What to do when one of social care’s most critical roles becomes vacant

This week we were delighted to feature in an article published by HealthInvestor, talking about the important role of regional care managers.

In it, our CEO Adam Carter, said: “Regional care managers are the eyes and ears on the ground for chief executives. They are the glue that keeps the business together.” They have strong business principles, provide strategic leadership and can have a direct impact on achieving outcomes for the services they represent (click to read full article).

Moreover, they have a significant degree of financial responsibility too, which makes their role a critical one to the overall sucess of the organisation. So if should you lose a good regional care manager, or any senior member of the team, how can you ensure that you find someone equally as competent to take their place?

Here are a few things you need to consider.

Re-evaluate the role

People leave their jobs all the time, in fact a recent report found that the average UK worker changes jobs at least six times during their career. Take this as a great opportunity to re-evaluate the role itself – are you looking for a direct replacement on a like-for-like basis, or someone who can offer a completely different approach to the same challenges you face?

Choose the right person for the moment

Many social and health care organisations have some sort of succession plan in place, whereby staff receive on-going career development to prepare them for the next rung on the ladder. This in essence ensures that there are a number of potential candidates waiting in the wings and ready to assume the role of a senior member of staff who leaves.

But sometimes the candidate you had earmarked may not be the best person under the circumstances of the organisation at the time of hiring, especially – as the HealthInvestor article highlighted – the company is going through a tricky time with the CQC.

Be clear on the candidate attraction strategy that works best for you

Recruiting for any senior role takes time and the practical reality is that the most talented people you need already in the market already doing the job you want them to be doing for you. Using a search and selection recruiter which specialises in your specific sector, such as Carter Schwartz, can open up this ‘hidden’ talent market because they will have built up a network of key contacts performing similar roles to what you are looking for.

Our CEO, for instance, has specialised in finding senior social and health care professionals for over 18 years, so you can only imagine how many contacts he has! So take advantage of this – choose your recruitment partner carefully and ensure you use someone who has a proven track record of success in filling the type of rile you are looking to fill.

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket

Consider advertising in trade publications and on the job boards that carry similar recruitment adverts. Advertising can be expensive, so it is important to be selective about which sites and publications you choose – only then will be sure of gaining a maximum return on your recruitment advertising investment.

Don’t dismiss sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter either. Job seekers at all levels and across all sectors are increasingly finding new employment opportunities via social media, so if your target market is hanging out on these sites you should be too.

Trust your gut instinct

Malcolm Gladwell said that “decisions made very quickly can be every bit as good as decisions made cautiously and deliberately”. We can all write CV’s that can amaze any hiring manager, but the social and health care sector is in the ‘people’ business; if you don’t get a good feeling about someone, then neither will your colleagues and other stakeholders. Trust your instinct, after all you are the one who has to have a close working relationship and strong rapport with this person.