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Temporary to permanent recruitment


Qualified social work


  • Sourced several experienced social workers within a niche market

  • Built an excellent relationship with the client and to become the services recruitment company of choice

  • Some qualified social workers who were initially employed temporarily moved on to a permanent contract

The challenge

Sefton Council needed several experienced social workers to help manage its caseload. The recruits were required to start immediately, on a temporary basis, yet needed ample experience to be able to hit the ground running and support existing team members.

Due to Reed’s excellent service handling previous vacancies for the council, they asked our qualified social work experts to lead the rapid search to find suitable candidates.

Michelle Garnett, Senior Practice Manager at Reed, said: “At the time of recruiting, candidates were sparse in the niche area my client needed. I advised my client of this and she allowed me to do what I needed to find her the right candidates.”

This meant that Michelle had to use all the tools at her disposal, utilising her existing networks, and creating new contacts to find suitable candidates within the client’s urgent timeframe.

Overall, the result was great candidates, and no issues. Those we have recruited through Reed are either still working as temps or have taken permanent positions.

Julie Bailey

Admin Manager of Social Work

The solution

Given the limited number of suitable candidates available in the area, our consultant ensured she understood the council's key needs in detail and used her expert local knowledge. This allowed her to identify professionals who had the necessary skills and were available within the allotted timeframe.

Michelle added: “I took a holistic approach and asked the client for as much information as possible about the service, benefits, and support to be offered to the candidates. I provided continual briefings of where I was with my candidate search. When candidates became available, I liaised rapidly with both sides to discover availability and to ensure that interviews were arranged efficiently.”

Crucially, the consultant’s strong relationship with the council allowed her to highlight that the initial personal specification was slightly unrealistic. The council took the feedback on board and trusted the consultant to use her expertise to recruit the best prospective employees possible.

One of the successful candidates Paige Shelton, who is now working as a Social Worker at Sefton Council said her experience of finding a job through Reed was “amazing, really fast, stress-free!”

She said: “It was very enjoyable working with Reed and all the consultants were very polite. They put me at ease, especially being newly qualified and never having worked with a recruiter before, they provide consistent contact and support throughout. Thank you to Michelle, for getting me my first role in social work, and I can always talk to her whenever, about anything, and she will always listen and be there to help or advise as much as she can.”

The results

Our qualified social work expert was able to find suitable candidates to fit the council’s mandate within the required timeline. By knowing the market, understanding the role, and building a great relationship based on openness and honesty, she was able to find social workers who fit most aspects sought by Sefton Council.

The council’s faith in our consultant’s decision making was evident, with all the employees performing so well that many of their initial temporary contracts were converted into permanent positions.

Julie Bailey, Admin Manager of Social Work at Sefton Council, said: “Overall, the result was great candidates, and no issues. Those we have recruited through Reed are either still working as temps or have taken permanent positions.”

When asked if she would consider using Reed again, Julie said: “I would advise other businesses in this position to go to Reed, as they are honest, reliable, and get what you want. The team are always up to date with new movements and provide great customer service.

“I do use other recruitment agencies, but I don’t have the relationship and can’t speak to them as I can with Reed. Often their customer service is not up to scratch, they don’t get back to me or I can’t get hold of them, and candidates can be of a low standard. The first person I think of when I have a need is Michelle. If I had my way in Sefton, I would only use Reed and Michelle to recruit social workers.”

We asked Julie how the new candidates are settling into the role, and she said, “There are no issues, all fine and good, and we as a council have taken a few on permanently.”

Paige Shelton, who has now been taken on as a permanent employee by the council said: “It’s really good and I’m happy here. The team and my manager are very supportive and great to work with, which is hard to find within social work.”

If you are looking for your next hire, contact one of our specialist qualified social workers recruitment consultants today.