The need for staff to fill the increasing number of aged care jobs across Australia continues to grow with the demand for aged care services. It’s not just more workers required to support the aged care sector — high quality, well-trained aged care workers are needed to deliver exceptional care for all.
The aged care sector in Australia is set to undergo valuable changes in light of the Royal Commission into Aged Care. As the sector moves forward with a renewed determination to ensure all aged care recipients are treated with respect, care and dignity, aged care staff must be compassionate and caring.
The population is ageing, with The Aged Care Royal Commission Final Report summary including projections that the number of Australians aged 85 years and over will increase from 515,700 in 2018–19 to more than 1.5 million by 2058.
Recruiting high quality staff for aged care jobs
Equipped with the knowledge that high quality aged care workers are required to raise the standard of care across the sector, aged care employers face challenges in recruiting. For some aged care facilities, they have trouble finding people who are have the necessary qualities to thrive in aged care. That is, the interpersonal skills to enable them to connect with and care for the elderly to the highest possible standard. Other aged care employers may find that aged care training has been inadequate. There are a couple of recruitment approaches that we see utilised regularly that can yield excellent outcomes for aged care workplaces:
A workplace traineeship could be the perfect way for your aged care facility to attract those new to the sector while training them on the job. The trainee has the opportunity to earn while they learn, plus you get to train aged care workers in a way that best suits your workplace.
Host learner practical placements
Being a practical placement provider allows aged care workplaces to have extra staff on board to support the running of your facility and help someone training for an aged care career at the same time. For many practical placement partners, this can be a great way to discover new team members who become assets in the workplace permanently.
What to look for in aged care staff
Whether you’re assessing job applicants, trainees or those on practical placement in your aged care facility, knowing what qualities and skills to look for can help you make wise recruitment choices. So, what should employers look for in an aged care worker?
They value empathy and other adaptive skills
Soft skills or interpersonal skills are human qualities. When a person has well-developed adaptive skills, including empathy, communication and patience, they are more likely to be able to thrive in aged care and contribute positively to your facility.
They have well-rounded training
Training for the aged care sector should balance theoretical knowledge with practical, hands-on learning. Know what’s what and how it applied in a real-world situation is a must for anyone working in aged care and quality training should provide that.
Your workplace values are aligned
While every aged care workplace should prioritise respect, dignity and care, there are differences between facilities. When you are recruiting, it’s important to find staff who can fit in with your unique workplace and its values.
Attracting and keeping the best candidates for your aged care jobs
To attract and keep aged care staff, it’s vital that you give them a positive employment experience. This doesn’t mean ensuring that every day is going to be perfect, but offering a positive environment that encourages them to grow. Effort needs to go toward two areas: retaining older, experienced workers for longer and attracting younger employees.
There are a number of things you can do to reduce your staff turnover and make working with your facility more appealing, and while fair pay is a must, it’s not all about salary:
Flexible work options
Passion for work is important, but so is your personal life and wellbeing. Flexibility in the workplace can go a long way to attracting and keeping quality aged care workers. Flexible work options might be rotating rosters or understanding for those with responsibilities such as picking up children from school.
Opportunities to upskill and grow
For many employees, particularly those who are younger or new to the sector, developing their career is on their to-do list. Providing staff with opportunities to upskill and grow professionally can make them more likely to want to work with you and stay on board.
Celebrating birthdays, acknowledging achievements and showing understanding for each individual are part of creating a positive, support work environment. If you want to keep quality employees in your aged care jobs, this is a must.
Shaping quality workforces in aged care
The Selmar team is dedicated to supporting workplaces and aged care professionals in coming together to shape an aged care sector that is second to none.
Quality, relevant course material delivered by experienced, knowledgeable trainers is at the core of what we offer. As well as incorporating theoretical learning with in-depth practical training, Selmar’s aged care courses also have a focus on developing interpersonal skills. We recognise that a strong aged care sector needs to be underpinned by a commitment to compassion and care.
Whether you want to upskill your team, partner with our practical placement or learn more about the incentives for employing workplace trainees, get in touch with Selmar.