Bluebird Care to roll out recruitment app

Neil Eastwood, Care Friends founder

Bluebird Care plans to roll out employee referral app Care Friends, as part of its recruitment process across its network of 200-plus franchises in the UK and Ireland.

Care Friends is an app that uses gamification to incentivise care workers to share jobs with their friends and contacts from their phones as well as allowing managers to reward staff for good work.

Created by Neil Eastwood, it was launched in June in partnership with Skills for Care. Bluebird Care franchise offices have been piloting the app for the past few months.

In an interview in the October issue of CM, Eastwood said employees that join the industry through referrals were more likely to stay in the sector for longer. He said providers were often ‘scrambling to replace people who have left suddenly’ and therefore forced the recruit in a panic.

He said operators ‘must look beyond the CV and try and identify the values that align with their existing staff and organisation’.

On the tie-up with the homecare provider, he said: ‘I am delighted we are now partnering with Bluebird Care nationally, one of the most respected brands in homecare. It is validation of the excellent results we have seen across our pilot homecare sites, which have continued apace since our official launch just three months ago. This partnership demonstrates the potential of Care Friends to support the recruitment and retention of a high-quality homecare workforce, at scale.’

Katy Falconer, head of people, engagement and culture at Bluebird Care, added: ‘We are delighted to be collaborating with Care Friends, this innovative app is exactly what we need to help us improve both our recruitment and retention.

‘Some of our best carers have joined Bluebird Care because they were inspired by other friends and family in the care sector. With Covid-19, our recruitment process has been streamlined and we are increasingly using technology to ensure we comply with social distancing guidelines.’

Eastwood will be presenting at LaingBuisson’s Social Care and Retirement Living conference on Tuesday.