- 02 November 2018
- 2 min read
The ideal frontline care employee
Regardless of the qualifications a person might have that makes them suitable to be a care worker, those looking to recruit staff should never underestimate the importance of soft skills; the characteristics that make someone engage effectively with others.
Care is a people-focused industry and having staff with the right soft skills will help positively impact the work environment and encourage people to stay for longer. Knowing what soft skills to look for can be tricky.
Some, like empathy and patience are obvious choices but what others? A great starting point is to look at consistent high-performers at work and identify what it is that makes them so successful. You can then use these to establish what exactly you need for a specific role.
To give you an idea of reoccurring characteristics, there are several soft skills that are highlighted time and time again by care providers to describe why a member of staff is good at their job:
• A mature outlook
• Empathy and sensitivity to others’ needs
• A strong work ethic
• An ability to follow the rules
• Determination and a tough mindset
• Resilience and the ability to handle stress
• Problem solving
• A desire to make a difference to someone’s life
Not all these skills are ones that can be taught or easily learned, many are naturally part of someone’s personality and this tends to make it harder to find the right person for the role.
However, it is worth searching for because hiring someone with these qualities can be the difference between hiring a good care worker and hiring a great care worker.
The majority of care managers and recruiters associate these skills with older workers due to their life experience and maturity - you can find out more about why here.
But whatever the age of the care worker, by ensuring that those you are recruiting into your care home have these skills will mean they have a natural desire to care for people and are therefore likely to stay in their job for a long time.
Neil is a committed expert on workforce planning, recruitment and retention for the care home sector.
If you would like to know more about this subject, then purchasing Neil Eastwood’s book ‘Saving Social Care’ should be your very next move.