The rate of leavers in social care has increased by 3% with a forecast that by 2025 there will be a shortfall of 718,000 care workers – it is evident that the UK social care industry is facing a recruitment crisis. There’s a pool of talent that organisations within this sector should be attracting to fill vacancies and solve the rising fall in business requirements of care; here come the males.
Women currently make up 82% of the social care workforce. The human elements of the role that require empathy, care, respect and compassion towards patients are unconsciously attached to women rather than men and could be part of the reason for such gender stereotyping in the industry. Whilst emotional intelligence has been taken into consideration, physicality has not. Tasks range from handling pieces of equipment to lifting and sometimes carrying patients if necessary; the need for a certain of level of strength and physical ability is just as much a requirement as behaviour. What patients want themselves from a care worker has also been overlooked by the industry. As the UK’S ageing population grows and is forecast to continue, more men are now residing in care homes and admit that they feel a lot more comfortable having a male carer as opposed to a female.
How to attract men into Social Care
76% of men aged between 16-25 are unlikely to start a career in adult social care, according to a survey from Anchor, with 35% of respondents thinking working in a care home is assocated with being a 'woman's career'. These perceptions shows the main hurdles to be overcome are the stigmas attached to being a social care employee.
Organisations can solve this by becoming a diverse employer through the promotion and strategic drive to hire skilled workers from all demographics. To be seen as a diverse employer cannot only increase attraction but also retention rates as you appear a forward-thinking and inclusive organisation. This also has the power to raise the level of care. Employing a wide range of skills and characters with variant life experiences can enrich a team’s treatment towards patients with new methods and strategies; in turn increasing a workers level of job satisfaction too as they make a positive difference in their role. Turn the ‘just a job’ into a career for a life and one that is inclusive for all.