Are you interested to find about more about working in care? Then you’re in luck! We recently sat down with Abby Claydon, the salaried recruitment manager at leading home care provider Helping Hands, to find out what opportunities the care sector offers jobseekers, what skills carers need, what the typical working hours are like, and the answers to some of our other burning questions.
Helping Hands is a family owned and managed company with over 90 branches across England and Wales. The company has been supporting individuals at home for 30 years, so Abby knows a thing or two about what it’s like to work in care!
What’s the best thing about working in care at Helping Hands?
Helping Hands has been established for over 30 years, so we are experts in our field. Not only does this mean that our customers get the highest quality of care, but we have learnt over time the support that our carers need and are able to put this into action from the moment they join us.
Working within care can be an incredibly rewarding job but at times it can also be emotionally and physically tough. Being a Care Assistant at Helping Hands means you have a huge support network to lean on when times are hard. We embody our company values and are built on a foundation of kindness; we are like one big happy family.
How has your industry been affected by the pandemic?
As a company of key workers, we have been busier than ever throughout the past 12 months. We were lucky enough to have excellent stock levels of all PPE, a robust recruitment strategy and many amazing people in the business who kept the wheels turning in the early stages of the pandemic, when everyone was still finding their feet in this new world!
It has been a challenging time for everyone but if we can take one positive away from all this, it is the shift in opinion of care workers. Historically, a career in care was not seen as a particularly fashionable choice but with the clap for our carers campaign and the increased praise placed on key workers in the media, we are seeing more and more people choose a career within care. It has certainly highlighted the importance of the service we provide and opened doors for people to explore a new and rewarding career path.
What are the top 3 soft skills you look for in a candidate?
To be a Carer with Helping Hands the most important thing is that you share our foundation of kindness and passion for helping others. It is the personality and the values of the person that we base our hiring decisions on, more so than previous experience in the care sector.
What qualifications do you need for a role within the sector?
For most of the roles we have open you don’t need any specific qualifications or previous experience. Our training and induction programme can teach a total beginner how to be a fabulous carer, provided they have the passion and willingness to learn.
For some of our support office roles, such as in finance or marketing, at times you do require specific qualifications but that will always be stated on the job advert.
What transferable skills are most important for this role?
To be a carer you need to be patient, kind and supportive. Our customers have a huge variety of needs and no two days are the same, so being able to adapt to the scenario in front of you is another important element of the job.
How can you get a job in care without having any training or experience?
Simply by applying to us (we don’t require a copy of your CV when applying to be a Care Assistant) and doing well throughout your recruitment process. We look for people who share our values and want to make a difference to other people’s lives, that is more important than previous experience.
What are the typical working hours?
Our Carers all give us their availability and we book shifts in within that time frame. The more availability you have, the more shifts you will be allocated. We do cover weekends and evenings as well as during the day so there are lots of options available to fit around people’s other commitments.
Can you recommend any useful courses for jobseekers looking to upskill and stand out?
We don’t require you to have done any specific course to apply with us but the NVQ/QCF in Health and Social Care will set you up very nicely for a career in the care sector.
What one tip do you have to inspire confidence?
If you are thinking about a career in the care sector then chances are you are already the type of person we look for, so just apply – you have nothing to lose!
How quickly do you get back to candidates?
We aim to respond to all applications within 3 days, but it is usually quicker than this!
Take a look at the 1,800+ vacancies currently available at Helping Hands on Adzuna, or check out the over 41,000+ advertised vacancies on offer in the wider industry for Care Assistants. You can also find out more about Helping Hands by heading to their website.