Neil Eastwood Care Friends app

Skills for Care has announced a new partnership designed to boost the number of quality social care job candidates through sector workforce recommendations.

The independent body for workforce development has joined up with innovative employee referral app provider, Care Friends.

Skills for Care’s CEO, Oonagh Smyth, said: “With their focus on innovation, their industry expertise and such a unique offering, Care Friends is the perfect partner for us. We’ve supported the development of the app for over 12 months and been impressed with the results and positive feedback from employers. It’s, quite simply, exactly what the care sector needs.”

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By allowing care workers to share jobs with their friends and contacts straight from their phone, earning points instantly at each stage of the referral process, the app overcomes the limitations of traditional refer-a-friend schemes. Following a successful EU-funded pilot in Cornwall in 2019 the app has a waiting list of care providers eager to adopt the recruitment channel.

Neil Eastwood, founder and CEO of Care Friends, added: “Employee referral is proven to be by far the best source of high performing and long-staying care workers. The problem was traditional referral schemes were hard to keep top-of-mind, unengaging for staff and an admin-hassle. This led to very low referral rates despite the high potential out there. Our bespoke app gamifies this process and means many more care staff become highly effective recruiters for their employer.

“If current trends continue, the care sector will face a deepening recruitment crisis – and I truly believe our technology can go some way to finding a solution to the shortage of staff in the sector.”

A pilot customer, Jonathan Billington of Bluebird Care in Wiltshire, said: “Not only do we love this concept, we love channelling our recruitment budget back to our employees rather than a third party.”

James Sage, Employment Partner and Head of Social Care at law firm Royds Withy King said: “Care Friends is a great example of innovation in the social care sector and comes at an important time as the sector faces a significant shortfall in staffing, short-term staffing challenges created by COVID-19 and a need to reduce additional recruitment costs.

“Care providers should consider whether they can utilise the Infection Control Fund to pay the costs of joining Care Friends as COVID-19 related recruitment costs are covered by the guidance.”

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Tags : Best practiceInnovationRecruitmentSkills for Care

The author Lee Peart

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