Recruitment and retention are issues of fundamental importance to North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) Children's Services. Getting it right through creating the systems and culture that encourages the best staff to want to work for us will ultimately benefit the children and young people and their families who use our services. If we are to develop practitioners we needed to ensure that we continually shape our organisational culture in order that it would support and retain our workers in this very demanding and challenging profession.
In the past NYCC spent over £2m on agency staff and over £250k on advertising to recruit to our social worker requirements. The change that has been achieved as a result of our workforce planning and resourcing interventions led to us winning the Best Social Work Employer of the Year in 2014 this might well demonstrate that we have developed an excellent 'blue print' to follow.
The cornerstones of the transformation have been to change the culture and this has been achieved through changing the approach to leadership recruitment - focussing on attitudes and motivation rather than experience. We have become a place where workers positively choose to work. In addition we have put energy and time into developing student social workers so that we are ready with 'reserves' when we have a vacancy coming up. The final element has been a creative and proactive recruitment team who have focussed on the needs of the service and shown flexibility and rigour in meeting the recruitment challenge.
Our comprehensive training offer sits alongside high levels of support and an inclusive approach to practice development which means that retention is also good.
We would be happy to work with you on your own recruitment challenges and share more of our learning and approach.