Our people come from all walks of life but they have one thing in common – they are genuinely passionate about caring for our residents.

Employees recruited in our residential care homes are people-orientated and possess the attributes we believe to be key: being caring, loving, giving, patient, open and honest.

From ex-bankers to ex-fireman, our people come from all over the world and many different backgrounds. We actively seek out people that can bring interesting life experience.

Recruiting the right people from the start

‘Can you dance, sing and are you happy to share your life story?’ is the essence of our recruitment campaign designed to attract the right people.

Even when a candidate has the right skills, we also make sure they embrace the values we are looking for. Our approach is ‘hire for attitude, train for skills’. If the right attitude is there, we are happy to provide any additional training. As well as possessing the relevant experience, we look for people who can make a real difference to our team. This is not a task orientated job – our people walk into work not knowing what their day will bring. Employing people with the mindset “if I can help in some way, I will” means we can be cohesive in the way we work.

Since winning Care Employer of the Year 2010 we have found that more and more people are approaching us for employment.

As well as traditional advertising, our staff recommend people they know to us and sometimes we meet candidates when there are no vacancies to fill. If we find someone who is right for us, we keep them on file for future roles, and have even been known to create jobs for those who have something fantastic to offer.

Employee development

We spent £350,000 on training in 2010 alone – one example of our commitment to developing employees.

Our homes have access to a full range of NVQ, dementia and HR training. We aim to equip our teams across the business with the best possible training. Our pledge to development doesn’t stop at nursing and care staff. Maintenance workers receive manual and fire drill training. Those in administration and marketing are encouraged to attend industry-standard courses. Accountants train with the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. We’ve even sent people to Harvard to develop their skills! Not only is the training beneficial to the individual, we know that this valuable knowledge can then be passed on to help develop other colleagues.

Rewarding employees

We like to reward employees that go that extra mile and our Heart of Gold Awards does just this.

The annual ceremony sees winners acknowledged at each of our homes who have repeatedly made a difference to the lives of our residents. Gaynor Brown, a domestic worker at the Spinney, in Chingford, London, was awarded for going beyond the expected with our residents. She decorates her cleaning trolley, makes a point of remembering birthdays and sits with residents for a chat after her shifts. On Mother’s Day she brought in flowers for every lady in the home.

Maintenance Worker Tony Becker, from Ashbrook Court, in Sewardstone, London, won an award for being a star during the Football World Cup. Knowing one of the residents loved football, he customised his Zimmer frame with flags. He is also always more than happy to involve residents in his daily work.

We also recognise great work at the Carebase Day School and some homes run ‘Employee of the Month’ events. A little goes a long way and our managers make sure they constantly thank staff and offer praise when appropriate. We know sometimes it is the simple things that can make our employees feel valued.

Supporting our people

Our teams know each other well. We’re open, friendly and we recruit similarly minded people who don’t stand on ceremony. We are there for each other in more than just a work capacity. If a member of staff is going through a difficult time in their personal life we offer support to the best of our ability wherever it’s needed. We want our people to feel appreciated, happy and engaged.