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  • 08 May 2019
  • 2 min read

Should I work for an employer or through an agency as a Home Manager?

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What is the best route to go down - working for an employer or through an agency? In this blog, Liam explains which may be more beneficial for you.

Your working life can vary depending on whether you're working through an agency or for an employer. Find out the best option for you in this blog.

Is it better to go direct to an employer or through an agency? How do you make either work to your advantage?

This is a really interesting question and more complex than it looks.

Firstly, we need to start with understanding the value that agencies bring.

In my experience, agencies come in three guises, let’s call them Tier 1 – Tier 3;

Tier 1 – relationship based, focused on good placements for the long term.

Tier 2 – partly relationship based but balanced with commercial interest – may do some practices, which are not always good / short cuts.

Tier 3 – achieve placements at any cost – short term view. They are not always ethical.

Read more

• What are the differences between a Home Manager, a General Manager and a Registered Manager?

What is the difference between a residential home and a nursing home?

Which kind of institution should I work for as a home manager?

How can I research whether a care home is well run and good to work for?

Basically, an agency can work with good candidates and take time to get the right one for the right company – this is a slow burn way of doing business but effective over the long term – Tier 1 – quality focus.

Conversely, a business can send CVs out to every job, whether agreed with the candidate or not and may get lucky and get a candidate in / earn their 20% fee for very little work.

In the end, it comes down to ethics and levels of professionalism. A good recruiter takes years to develop – they are highly valuable.

Back to the question then, a reputable agency will represent you well, sell you into the role, explain your work history, motivation well, connect it to that organisation's mission and goals; they pave the way for the employer to feel good about meeting you.

They are like a dating coach, smoothing the way, helping both connect. If you go direct to the company, there is no-one to do this for you, there is no contact in senior management you have access to via the recruiter, it is harder. 

If you have very good communication skills and sales skills, you may get on ok going direct and save the company money. 

If you don’t have those 2 skills, often you are better off using an agency. Also, don’t forget the value of a good recruiter; they often know the directors of many of the companies you want to get into.

If they are good – Tier 1 or 2, they can become a good career coach for you, helping you secure a good role that plays to your strengths and personality.

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About the author

Liam Palmer is the author of 3 books on raising quality standards in care homes through developing leadership skills. In Oct 2020, he published a guide to the Home Manager role called "So You Want To Be A Care Home Manager?". Liam has been fortunate to work as a Senior Manager across many healthcare brands including a private hospital, a retirement village and medium to large Care Homes in the private sector and 3rd sector. He hosts a podcast "Care Quality - meet the leaders and innovators”.

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