Blog | Angela Gifford

Interviewing and Referencing Potential UK Care Workers in 2016

A person needing care wants to be supported by care workers whom they like, whom they feel comfortable with and with whom they can have an empathetic bond and trust.
In the past it was taken for granted that any potential care worker would be interviewed, face to face. Part of this interview would be the human element, the opinion of the interviewer as to the personality of the person sitting opposite to them. Cold, happy, sensible, cheerful, kind, rude, opinionated, hard, untrustworthy, etc. are all feelings that an interviewer would have as the interview progressed.
When the objective of the interview is to place a care worker in a vulnerable personís home, knowing that they have to give for example intimate personal care, these feelings are relevant to any interview process.
However, it is becoming more common for care worker interviews to be held via Skype, by outside recruitment agencies both at home and internationally, by telephone and via the internet.
Care workers joining a care provider need to be referenced. A reference used to stand as an important part of the interview process and could be the difference between candidates being successful or rejected.
It has now become acceptable for the following format of reference to be provided when a care worker moves from one care organisation to a new one:
I can confirm that X worked for this company from x date to x date. Potential employers should
carry out their own enquiries with reference to the suitability of any applicant
Questions as to skills, honesty, any disciplinary matters, time keeping, etc. are just not answered making the reference almost a worthless document or email.
Care providers who do not engage or participate in either of the above have a marketing advantage. Potential customers assume that all care providers are similar, customers would be horrified if they thought that you had not interviewed the care workers you were getting paid to introduce into their home or that you had obtained a one liner reference.
The above practices are unsafe, bad practice. Care providers using these methods will not advertise these facts simply because it would send potential customers to other providers.
Providers who personally interview and obtain full references in addition to other checks e.g. criminal record checks, should advertise these facts demonstrating to potential customers that your care organisation actually cares. Evidence of strong moral values and subsequently an excellent marketing strategy.

By:† Angela E Gifford
Posted:† 23 Feb 2016

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