Members of Care UK’s residential care team are celebrating after winning in two categories of a national award scheme open some of the biggest household brands in the country – not just those in the care sector.
At a ceremony in London attended by representatives of employers as diverse as Laing O'Rourke, RBS, Nationwide Building Society, Mencap and Vodafone, Care UK picked up a gold and a silver award for its work on supporting employee recruitment and retention at the 2018 Employer Brand Management Awards.
Care UK won the gold award for the category of best innovation in employer brand and the silver was for its approach to using digital communication.
Care UK, which runs almost 120 homes with more than 9,000 employees, has ambitious growth plans with 26 new homes due to open over the next three years. This makes attracting and retaining hundreds of new, high-calibre colleagues, while nurturing existing colleagues, a significant priority. Winning prestigious awards like these is a ringing endorsement that Care UK is marshalling the most up to date thinking in the way that it recruits and retains these much-needed new colleagues.
Leah Queripel, human resources director for Care UK’s Residential Care Services, said: “We know that to attract the right people we have to have a brand that differentiates us from our competitors – one that shows our ethos, compassion and commitment and one that emphasises the investment we put into our training and career development. Over the past three years we’ve done a great deal to develop and refine that approach and winning these awards is a wonderful endorsement and reward for all that hard work.”
The team which developed Care UK’s approach used visits to care homes to gain an accurate impression of the environment, culture and resident service offering, and interviewed senior leaders and employees as well as carrying out market, trend and competitor research to enable them to develop a stand-out proposition, teamed with messaging and creative execution, that encapsulated the aims and ethos of the brand.
The key branding messages that came out of the research were: ‘It’s about people who care’; and ‘It’s about being given the time to care’. The proposition was articulated creatively through the strapline ‘fulfilling lives, fulfilling careers.’
This also formed the core of the creative idea and employer brand:
- Care UK employees fulfil residents’ lives by treating each resident as an individual and enabling them all to enjoy meaningful experiences.
- Care UK fulfils the lives of its employees by fulfilling their careers through training, career development, and a supportive team environment.
The strategy was a success, with a five per cent increase in direct nursing applications in the space of six months. Employee engagement improved by 10 per cent compared to the previous year.
Additionally, Care UK saw a dramatic 330 per cent increase in application rates in the first month of the campaign – from an average of 3,500 to more than 15,000 applications. The number of job offers has also doubled in volume every month and continues to do so. The business currently receives around 9,000 job applications per month and offers jobs to only the very best candidates.
Leah added: “I want to offer my thanks to the teams from Care UK and our partners Dragonfish. It’s gratifying to see their dedication and hard work recognised by such a distinguished panel. Our entry was in good company at the awards against some of the biggest brands in the country competing for a trophy.
“The results of our work on this project will benefit thousands of older people for many years as it ensures we can recruit the right calibre of people to care for residents and allow them to live fulfilling lives as well as providing the right people in support teams like care governance, property and facilities management to make their lives easier.”