Working as a care agency recruiter vs working in-house: Vikashi shares her story on working as an in-house recruiter for Lifeways
Careers in recruiting have the Marmite factor: you love it or hate it, according to Vikashi, Lifeways’ Regional Recruitment Coordinator for Birmingham and Staffordshire.
“You either think being a recruiter is amazing, or you very much don’t,” Vikashi says.
Yet unlike the divisive savoury spread, there’s a further point of debate among people who work in recruiting - is it better to work in-house, or for an agency?
Like several of her recruitment colleagues at Lifeways, Vikashi’s been on both sides.
‘I would never go back’
Last September, Vikashi shifted from a social care recruitment agency to join Lifeways’ in-house recruitment team – and she’s delighted with her move.
“In my personal experience, I would never go back to working in an agency again,” Vikashi says.
“That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with social care recruitment agencies. They are great places to start and grow your career,” she says.
“But when you work in-house, you get a wider range of tasks, and get to see more of how people’s jobs work, from end-to-end,” she adds.
While every job has its own pressures, Vikashi says that when you work for just one social care provider, instead of recruiting for several providers, there’s less emphasis on having to “go out and find business.”
For example, in her former roles at recruitment agencies, Vikashi recalls making frequent calls to different candidates, working to match people with jobs.
These days, Vikashi checks applications submitted over Lifeways’ website and recruitment portals, meaning she engages with candidates who are already ‘warmed-up’ and searching for a new role.
Just like working in an agency, recruiting in-house involves getting to know people, and keeping in touch.
“Long-term relationship building is a key part of our role,” says Vikashi. “Just as it’s been a key part of my role through my career with clients or candidates.”
Vikashi began her career in social care recruiting a decade ago.
First, she worked as a domiciliary carer, after graduating from the University of Bedfordshire with a degree in Health and Social Care. She then worked her up to become a deputy manager.
From there, Vikashi had various stints in recruiting various healthcare roles, including nurses, service managers, and area managers.
After several changes in her personal life, Vikashi felt last year that the time was right to move into in-house recruiting.
Her career move didn’t take long.
Making a real difference
During a video interview, Lifeways’ Head of Resourcing, Sarah Cole, surprised Vikashi by offering her the role on the spot.
Since then, Vikashi’s settled in to her new job at Lifeways, and enjoys rising to the daily challenge that all social care recruiters have faced since the pandemic: a fluid, competitive jobs market for employers.
“I thoroughly enjoy my job,” says Vikashi. “And I've had a lot of support from both the management team and my team as well. I’m looking forward to developing and growing my career with Lifeways in the near future.”
What’s more, Vikashi’s reminded every day why she joined the social care sector in the first place: to help support positive changes in peoples’ lives.
“I enjoy being able to make that difference – and to give somebody that opportunity to work in a sector where you know they’ll make a difference.”
“And of course, as recruiters, we always keep one thing in mind: giving someone a job can really change their life.”
Lifeways is the UK’s largest team of support professionals providing support for adults in the community.
We support adults with diverse and complex needs, including learning disabilities, autism, physical disabilities, acquired brain injuries, and mental health conditions.
As the supported living sector’s largest team of professionals, Lifeways’ extensive experience and national reach mean we deliver extraordinary support to adults, enabling them to live fulfilling and independent lives in the community.
Our 11,000 colleagues currently support almost 5,000 individuals who live in our 1,500 supported living and residential services across England, Scotland, and Wales.
To grow your career with Lifeways, visit our careers page or if you would like to find out more about what a career in supported living is like read our blog on your questions answered about a career in supported living.
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