Recruitment to social care roles in remote and rural contexts; strengthening the weakest link in integrated care?

Stephen Gibb*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Recruitment to social care roles can be the weakest link in many integrated systems, with vacancy rates being very high compared to other sectors, especially in remote and rural places. Analysis of Employer Value Propositions (EVPs) in social care can capture and challenge perceptions of care work.

This study of EVP in four organisations in a rural setting in Scotland focussed on young people as a target demographic. This study interprets recruitment challenges in social care in three contexts, the technical-instrumental, the hermeneutic and the emancipatory.

EVP articulation is at present not effective. Refreshed and new messaging has potential to attract, employ and nurture young people to the social care sector in remote and rural places.

Research limitations/implications
Recruiting to social care vacancies is crucial for sustainable social care. Improving the recruitment of young people is a key part of the longer-term solution. More studies on recruitment in a variety of remote and rural contexts, with a range of demographics, are needed.

Practical implications
The potential impact is attracting more young people to the social care workforce, enhancing capacity for integrated care improving lives for people who receive care and for paid care workers and unpaid carers.

Social implications
Remote and rural areas often feature a generational imbalance, with more older people from in-migration and fewer young people from out-migration. Employment in social care has the capacity to redress that to some extent.

This study is original in outlining the messages and methods that can be adopted to boost recruitment to social care.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-85
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Integrated Care
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 22 Aug 2023


  • social care
  • young people
  • remote and rural
  • employer value propositions


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