It’s the start of 2024. So, what does that mean for the world of recruitment?
For an industry that’s constantly evolving, a new year marks a great opportunity to take a closer look at emerging trends. By acknowledging and adapting to the changing needs of the market, you can ensure you’re attracting the best talent for the long-term success of your organisation.

If we look specifically at the social care sector, there remains a consistent need for workers to fill positions. There are currently over 150,000 vacancies in the UK alone. It’s no secret that one of the sector’s biggest weaknesses is its failure to attract people into roles,potentially due to negative media coverage about working in social care. You can read more about tackling and overcoming these misconceptions in our blog: Breaking Stereotypes.

One trend that’s here to stay (far beyond 2024) is the shift from reactive to proactive recruitment. This means engaging in skills-based sourcing for roles that will be needed for your business in the future, rather than just recruiting for current vacancies as and when they come up.

But what else is there to think about?

1. Flexible working
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, flexible and remote working has been bumped to the top of candidates’ wishlists for a greater work-life balance. 1 in 4 UK workers are now embracing hybrid working. In social care, a desire for flexible schedules might continue to become more prevalent. As companies adapt, recruiters are doing the same and using technology to remotely find and onboard talent effectively. Over time, these processes will continue to take precedence and become more standardised.

2. Technological advances
One clear fact is that technology will play an increasingly significant role in social care. The added benefit of this is that it might help to attract more candidates from a younger workforce into the sector too – something that’s desperately needed to match recruitment needs. Social care recruiters will look for candidates who can adapt to new technologies used for remote working, service delivery and data management.

Technological advances include an artificial intelligence revolution. AI-powered algorithms can quickly and easily analyse data to match candidates with specific job roles. AI has the potential to provide important insights to help recruiters make informed decisions about which candidate is most suitable for each position. Similarly, virtual reality (VR) technology will transform the way candidates are assessed; providing virtual job scenarios for candidates to demonstrate their skills and abilities.

3. Retaining the ‘human factor’

Despite the technological advances (or perhaps because of it), 2024 marks a renewed emphasis on the human side of recruiting. Candidates don’t want to be treated like just one of many applying for a job. They want to be treated fairly, and receive timely feedback and clear communication. They also want to understand the culture of the company they are applying to work with. Recruiters need to adapt by gaining empathy and insight; putting themselves in the shoes of candidates to see the situation from their perspective.

4. Prioritising wellbeing
Mental health and well-being matter across all job roles, but it’s even more important within the field of social care, where workers can often face challenging situations. Employers need to demonstrate their dedication towards supporting the well-being of their staff. Provision of mental health resources, healthy work environments, flexible leave policies and more must be communicated clearly during the recruitment process to attract people to roles.

5. Diversity and inclusion
Not only with social care, but across all sectors, there’s a growing emphasis on diversity, inclusion, and ways to foster collaboration and learning between the generations. Employers must understand that having a diverse workforce can increase innovation and creativity, leading to successful business solutions.

At the frontline of candidate sourcing, recruiters should use a range of approaches to draw in a varied group of applicants. They also need to ensure that job adverts, interview processes, and overall hiring practices are unbiased and promote equal opportunities.

6. Personalised recruitment and retention strategies
We’ve talked already about empathy and candidate-centric recruiting, but it needs to be emphasised that understanding the career aspirations of potential candidates could lead to more successful recruitment and retention. For example, showing learning and career development opportunities may motivate people to see more positives about working in the social care sector. Tailoring recruitment strategies to meet the personal preferences of candidates might become more common in 2024.

7. Strong employer branding
Recruiters need to focus on how social care providers differ from their competitors to stand out, attract new talent, and retain current employees. This includes a strong emphasis on company culture and showing how its mission and values are core to everything the organisation does. Not only that, but it’s important to look at how this strength of purpose will support the well-being of employees – now and in the future too.

Matching recruitment strategies to changing needs
We know that recruiters often provide the first impressions of businesses to potential new team members. They’re the first to introduce company culture and help candidates understand why it’s a good place to work. Talent acquisition companies need to:

● Collaborate with education providers and key stakeholders to recruit and train future social care professionals.
● Promote diversity and inclusion in recruitment strategies.
● Highlight workplace culture and values to attract team members who match the
organisational ethos.
● Demonstrate how the employer offers flexible work arrangements and programmes that support employee well-being.
● Integrate technology solutions that streamline processes and make the workplace more appealing.

The future of recruitment is constantly changing and being shaped by a multitude of new technologies. Organisations must adapt to stay ahead in this rapidly evolving field and to be able to meet increasing demands for social care recruitment.

Here at crooton, we partner with employers to reach untapped talent. Want to find out more?Contact our team.