Attracting and retaining talent is a key part of care provider Elder’s strategy, both for its own employees and the 5,000 self-employed carers who find work through its platform. It set out to disrupt the market when it launched in 2015.
Pete Dowds, CEO of Elder, says: “Care isn’t well incentivised but we want people to see it as a career option.”
This approach starts with the 150 employees who work for Elder. Based around the UK, they include software engineers as well as clinical and operational staff. “Compensation levels are important but we also provide a generous benefits package, including a pension, discounts platform and a mental health app,” says Dowds. “The app, Spill, was introduced during the pandemic but it was so popular we kept it.”
As well as looking after employees, Dowds is keen to reward the carers who work through the platform. “Demand for live-in care is set to grow rapidly and, to support this, we would like to attract 10,000 more carers over the next five years,” he explains.
To do this, Elder partnered with Collective Benefits to roll out a package of rewards for its self-employed carers. These include injury and sickness insurance, mental health support, physiotherapy and a digital GP, a discount platform, and self-employed assistance.
“Different rewards are available based on the number of days carers work but they can also select the offerings that are relevant to them,” explains Dowds. “Carers are a very diverse group of people so we wanted to give them benefits that work for them. Pay is also important: our basic rate starts at £700 a week with double time for bank holidays.”
Elder has already started to see results since it launched the reward programme in September 2021. As well as a 65% increase in applications from carers, there’s been close to a 100% increase in the number of days worked. But Dowds isn’t complacent. “We’re always reviewing what we offer,” he says. “Our employees and the carers on our platform are what makes our business,” he says.