This week, we look at 5 personal qualities that employers look for when recruiting new care & support workers. Whether you are looking for a position as an aged care worker, residential care worker or finding your first support worker jobs, we hope you find the pointers below helpful in your search.
Current challenges in health and social care for support workers
We can’t deny that it is a very challenging time to be a support worker. Health & Social care workers have been on the front line throughout the pandemic and have put themselves at risk every day to support others. There are hopes that increased testing in places of care, with workers having been prioritised for the vaccine rollout, will have made support workers feel safer at work. However, there is clearly work to be done to ensure happy and healthy futures for support workers and for patients in need of care.
Therefore, our suggestions below reflect this current situation. We encourage you to be open and flexible in your support worker jobs search. Despite the challenges, many support workers that we are working with currently talk about the pride they take in doing their bit to help at the moment. We hope you can take encouragement and motivation from this thought. It’s a difficult time for care & support workers, but it is an important time to be in health and social care. We need you!
Writing your CV
Use the below 5 personal qualities that support worker employers are looking for when writing your CV, cover letter or when preparing for an interview. If you are new to the sector and are worried about a lack of experience, reflect on other times in your life when you have demonstrated these qualities.
5 Qualities you should demonstrate when applying for support worker jobs:
1. Be flexible in your search for support worker jobs
Due to the current situation, we can be sure that employers are looking for flexibility in their support workers. Employers are likely to have a variety of positions available. If you are new to health and social care work, you could get in touch with one of our consultants to discuss areas where dedicated new staff are needed.
We recommend thinking carefully about the skills you’d like to develop and being open about the type of role that could offer this opportunity. That could include support worker jobs in aged care, with vulnerable adults or with young people in residential care.
2. Demonstrate that you are a responsible person
A hugely important characteristic for all support workers is to be comfortable in a position of responsibility. That is the responsibility that comes with having another person depending on you for care and support. Many may find this quite daunting. In health and social care, this responsibility includes being punctual, keeping up with appointments and being an excellent communicator.
Be encouraged that as you spend more time with people in care and start to gain their trust, this responsibility becomes a natural part of the job. Think about times in your personal and professional life where you have thrived on having responsibility. Talk about and include these examples in your interview answers and cover letters.
3. Show that you have an empathetic and caring nature
It may sound obvious as the clue is in the job title, however, having a naturally caring nature is vital for success and job satisfaction. On top of looking after a person’s physical needs, it’s important that they also feel happy, settled and secure.
This takes a combination of kind words, actions and thoughtful gestures whilst carrying out the general duties of care. For example, if you are a support worker in elderly care, an empathetic nature will show the elderly person that they are not a burden. They will recognise that keeping up their physical and mental wellbeing is important. Ultimately, this will lead to them feeling happier and more comfortable.
4. Have a little (or a lot of) patience
People who need the assistance of support workers are likely to take longer to do things than they used to, or to have fewer freedoms than they are used to. This naturally will cause frustration. Therefore, support workers must match this with their own high levels of patience and encouragement.
Patience is a key attribute in establishing a bond between the carer and the person in care. These qualities also ensure that tensions are not escalated if the person in care does become frustrated by their situation.
5. Show that you can remain calm under pressure
We talked above about the added challenges and pressures that the pandemic has added to health and social care work. This is of course also keenly felt by those in need of care. It’s a very difficult time to feel you are losing your independence, or the opportunity to travel and spend time with loved ones. It may be that the support worker is one of the only friendly faces that some people see in person day-to-day.
Being a calm and consistent presence throughout another person’s difficult time can make a huge difference. If the vulnerable person can talk about their feelings with you, this is a huge step forward in them coming to terms with their situation.
Do you possess these personal qualities? Are you looking for support worker jobs?
See here for all our latest health and social care jobs in the UK. Alternatively, get in touch with us directly here to tell us more about what you are looking for, or if you’d like to discuss any of the issues raised in this blog post.