Rushcliffe Care Group: Recruiting overseas for social care providers in England

Rushcliffe Care Group based in the East Midlands provide a range of nursing, residential and rehabilitative care. Rushcliffe have been recruiting internationally for over 20 years.

Background and context

Rushcliffe Care Group based in the East Midlands provide a range of nursing, residential and rehabilitative care.  Rushcliffe have been recruiting internationally for over 20 years.  They recruit the majority of their nursing workforce from overseas and 15 years ago broadened their scope to include senior care staff.  We caught up with Director, Jasmine Stanhope to hear all about Rushcliffe’s experiences.  

The challenge

The standout for me from my conversation with Jasmine was the sense of mutual loyalty, respect and support that shone through.  It definitely felt like to be successful in overseas recruitment, it’s all about getting the relationships right. Rushcliffe have a longstanding partnership in place with a recruitment agency who know the company well.  Rushcliffe manage the legal and compliance side of recruitment themselves and have developed good relationships with national colleagues.  And more importantly than anything, they have great relationships with the people they recruit.  In fact, Jasmine went as far as to say “they’re like our family really”

The impact

Rushcliffe recruit exclusively from the Philippines.  It’s where they started, it’s worked well for them and so they’ve just carried on doing it. Jasmine talks passionately about the range of transferable skills she finds recruits have on arrival and the high level of commitment and loyalty that Rushcliffe see in their international workforce.  She describes a group of support workers who have been with the company for 18 years. Overall retention rates for Rushcliffe of overseas staff are at around 60 percent 

“People come over, bring their family and put roots down”- Jasmine. 

Duty Of Care

Over time, supply becomes self-sustaining because staff signpost family and friends back in the Philippines to Rushcliffe as a good employer.  

For this to happen, that duty of care is so important. Jasmine talks about how important it is to welcome, support and induct people into the country as well as into the job. Taking the time to help people settle, get to know what it means to live in the UK, meet other people and find their way around. All the pre-employment requirements and travel arrangements are taken care of by the recruitment agency so Rushcliffe pick up things on arrival. They support with short term accommodation to give people the chance to find something longer term. They are finding that the reality of securing longer term accommodation is becoming more of a challenge so are currently considering all options including thinking changing the purpose of an unused facility to become staff accommodation.

Lessons learned

“It’s a big investment upfront”, says Jasmine, “but it pays off”.  In terms of costs, it costs Rushcliffe nine thousand pounds to recruit each person but as Jasmine says, compare that to what you’d pay per month for an agency worker and it’s value for money.

Jasmine’s advice to other providers thinking of trying overseas recruitment:

  • Do your research - make sure you know what your legal responsibilities are
  • Ensure you use a reputable international recruitment agency who is ethical in their practices
  • Invest the time and effort to put a really good welcome and support package in place to help people settle 

Rushcliffe are currently working with Skills for Care to produce a 10 Steps to Success video to help other providers to learn from their experiences.