#1: Not promoting the talents of the person to be supported
When writing a job advert it’s important to promote the great things about working with the person rather than focusing on the disability care aspects of the role. This will avoid inadvertently devaluing the person in a public way and also make the job attractive to potential candidates who may never have worked in disability that might have great skills.
It also sets the tone of what it’s like to work with the person and their family. It portrays them as positive people who have high expectations and value the contribution their family member makes to the community.
The candidates do of course need to be informed of the person’s disability and how this impacts them and the support they need but not in the first part of the recruitment process.
Use role based language to describe them and their goal they are looking to achieve. The role of the support worker will be to help them achieve this goal so that gives the worker a purpose.
Here’s an example…..
Melissa is a vibrant 28 year old young woman who is a creative artisan, a singer, a basketball player, a dog owner, a beekeeper and a gardener.
#2: Not being clear on the purpose of the role
Being clear on the purpose and responsibilities of the support role will help potential candidates to understand that the role will require them to work on outcomes. Employees stay when they have a sense of purpose so being clear on the purpose from the start will be important for finding staff who are serious about their role and looking for something longer term.
To identify the purpose of the role link it to the person’s goals. Here’s an example….
Melissa is ready to move out of home and be her own woman. She’s looking for a team leader to ensure her support team works effectively alongside her so that she can live independently from her family like any other 28 year old.
#3: Not being clear on the role responsibilities
If you can identify the key outcomes this role is responsible for achieving this will then help you to identify the personal qualities and skills they will need to do the job well.
Make sure you identify what the key tasks the person will be required to do in their role and the outcomes they will be expected to achieve. List the duty and then put so that… after it in order to explain what the outcome is expected to be.
Here’s an example….
You will be responsible for:
Collaborating with Melissa and her family to create annual plans so that you can guide the team to achieve the vision for Melissa’s independent life.
#4: Not being clear on the desired personal qualities
If you know what kind of personal qualities will suit the role then you will know what to ask for and look for when recruiting.
Think about the kinds of people your family member relates to and what their personal qualities are. A team leader that is an energetic extrovert is going to drive your family member nuts if they prefer someone more reserved, thoughtful, quiet and calm.
Also think about the kind of personal qualities the role requires. Here’s an example…
The team leader will need to be
- Passionate about people with disability living ordinary lives where they are connected to and belong in their community
- A people person who is great at nurturing relationships and building a collaborative work culture
- A solution focused attitude to problem solving
#5: Advertising only within the disability sector
If you only place your advert in places where only people who have worked in disability before hang out then you are running the risk of not attracting people with great skills and experience. If the role is a cooking mentor, then don’t recruit a support worker that knows a bit about cooking, recruit someone who is a great cook that can learn to work around your family member’s disability.
So if you are looking for a cooking mentor, maybe wander around the local food markets with your job advert, or post them on the notice board at your local cooking school or restaurants.
Check in with your own mindset and beliefs about the community’s capacity to work with people with disability here. There are people in the community that have never worked with people with disability before who are still keen to work in these roles.
Here is Isaac’s team leader Marcel talking about what attracted him to working with Isaac as his team leader. He had never worked in disability before coming to us.
Get step by step guidance on Recruiting Staff in My Recruit Your Team Project
In the Recruit Your Team Project I’ll provide you with step by step training on how to recruit great support workers.
I’ll provide you with a whole bunch of tools and templates to help you recruit your staff – like job adverts, position descriptions, interview questions and more.
Not only that, you’ll get access to mentoring sessions with me to bust through any roadblocks that you face.