Do you have what it takes to work in the caring sector? How would you know? If you are a manageror an employer already working in the caring sector, are you confident in your ability to identify and
select individuals who do have what it takes? How can you be sure? Imagine a family member or a close friend was receiving care either in their own home or in a residential setting. What type of person would you trust to take on this responsibility and how can
you be sure that the person does indeed have the qualities that
you are looking for? There is a general consensus that some individuals are better suited than others to adopt a caring role but what makes them more suitable and how do we identify these individuals? How do you present the
right qualities at interview to guarantee you get the job and how might a potential employer be confident that their judgement of the candidate is accurate?
There are general qualities which are always valued by employers regardless of the nature of the job, such as: reliability; honesty; motivation; willingness to learn just to name a few. However, some jobs call for special talents. For example, some individuals seem to possess advanced skills in areas such as: maths; art; linguistics; music; logic; spatial awareness and coordination. Others have a particular affinity for jobs that require advanced social skills. Every role will have its essential skills set, without which, the role would be too challenging or even impossible to fulfil. Like any meaningful role, caring requires advanced skills, in particular those which enable complex interactions to take place. Most individuals who require care depend on the carer being able to
recognise and respond to ever changing needs in a person-centred way. Often there will be barriers to communication and, frequently, there will be emotionally charged situations to manage. Meeting these challenges is only possible when the carer possesses interpersonal skills such as: empathy; genuine positive regard; active listening; emotional dexterity and intrapersonal skills such as: self-awareness; reflection; critical analysis and emotion awareness. A carer who lacks the necessary ‘inter’ and ‘intra’ personal skills‘ will find it very difficult to be receptive and responsive to the subtle needs of the individual. This is particularly pertinent when dealing with vulnerable people who may find it difficult to articulate their needs. ‘Inter’ and ‘intra’ personal skills can be described collectively as ‘Emotional Intelligence’.