Avoiding the biggest mistake with adverts in social care

Getting the advert right is the next step for us, as we start recruiting to Wellbeing Teams. I was keen to avoid the biggest mistake that people make in advertising posts in social care. Neil describes what this is and what to do instead.

Neil: The biggest mistake to avoid with job adverts (and I don’t think for a minute you will fall into that trap here based on what I have seen so far) is to write it from a recruiter’s perspective. “Wanted”, “Urgently required”, “We only accept…” and so on.

Social care needs friendly, relationship-centric and giving people. They are the ones who get most dissuaded by this sort of language. It is those who are desperate for a job that persevere.

One of the US-based experts in this space I admire most is Leigh Davis and he urges social care recruiters to write their ads as if starting a conversation with the reader. He found great success with advert headlines that start:

“Are you…?”

“Would you…?

People respond to conversation starters. They are also flattered to be asked about themselves. It shows your organisation is interested in people and stands out from all those samey adverts.

Secondly, because we are all time-poor these days then being very clear with who you are looking for and what they have to do to show interest is critical. If you can offer a range of ways of getting in touch (with a named person preferably) and not restricted to office hours, then you will be maximizing the responses from busy, hard-working people.

We took Neil’s advice about starting with questions to draw people into the advert. We have also worked with Jackie LeFevre, UK values expert, to ensure that the  values of a Wellbeing Team are embedded into the advert, as well as explicitly mentioned.

First draft advert for Community Circle Connectors

Are you someone with a passion for people and community, who wants to make a difference?

Do you want to help tackle loneliness and be part of a brilliant team with an innovative organisation?

We are looking for people to become Community Circle Connectors with our new Wellbeing Teams in Wigan.

Wellbeing Teams are a fresh approach to home care, delivering care and support to older people through small, neighbourhood, self-managing teams.

We believe that loneliness should not be an inevitable consequence of getting older; that people can live well at home and be contributing members of their community.  We help make this happen through Community Circle Connectors, working as part of a Wellbeing Team, to ensure that every older person the team supports has a Community Circle.

A Circle involves people who the person loves, their friends, neighbours or people in the wider local community, who can give their time and ideas to help the person achieve the things they want in life. Where people are lonely and isolated, we start by connecting people and building a Circle that way.

Your role is to find and support a volunteer facilitator for each Community Circle, to make sure that the teams know what is happening in the community, and that the community knows about us!

To be part of a Wellbeing Team means working with others to support and connect older people with their community in ways that are shaped by our five core values:

Compassion   Responsibility   Collaboration    Curiosity    Creativity   Flourishing

You will see people achieve changes and cope with challenges in their life by helping to create a Community Circle around them.

Salary: £28 k pro rata. We are looking for full time (38 hours) and part time roles (hours by negotiation)

We asked Neil for his views on this advert.

Neil: It reads very well. Some observations: The headline is exactly right BUT heavily over-used by traditional care organisations, so it has hit wallpaper status. I think we need something completely fresh emphasizing the uniqueness of this role. Happy to jump on a brainstorming call with colleagues to come up with something. If used in a searchable media then it needs to name a related commonly searched for job title – example: “Micro-managed Care Manager? Why not be our next Community Circle Connector?” There is more headline flexibility in non-searchable media, of course.

I would also consider shorter versions of the advert for some media – certainly Facebook, for example – but you need some length of copy to communicate something this new. I am not sure whether I would change or expand on a word like ‘facilitator’ to include ‘enabler’ or similar as not everyone may be familiar with the term.

I would finish with a question and add a strong call to action, with a choice of ways of getting in touch, so for example: “So, could this be you? Let’s change lives together!

For an informal chat then…[clear contact methods with a named individual]

I took Neil up on his offer to brainstorm other possibilities together  and you can see us doing that here:


Now we need to look at taking the basis of this advert and make it work across social media, and in animated adverts too. We will look at how we got on with this in the next blog.


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