Exclusive: Charities facing post-pandemic recruitment crisis

Charities are facing an employment and recruitment crisis, it has been revealed.

As the pandemic winds down, charities across the UK have reported a wave of employees moving on to new roles, with a lack of candidates applying for the vacancies.

Learning with Parents CEO, Tom Harbour, said that it has only had one applicant for three roles it currently has advertised.

“Since the end of lockdown – during which we retained 100% of staff – we have had three people leave for entirely understandable reasons. One to have a baby, one to join the police and one to relocate to Belfast.

“For one role we advertised and got a handful of responses and were able to promote the deputy into the manager’s role. The vacancy left at deputy level has so far attracted one response. The two other posts have attracted no response at all.”

Harbour explained that the roles have been advertised on industry jobsites, its own websites and across social media.

“Agencies have approached us but its difficult to justify the fees asked for,” he added.

The Brunel Museum’s director, Katherine McApline said that during the pandemic the museum restructured and advertised for two part time, short-term contract roles and received over 70 application each. Since the end of lockdown, they have renewed the contracts but are looking for a new member of staff, which has proved difficult.

“Although the roles were part time, we received over 70 applications for each of them. We shortlisted but when it came time for interview, a number of the candidates didn't turn up for interview (this was during the lockdown so the interviews took place online).

“We recruited two new roles focused on income generation, but because of the museums finances were only able to offer part-time short term contracts. Our new recruits were brilliant, but we’re having to recruit once more as one of our new members of staff has just got a full-time position elsewhere.

“As the future is so unknown, its difficult to offer staff the security they would like, and flexibility is going to be key to our post-Covid recovery. However, we recognise that flexibility is a two-way street, so we definitely want to hear from people who meet our criteria and share our values, but maybe need something slightly different in terms of their working pattern. We’re really open to that.”

A thread on twitter has also picked up the issue, suggesting ways charities can alter adverts to make them more attractive to candidates.



Not just this sector

The issues with recruitment aren’t found just in the charity sector; Ashgate Hospice Care has reported difficulty recruiting nurses.

Its director of quality and patient care, Haley Wardle said: “Nurse recruitment has been a significant challenge for some time at Ashgate and across the wider health and social care sector. This has undoubtedly been exacerbated by the Covid-19 crisis, which has placed untold pressure on healthcare professionals.

“The nurses needed to deliver end of life care and palliative services are crucial to ensure a dignified death for the patient and their family. Yet these nurses, and nurses across all fields, are in long-term decline.

“This is even more pertinent when we consider the increasing demands that will be placed on us, and the rest of the health and care system, due to an aging population with more complex health conditions.

“If we continue in this way, then we will see a real impact on patient care and staff wellbeing. We must now look to the Government to do all they can to tackle nursing shortages now so that we don’t reach a crisis point in end of life care. A long-term strategy is urgently needed.”

Are you having trouble recruiting? If so, please email Melissa.moody@charitytimes.com for a longer feature

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