Search skillsforcare.org.uk


‘Apply’ looks at how you design your application process to ensure that you can shortlist candidates who demonstrate they share your values.

An effective application process is as simple and accessible as possible whilst also collecting essential information and communicating your values to candidates. This will ensure:

  • you don’t put off people who are thinking about applying to work with you
  • you collect important safeguarding and employment information to enable you to make safe and fair recruitment decisions about candidates' suitability to work in care
  • you gather enough information to ensure you can gain an accurate understanding of a candidate’s values, identifying who has potential to be a great care worker
  • candidates understand what values are expected of them and can consider whether they feel your workplace is a good fit.

Many employers are now using a two-stage application process where they allow candidates to complete a short application form or letter, send in a CV or send in a short video demonstrating why they are interested in the role and how they meet the workplace values. They invite candidates to interview and then ask them to complete a more formal application form so they can collect all of the relevant information. 

Individual employers can watch our 'Shortlisting and selecting personal assistants who demonstrate values in the application process' video to find out more about assessing personal assistants.


Using values in your application and shortlisting process:

Duration 2 mins 3 secs


How can you shortlist staff who demonstrate your values in the application process?

  1. Share information with candidates so they understand what values are needed in care and can think about how they could demonstrate their values when applying.
  2.  Include a question at application stage asking candidates to give you examples from their work, volunteering or any other aspect of their life showing you how they have demonstrated your values.
  3. Use a shortlisting matrix to review applications and focus on whether the candidates have demonstrated your values in practice.
  4. If using a short application form when candidates first apply, ensure you gather and assess all other relevant safeguarding, conduct and employment information before making an offer of employment. 


Resources and templates

Here are some resources to enable you to analyse how effectively you're exploring candidates’ values in your application process, plan areas for improvement and know what to do to put those plans in place.


Word - 48 KB
Assess what you do well and where you can make improvements at the 'Apply' stage.
PDF - 680 KB
Use this leaflet as part of an application pack to help those with no experience of working in care think about examples from other areas of their life.
PDF - 142 KB
This document contains guidance to help you design a values-based application process, from the application form to shortlisting for interview.

This sample application form can be used as a starting point to develop your own values-based application form.


This comprehensive application form is part of the , co-produced by Ƶ and the DBS. Use it to gather detailed employment history, references and right to work information before making an offer of employment.



Learning from others

- Right at Ƶ Derby




Ensuring your values-based recruitment is neuro-inclusive

Provide electronic versions of application forms so candidates with handwriting or spelling challenges have a more accessible format.

The  is clear and easy to follow. Offer a version with a light yellow background and blue-coloured text to those with visual processing challenges.

If someone applying has significant challenges with written communication, ask them to provide you with the information verbally via a video conferencing tool or signpost to free speech-to-text software such as 

Try not to be too critical when it comes to minor errors on application forms. If you have many applications to go through, then excluding applications with small errors may seem like a good idea to narrow your search. However, that means that you may have discounted some applicants with dyslexia, for example.