry leaders are urging the sector to “be bold” in pursuing a vision for a better aged care system, by urgently acting on reforms arising out of the Aged Care Royal Commission through solid investment into its most important asset – it’s people.

Eighty thousand additional staff is needed in the aged care sector. So how do hiring managers “do better” in attracting suitable talent to their aged care workforce in a bid to improve staff retention?

It’s no small feat, but there are plenty of smart hiring solutions out there that can help you and organization find a harmonious recruitment process that sees you hire the right people, first time, every time.

 

Staying on top of the people process

Those responsible for recruitment in aged care will know better than anyone the enormity of the task that lays ahead. They don’t think they’ll need staff; they know they need it. And the sooner the better!

But rather than reacting swiftly to staffing issues as they arise, aged care recruitment needs to adopt a more proactive approach when it comes to seeking new staff and anticipating their needs ahead of time, before their workforce hits problematic levels.

Proactive recruitment is a human resources strategy where work is continually being done in the background to find and hire the right candidates to help keep businesses running at their best. In aged care and our health sector in general, this is vital.

So how can you apply the proactive method of recruitment in your aged care organization to ensure the delivery of care is not just meeting the current standards, but exceeding them?

Let’s look into some smart solutions for hiring managers to consider across the board.

 

 

Finding the right fit

Recruitment can be a challenging process across all industries, but it’s never been more important in the aged care sector.

Aged care offers a rewarding work environment and there are many candidates who have a distinct desire to work with older people. But does this mean they are right for the industry?

 

– Create it! Whether it be front-line staff, executive, kitchen, cleaning or maintenance, you want to attract the right people to the role right from the outset. Firstly, it’s important to take your time in building the profiles of the roles you need filled. Once you’re happy with the selection criteria and have a good stock of candidates swimming around in your talent pool, use pre-screening data and job matching scores to narrow down the field and create a job role skills matrix as a reference point to use going forward. This will also help with your proactive recruitment processes. Having a skills matrix for all roles within your workplace readily available to add to any upcoming job hire ad will take a bit of the leg work out when you need to action an urgent hire.

 

– Sell it! For a long-term return on investment when recruiting for an aged care role, you want to hire the right person for the role to ensure they grow with your organization, rather than deciding it’s not really for them within their first nine months on the job and you having to start the process all over again. So have a think about what the organization can offer the candidate as much as what you need them to bring to the organization. For example, creating a career pathway for a university undergraduate who’s in the market for part-time work in their industry of study could be considered for a more senior position once they’ve graduated. Think creatively!

 

– Remove it! Take the guess work out of your processes and make evidence-based hiring decisions using the right screening and qualifying systems to suit your needs. Use a job role platform which allows you to request specific compliance records, credentials and licenses required for the role during the application process. This way, you’re able to review each candidate’s job role, assessment data and CV with job match weighting data to make sure the right person for the job is shortlisted.

 

– Keep it! Make it a policy with your hiring team to keep candidates resumes in a database even after the open position has been filled. When a new vacancy in your organization arises, before they post the job opening on a job board or their social media account, you can refer to the database of existing resumes already pre-screened and skills-assessed to determine whether any of those candidates would be a good fit for the role.

 

Morals and merits, not laundry lists

Suitability screening and smart selection of talent is vital. It’s a pretty simple equation when you think about it. Hiring people with the right core competencies will ensure that return on investment as they achieve and succeed in their role and create revenue.

While modern-day recruitment processes may depend on certain algorithms and keyword searches to identify suitable candidates for a role, employers in the aged care sector need to take a deeper dive into a person’s suitability as a care worker and make decisions based on evidence, rather than checklists. There are tools available to hiring manages when creating an ad which will prompt a candidate to provide additional information in order to be considered for the position.

Ticking off the ‘must-haves’ and ‘nice-to-haves’ is all part of the hiring process, but it’s just as important to identify a candidate’s credentials that are perhaps not outlined in their basic professional profile.

Take your hiring prowess to the next level with a powerful combination of talent-seeking tactics which will allow you, as a hiring manager, to determine whether candidates have ethical decision-making capabilities and make sure they’re the right cultural fit for your organization.

Here are some tips which might help take the heavy lifting out of this process for your recruitment specialists:

  • Use validated data to underpin your talent selection
  • Find smart solutions which use smart Ai and advanced parsing technology to assess each candidate’s CV against their job role
  • Make data-driven recruitment solutions by creating dynamic candidate leaderboards based on individual weighted job match scores.

 

Employ balance, not bias

No one likes to think they hold inherent prejudices, but personal preconceptions can unconsciously seep into any process whether we’re aware of them or not.

The first step for all employees is to recognize they have biases and identifying what they are. As an example, it could be as simple a scenario as considering a younger graduate for an RN role over an older candidate, because of their affinity with technology and learning new systems. Your bias may have already surfaced on paper before you even get to the interview stage without even knowing it!

Second, remove the fallibility of unconscious bias from your recruitment by using a pre-screening data platform to streamline your process.

The use of predictable datasets that speak to a candidate’s job match and suitability to the role will ensure unconscious bias doesn’t impact negatively on your recruitment process!

 

Hiring for the future

There are some heavy demands on our aged care industry at present, so lightening the load when it comes to finding the right people to place in these critical care scenarios is imperative at this crucial turning point.

Whether it be residential aged care, community care, home-based care or health and specialist care – it’s critical that the best talent is recruited and retained in these very important roles which provide integral support services for our most vulnerable sector of society. And as recipients of this service, like anything else, we want the best person possible in place and tending the needs of our loved ones in these often emotionally charged situations.

With 3.5 million Australians expected to use aged care services by 2050, let’s just say that the time for proactive recruitment into the nation’s aged care workforce is now!

This can only be done with smart solutions built into recruitment operations to take the heavy lifting off hiring staff and create a resilient, reliable system that allows your team to make informed choices on talent now and into the future.

 

Need help to get it right?

Book a no obligation call to find out how PowerHouse Hub’s platform, specifically designed for the aged care sector, is empowering organizations like yours build and retain a flexible, yet sustainable workforce for the future of this vital industry.