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Covid-19: Information, guidance and resources to support you through the pandemic

Covid-19 homepage
Recruiting staff

The coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic is a major health and social care challenge of our time. The number of people requiring support has increased and there has been a significant impact on the availability of staff due to people having to self-isolate or becoming ill themselves. In these exceptional times the sector needs to be agile, providing capacity at short notice and recruiting additional staff to ensure services can continue to be delivered. This guidance is aimed at helping social care providers during the current pandemic.

Top tips

  • Identify how to best deploy your existing staffing capacity and where you have gaps
  • Share your vacancies on twitter with #WeCareWales and they will be shared with individuals looking for a career in care
  • Alongside your application process; ask individuals to undertake A Question of Care – a values based assessment tool to identify if they have the values to work in care
  • Undertake interviews by phone or via a video call
  • Make sure you are familiar with the revised DBS and ID checking guidelines
  • Plan a proportionate induction for new starters – there are free resources available to help you do this.

Managing recruitment

Recruitment during the pandemic will be different for a number of organisations and may be determined by in-house resources and procedures when allocating employees into different roles.

Registered services should insist that any new employees or volunteers, whether redeployed or new to a caring role, complete an application form. This must include a self-declaration regarding any relevant health, regulatory or criminal history, as well as previous experience and qualifications.

New ID checking guidelines allow for greater use of video conferencing facilities in the application stages and in viewing an applicant’s DBS certificate (new or existing).

More information on changes to DBS ID checking.

Employers should then carry out a risk assessment to determine the most appropriate deployment of individuals and ensure that knowledge, skills and experience are spread most effectively in order to meet the needs of people in the service.

Consider:

  • What values are you looking for?
  • What skills are needed
  • What knowledge is required
  • Is experience required
  • What support do they need?

While continuity of care is important for people, reallocating roles and deploying workers to front line positions is expected to be a dynamic process that will impact on the care and support people receive. Services are best placed to make decisions regarding optimum recruitment and deployment in a changing situation.

Advertising jobs and finding candidates

WeCare.Wales is an online resource for employers and potential employees. As an employer you can register on the WeCare.Wales website. Use the site as part of your recruitment resources.

Additionally, as a response to Covid-19, we have launched a new jobs portal via the WeCare jobs portal to support employers to advertise the high number of vacancies that the sector is currently experiencing. To include any vacancies in this new jobs portal, post the following on your Twitter channel:

  • Job title
  • Local authority (if role covers more than one, include each)
  • Brief description of the role
  • #WeCareWalesJobs

Within WeCare.Wales you can also access a free online resource called A Question of Care: A Career for You? This is a values based assessment tool which helps people find out what it’s really like to work in the sector and test whether they’re suited to it.

You can also use this resource as part of your recruitment and selection process as it provides the applicant with a report that they can share with you as part of their application/interview.

Using ‘A Question of Care’ in recruitment and selection

1. Get to know the resource and see what the site has to offer.
2. Ask job applicants to complete the challenge so they can check their understanding of working in the sector and their suitability.
3. Encourage candidates to bring their ‘A Question of Care’ profile to the interview so you can use it as a focus for discussion.

Or you may like to:

4. Include ‘A Question of Care’ in your selection process by asking the shortlisted candidates to complete the challenge before they attend the interview, or you could make it available for them to do on the day.

Facebook

Facebook is also frequently used to advertise posts and is a social media tool that can support the quick and easy circulation of jobs. This could also be used to direct potential applicants to the WeCare.Wales resources. You could also use the Twitter link #WeCareWalesJobs to promote the portal.

Refer a friend/family

Statistics show that referral from friends and family lead to greater retention rates for new starters so think about involving staff and asking them to speak to friends and family about opportunities to work for your organisation. They will know people who may be currently looking for work or are keen to support the social care sector during this period.

When applications are received, if possible, ask your human resources team to check the applications in the first instance and then pass to the relevant manager, based on the skills and competencies of the applicant. Also, remember to follow your own organisations internal human resources policies and procedures.

Volunteers

You could consider how you can access voluntary organisations who have already recruited staff and volunteers and are currently looking at ways to retain them during this period of disruption to their normal services.

There is separate guidance on the use of volunteers in social care. It includes advice on adapting roles, recruiting new volunteers safely and key information you need to know about volunteering with vulnerable people.

Interviews

Ensure that experienced and trusted staff undertake interviews and if interviewing a large number of people make sure that you have enough capacity to manage the workload.

To ensure that you are following the governments guidelines on social distancing you should avoid interviewing individuals face to face. Consider using telephone or video conferencing tools such as Skype, WhatsApp or Zoom (please refer to your ICT policies to ensure appropriate use).

Neil Eastwood has developed the a resource for social care managers on telephone and video interviewing tips.

For more information visit Neil's website Find and keep the best.

Remember to check and follow the government’s guidance on social distancing whenever possible.

​DBS and reference checks

The safety and wellbeing of those receiving services is paramount. We understand that during this period resources are stretched, however not carrying out appropriate checks can lead to devastating consequences for individuals receiving a service and for those delivering services, therefore it is important that safety is not compromised.

Temporary arrangements have been put in place to provide DBS checks and fast-track emergency checks of the Adults’ and Children’s Barred Lists free-of-charge. There is also Guidance for applications.

Use of the DBS Update Service is highly recommended, where the applicant already has a subscription.

Legislative changes to assist the social care sector in Wales can be found on the Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) website.

If in doubt check with either Care Inspectorate Wales or your commissioner.

Registration

For front line social care workers there is normally a six-month period after starting work to obtain registration. In line with the emergency Coronavirus Bill this has been increased to up to 12 months once employment has started.

More information about the temporary changes made to registration requirements.

Induction

It is important that individuals are provided with sufficient induction, training, supervision and support with their learning to fulfil duties and carry out tasks safely and effectively. This includes employers and organisations identifying minimum training and learning requirements for individual roles and delivering effective induction. Consider buddying new members of staff with experienced members of staff who can support them and answer any questions they have as they develop in their new role.

The All Wales Induction Framework includes a range of resources to support managers to provide high quality induction to new members of staff (we realise it might not be possible to complete the full framework at this time, however as a minimum you should consider new members of staff undertaking the Social Care Wales Principles and Values Award, a free online resource which is based on the first two sections of the All Wales Induction Framework. Additionally, please see below a link to a range of resources has been developed by local authority areas and employers to support new and returning members of staff to the social care sector. This will also be updated as and when new resources become available.

Useful resources

Here are a range of recruitment resources that have been developed by local authority areas and employers to support the social care sector during the pandemic.

We will update this page when new resources become available.

Birdie Care – Covid-19: Practical advice for recruiting during the crisis

Caerphilly and Blaenau Gwent Social Care Workforce Development Partnership YouTube videos:

Contact us

If you have a question you can Contact us.