How searching for social care careers is changing during COVID

Learning to work through a pandemic hasn’t been easy for any of us.

However, for those working in the care industry, the struggle has been even more acute. Aside from potentially putting their health at risk every time they go to work, they’ve had to deal with some of the hardest conditions during the pandemic. 

So how have their priorities when looking for work changed during this time? And what do they value most when it comes to their career? 

We surveyed 221 health and social care workers to find out:



Salary is the most important factor to social care jobseekers 

When asked to describe their main motivations when searching for a job, 47% said that they’re looking for a better salary.

As pay is often a common complaint for those within the social care industry, this is by no means unexpected. However, the average for other industries sits at around 43%, perhaps suggesting that social care workers still feel they aren’t financially rewarded enough for their efforts.

Other factors when searching for something new included wanting a fresh start (36%), and just looking to see what else is out there (28%). 

Benefits such as being given more responsibility, and working for a company with better values, were seen as being far less important. 


Priorities are continuing to change during the pandemic 

50% admitted their priorities when looking for a new role have changed during the COVID-19 crisis.

Securing a better paying role, and finding a company that treats their staff better were the main things that have changed. 40% of those surveyed agreed with both statements. 

Social care workers were far less concerned about job security than those in other sectors, perhaps being more aware of their value in the current climate. 

The majority also said they weren’t searching for a company who gives more transparency when going through a crisis, despite the pandemic.


Staff care continues to be highly sought after

When asked which elements of an organisation were most important to them, the following factors stood out:

  • Staff care (i.e. well-being and safety)  – 62%
  • Employee rewards & benefits (e.g. pension, healthcare) – 59%
  • Job security – 48%


Factors like branding, tone of voice, and working for a well-known name were noted as far less important than they are in other industries. 

One third said their desire for these things have increased during COVID-19. 


Most aren’t actively searching for something new (yet)

Two thirds of those we surveyed were either very interested or somewhat interested in finding a new role. However, only around one in five have actually applied for a new position. 

This could partly be down to feeling safe in their current job. Many of the social care staff we surveyed said that they feel some sense of job security at this time – with only 19% thinking that there’s a threat of redundancy in their current role, due to the pandemic. Roughly the same amount are worried they’ll experience a loss of income. 

However, unless salaries increase in the foreseeable future, it seems many more care workers could be on the move. Because, despite the growing sense of appreciation around those working in the industry, many feel that their paychecks still aren’t in line with the service they provide. 

Now, more than ever. 


About our research

We surveyed 2,509 UK workers to better understand their motivations behind looking for work, and their expectations around the hiring process. 

This sample just included the 221 individuals who specified that they worked within the health and care industry. 

We’ll be sharing more exclusive insight across the weeks to come. 


How can help?

We’re proud to support the Keep Britain Working campaign. 

If you’re looking for work right now, there are thousands of roles added to every single day. We also have a wide range of Career Advice for every stage of the jobseeking journey, as well as courses for anything you’re interested in learning.

And if you’re looking for an increase in your income, you can use our average salary checker to see how much you could be earning in your area. 

So no matter what you need help with, we’re here for you.  

Together, we can #KeepBritainWorking. 



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