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Health and Care Update: Talent shortage - Fact or fiction?

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19 August 2019
In this issue, we have invited Howard Green, Founder and CEO of specialist health and social care recruitment consultants, Harben Green, to provide a unique perspective into the challenges of recruitment within the sector.

By its very nature, recruitment at any level is extremely reactive and what we hear from the majority of the UK’s operators is the uphill battle to find the right calibre of manager. My response to this is that, perhaps, businesses are not quite looking in the right place.

The philosophy at Harben Green has always been about finding the best person for the job, not just the person who happens to be on the market in the same week that a vacancy becomes live. We choose not to use traditional recruitment methods and have never advertised on job boards or searched a CV database. We use an assured & proactive approach to represent the passive candidate market.

Across a sector where 11% of homes are actively looking for or are without a registered manager, using a unique headhunting methodology is proven way to unearth the best talent, often found living locally to your care home. 

When an operator loses a manager the need to recruit is often accompanied with a huge sense of urgency. A perceived lack of high calibre, available candidates, coupled with a regulatory requirement to have a registered manager in place, can and will lead to rushed and often incorrect hiring decisions, for a role so integral to the success or failure of the home. Hiring the wrong person can lead to loss of permanent teams, a decrease in the standards of care and a drop in CQC ratings. 

As we all know, care home teams are the number one reason for the success or failure of any home and, therefore, recruitment should not be an afterthought or rushed activity. Having the right management team will naturally increase staff retention of your most talented and valuable individuals. The old adage, ‘employees leave bad managers, not companies’ certainly rings true. 

We would be foolish not to recognise the lack of nurses and how cuts to bursaries, Brexit, red tape etc. have all contributed to a national shortage of qualified RMNs, RGNs and RLNDs. Temporary staff, although sometimes a necessity, can harm the continuity of care and will detrimentally affect an operator’s bottom line. Homes that have an over-reliance on temporary members of staff have inherent recruitment issues; where recruitment is a problem, retention through positive employee engagement and recognition should become key. 

Our belief is simple; get the management team right and recruitment across the home will naturally improve, creating a notable impact on the clinical and commercial excellence of a home. 

We consider that there is not necessarily a lack of talent in the marketplace, rather the best managers are not spending time searching for jobs and applying to your advert. By identifying the best talent in your area Harben Green can present you with options that you did not know were available. To discuss your talent strategy and recruitment requirements in more detail, contact our Executive Search team on 0333 939 8185, email hello@harbengreen.com or visit www.harbengreen.com.

Simon Worsley - Associate Partner
Simon Worsley
Associate Partner Contact details