People often complain about their home care services in the United Kingdom. Over 40% are currently dissatisfied with their current service provider. A third of people leaving their jobs to look after their parents. Sadly, this isn’t surprising given that some people working within social care sometimes joke ‘Have they got a pulse? Have they got a car? Give them a job.’ Even ‘top’ care agencies claim to recruit the top 5-10% of candidates.
It’s this type of attitude amongst some care agencies which pushed Holm Care’s founder, Nik Seth, into wanting to change things. He wanted to make other people’s lives better after having found the same problems when looking for support for his own father. Nik spoke with other families who described how hard it was to find great elderly care at home.
Nik also spoke with experienced professional carers to learn what was ‘wrong’ with home care from their point of view. He learned that there wasn’t a shortage of good carers out there, but a shortage of good care jobs for these carers. It was dispiriting to learn that many carers considered leaving care at least once a day. Why should they earn minimum wage when supporting an elderly person? They could earn more stacking cans of beans in the local supermarket. One job requires a lot more skill, patience, dedication and compassion than the other.
Nik resolved to make sure that carers could earn a real living from supporting the elderly in their own homes. Holm Care is different to traditional home care agencies. Families are able to book their favourite carers directly We put a stop to the random carousel of people coming round. (This is particularly harmful for people with dementia). Carers also earn at least 30% more, as well having regular clients, who they get to know intimately, and not having to rush between 15 minute appointments. This automatically improved the quality of care even the best carers are able to provide.
By making quality care both financially and emotionally rewarding, Holm has been able to attract a large number of carers. We decided that only the best carers join us. But we never knew what that meant in numbers until we started looking back at all the people who’d applied to join.
We also looked at how Covid-19 has changed our recruitment. We’re so pleased that social care workers are increasingly recognised for the vital role they play. They support so many vulnerable people in their homes, as well as care homes. The Media has been full of reports about the dedication shown by carers. That has meant more and more people are now considering a role in social care as a profession.
Because we were no longer able to meet carers face to face, we also changed the way we organised and conducted interviews. We’ve found new ways of using Zoom and other tools to organise and conduct interviews. Not only did it make us more efficient, but carers also really appreciated the opportunity to pick their own interview times. They didn’t even have to leave their homes to chat with us!
Because we use technology in everything we do, we’ve been able to go back and analyse what happens to applicants at each stage of the journey to becoming part of our care team. We looked at approximately 5,800 applications in total.
5,800 people asked to join us via recruitment sites, government job pages, social media, or direct through our website. From those, we invited 2,850 to register on our website and complete our online application form. Carers need to add their personal details, qualifications, criminal history etc. From those, we arranged interviews for 178.
People often wonder what we look for in interviews. Without wanting to give away too much, we review their past work experience; their understanding and knowledge of care work; and assess their thought processes to certain situations which sometimes arise in elderly home care, as well as some other administrative checks. But, there is always one final question at the back of our minds if they have passed the interview. Are they good enough to look after our parents?
With that in mind, only 55 people were successful at this stage. 38 people passed our final checks before they were available to be booked by families via our website. That means that 1 in 152 people were successful. That’s 0.7%.
Looking back, it seems crazy to have looked at all those applications, conducted all those interviews and checks. But if you were looking for support for yourself or a loved one, wouldn’t you do the same? Holm care provides the assurance that every carer available on our website is amongst the best elderly home care workers. And because we know they’re the best, we love and respect them accordingly, as does everyone who benefits from their care.
Holm Care provides live-in and home care services for the elderly. We’re raising the bar, and we’re proud of the feedback and reviews our carers have earned already. Please do get in touch if you would like to learn more about how we could help you, or your loved ones.