Enhancing aged care staff recruitment
The demand for aged care services across Australia continues to grow, and so too the need for quality staff to support the sector.
It’s no secret that Australia’s population is ageing. In fact, the Aged Care Royal Commission Final Report summary projects that the number of Australians aged 85 years and over will increase from 515,700 in 2018–19 to more than 1.5 million by 2058.
More aged care jobs will be on offer, and more workers will be needed to fill them. But not just any workers — aged care workers who are passionate about maintaining quality of life for the most vulnerable in our communities.
The aged care sector in Australia is set to undergo valuable changes in light of the Royal Commission into Aged Care. As the sector moves forward with a renewed determination to ensure all aged care recipients are treated with respect, care and dignity, aged care staff must be compassionate and caring.
Effective aged care job recruitment
High quality staff are needed to fill aged care jobs, and for many aged care facilities finding people who are have the necessary qualities to thrive in aged care can seem challenging. The necessary qualities being the right balance of theory knowledge, practical skills and interpersonal qualities.
Together, these ensure that aged care workers can connect with and care for the elderly to the highest possible standard. There are a couple of recruitment approaches that we see utilised regularly that can yield excellent outcomes for aged care workplaces:
Host learner practical placements:
Being a practical placement provider allows aged care workplaces to have extra staff on board to support the running of your facility and help someone training for an aged care career at the same time. For many practical placement partners, this can be a great way to discover new team members who become assets in the workplace permanently. Royal College learners have proven to be so impressive during placements that the majority receive an offer of employment during their practical placement period!
A workplace trainees could be the perfect way for your aged care facility to attract those new to the sector while training them on the job. The trainee has the opportunity to earn while they learn, plus you get to train aged care workers in a way that best suits your workplace.
Essentials to look for when recruiting in aged care
Whether you’re assessing job applicants, trainees or those on practical placement in your aged care facility, knowing what qualities and skills to look for can help you make wise recruitment choices. So, what should employers look for in an aged care worker?
They have well-rounded training:
Training for the aged care sector should balance theoretical knowledge with practical, hands-on learning. Know what’s what and how it applied in a real-world situation is a must for anyone working in aged care and quality training should provide that.
They value empathy and other soft skills:
Soft skills or interpersonal skills are human qualities. When a person has well-developed soft skills, including empathy, communication and patience, they are more likely to be able to thrive in aged care and contribute positively to your facility.
Your workplace values are aligned:
While every aged care workplace should prioritise respect, dignity and care, there are differences between facilities. When you are recruiting, it’s important to find staff who can fit in with your unique workplace and its values.
Attracting and keeping quality aged care staff
The time anyone spends in the workplace should be as enjoyable as possible. While there are always going to be challenges for staff to handle at work, and some days will be better than others, employers can help to make their aged care facility a positive working environment. Effort needs to go toward two areas: retaining older, experienced workers for longer and attracting younger employees.
There are a number of things you can do to reduce your staff turnover and make working with your facility more appealing, and while fair pay is a must, it’s not all about salary:
Flexible work options:
Passion for work is important, but so is your personal life and wellbeing. Flexibility in the workplace can go a long way to attracting and keeping quality aged care workers. Flexible work options might be rotating rosters or understanding for those with responsibilities such as picking up children from school.
Celebrating birthdays, acknowledging achievements and showing understanding for each individual are part of creating a positive, support work environment. If you want to keep quality employees in your aged care jobs, this is a must.
Opportunities to upskill and grow:
For many employees, particularly those who are younger or new to the sector, developing their career is on their to-do list. Providing staff with opportunities to upskill and grow professionally can make them more likely to want to work with you and stay on board.
Creating a thriving sector with quality aged care workforces
At Royal College, each day is spent working with learners, trainers and workplaces in aged care to create an aged care sector that delivers quality care.
Quality, relevant course material delivered by experienced, knowledgeable trainers is at the core of what we offer. As well as incorporating theoretical learning with in-depth practical training, Royal College’s aged care courses also have a focus on developing interpersonal skills. We recognise that a strong aged care sector needs to be underpinned by a commitment to compassion and care.
Whether you want to upskill your team, partner with our practical placement or learn more about the benefits of employing workplace trainees, get in touch with us here at Royal College.