Social Care Recruitment – Digital marketing tactics for the “new normal”


30 Apr 2020

Social Care Recruitment – Digital marketing tactics for the “new normal”

Social care is a vital part of the pandemic fightback. Local authorities and private sector providers are facing an ever-mounting need for social workers. Digital recruitment is the answer, as Sonia Tanda, our specialist in candidate attraction, discusses. 

We’re seeing some great examples of how to recruit during COVID-19. The Department of Health and Social Care’s national campaign to attract more staff into the sector for one.  The message, ‘Care for others. Make a difference’, is aimed at getting people with the right values and skills to consider a paid career in adult social care work. Not just during the pandemic but longer term.

This national campaign has been viewed on TV, Social Media and on digital channels like job boards.

For local government the challenge to recruit qualified social workers still remains. As people spend more time online, it’s not surprising that our data and insight teams are seeing an uplift in Google searches for these roles.

Leading local government organisations should capitalise on this candidate traffic, and passive job seekers. Now is the time to assess your recruitment strategies for experienced social workers. 

Last week we worked with three large unitary councils in London and the Southwest who have just ramped up their recruitment for social workers, managing their paid social media advertising.

By not solely relying on job boards and using a targeted, adjustable and cost per click approach including programmatic, social media and google, we are helping to maximise current candidate traffic within this sector.  

Here’s how to use digital marketing to recruit social workers successfully.

1. Invest in paid social media advertising

If you’ve already grown your social media following, and have invested in content, it may be time to take the next step. 

The main advantage of social media advertising is you only are charged when someone clicks on your opportunity (known as pay per click). With a targeted approach you will only be paying when the right candidate engages with your post. 

A recent Penna campaign for a London Borough saw 4,000 clicks to their Social Worker careers portal, this was an increase of 65% more traffic to their careers site. These are the type of results PPC can create.

2. Buying advertising space programmatically

For the past 6 years we have been running our own programmatic advertising trading desk. We are buying ad space automatically through AI software to target a wider, yet more specific, audience. For instance we can target via  location, experience, qualification and sector. So, if you wanted to attract experienced and local social care workers – that’s not an issue.

What does that mean for you? A bigger reach to the candidates you want to speak to for your social care roles.

Buying ad space in this way means we can control costs and drive results as this solution focuses on cost per click which means you only pay when the right candidates engages with your campaign.

3. Programmatic Job Distribution

Wouldn’t it be great if you could use multiple job boards, at once, while ensuring the right candidates see your vacancies?

Penna are able to deploy AI  software to closely match your job opportunity with a network of job boards and aggregator sites like Indeed, Google for jobs, Zip Recruiter, Adzuna, Glassdoor, Neuvo., CV Library plus over 2,000 sites. It uses candidate search behaviour and algorithms to identify the right audience.

4. Searching jobs using Google

75% of job seekers start their job search using Google. So, it’s a good place to start your campaign strategy.

Google have their own advertising service for role searches – known as ‘Google for Jobs’.

Typical search terms that are searched by candidates with social care are  “Social Worker jobs”, “Social Care Careers” and “jobs in Care” and yield circa 2,000 clicks to a careers website. Google search data is showing us that when lockdown was first initiated the searches for social worker jobs dropped significantly. 

But as we approach week 5 and 6 of lockdown, we’ve seen an increase in candidates actively searching for social care roles. 

Speak to us about how to maximise your presence on Google for Jobs, to get infront of these valuable candidates.

5. Measure for Success

If you’ve followed the steps above, you’ve created a great candidate journey. But it’s not complete just yet.

Measuring and adapting for performance is integral to great social media campaigning. We recommend tracking the candidate journey from placement to application. For any platforms underperforming we can manage budgets and continue to invest in what is working for you. Having access to performance data daily means we can see how budgets are spent, when and where and optimise accordingly to ensure return on your investment. 

These strategies are modern, has a greater audience reach and most importantly allows us to control costs and work within your budgets. We recently ran a cross-platform campaign for a local authority and over a 6 month period made 40 hires. All of these were directly attributed to advertising placed on Social Media, Google and through programmatic ad space buying. Do we know what the cost and time per hire was, this data would add real value.  

Imagine having that success, and being able to evidence it.

We want to hear from you

We are here to help and would like to hear from anyone who currently has an urgent need to fill roles within health or  social care.

Contact our Candidate Attraction Strategy Specialist within public sector and social care recruitment, Sonia Tanda –