How to attract the best talent

By Sonia Tanda | 11 January 2022

2021 was quite a year for local government, especially social work recruitment.

At Penna, we ran bulk social worker campaigns for more than ten authorities. The first six months saw experienced social care professionals willing to explore new roles. The second saw less interest. Indeed, some research indicated more were leaving the profession than joining.

We don’t know exactly how the market will change in 2022, but authorities must work harder to retain their workers and target super-specifically to attract new talent. I recommend starting this year by asking ‘what else should my council be doing?’

Our clients have seen results from:

  • Proactive always-on digital approach, alongside traditional media
  • Candidate outreach methodologies
  • Content-rich approaches – embracing newer socials, like TikTok
  • Creating an interactive online recruitment portal

In 2021, we saw qualified international candidates expressing interest in UK social care roles. In 2022, must authorities embrace this candidate pool to ensure a strong future?

We predict in 2022 there will be more emphasis on mental health in social care. Scrutiny is currently high. If social workers didn’t feel pressured before – they certainly do now.

Equally, flexibility is key to frontline workers’ mental health. How flexible are you willing to be? Must social workers be in the office to complete admin?

Shout about your flexibility and wellbeing offer. It’ll help you retain and attract talent, in 2022.

Penna is hosting a webinar for social workers on mental health at 12pm, on 17 February. To join us, message For more about our social work recruitment, email

Sonia Tanda is an attraction strategy specialist at Penna

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