The role of a social worker is to provide support to people from all walks of life who are suffering in some way. They help those who are facing challenges in their lives, and provide care and strategies to overcome these hardships. They may work with people of different ages, cultures and backgrounds, who may be dealing with trauma, addiction, disabilities, abuse or other challenging situations.
A social worker can specialise as a direct service social worker, or as a clinical social worker. A direct service social worker helps more with guiding the client to implement solutions to solve and cope with the difficulties of their day to day life, whereas a clinical social worker is able to diagnose and assess clients with behavioural, mental and emotional troubles.
Social workers can work in many different environments, such as hospitals, medical centres, schools, nursing homes, rehabilitation centres, and community mental health centres.
Day-to-day tasks of this role:
- Form trusting relationships with clients.
- Identify clients issues and ways to help them cope.
- Respond to community crisis situations.
- Be a support system for clients who have experienced change in their life.
- Conduct follow up conversations and meetings with clients.
Understand the Role
Review the skills profile
To find the best person for the role, you need to understand what the role involves. You can complete this with the hiring manager to define the role, what it contributes to the organization, and the skills needed.
Write a job description based on skills
Once you understand the requirements for the role, you’ll need to understand the skills for success. You can then write an effective job description to promote your role.
Select the ideal candidate
See which applicants have the right skills for the role. Send all your applicants a Vervoe skills assessment from the expert library, or customise one for your organization.
Interview top performers
Your skills assessment results will identify top performers. Focus your time on interviewing those that have met or exceeded your requirements. Assessment results will also help guide which skill areas to focus on in the interview.
UNDERSTAND THE ROLE
Skills profile for a Social Worker
In order to become a social worker, a candidate will need to complete a bachelor degree in social work. Some organisations may require employees to have also completed a bachelor degree in another relevant field such as sociology or psychology. Industry experience is also favourable when applying for social work roles. There are some common skills required for this position.
It is important that a social worker is extremely resilient. They must be able to effectively manage tough cases without letting it get to them personally, and understand the nature of the role and that they will be exposed to disturbing cases and situations. They must be able to leave their work at work, and start each day with a fresh and positive attitude.
Social workers must also be very organized. They must have the ability to handle high workloads at any time, and be able to effectively prioritise tasks. They need to be able to manage multiple cases that are at different stages at once, and maintain detailed records of all activities related to each case.
Emotional intelligence is an essential skill for a social worker to possess. They must have the ability to regulate their own emotions in tough, confronting, stressful and challenging situations, and remain calm and collected when with clients. They must also have the ability to read the emotions of other people, and the act accordingly to help as best that they can.
Once you’ve determined the skills required for the role, you can write the job description to advertise for your position.
Social Worker Job Description
- Why is this role being filled?
- How does this role fit into the organization and the team?
- What makes your company unique?
- What would it be like to work for you?
- What technical skills are needed for this role?
- Which soft skills are applicable?
- What are the nice-to-have experiences of your ideal candidate?
- Include availability preferences in this section
- What are the key deliverables for this role?
- What does the day-to-day of this role look like?
- Compensation & bonuses
- Employee benefits & perks
- Ongoing training benefits
PRO TIP #1
As this role can be very confronting, and both physically and mentally demanding, it is important to outline the kinds of situations the applicant may be faced with, as well as what is expected of them in these situations. This may include the duties they may have with specific clients, their daily tasks and hours, and protocol in emergency and high stress situations.
PRO TIP #2
Ensure that the entire recruitment process from job description to assessment to interview reiterates your company vision and values. This will help you identify the right people for the role, and applicants will know whether your company is the right fit for them.
Sample skills assessment
Question Type: Document
What strategies do you have in place to ensure you don’t let the stressors of this role get to you? Please describe this in the document below.
Question Type: Text
What system do you use to manage the records or keep notes for your cases?
Question Type: Video
How do you regulate your own emotions when dealing with an aggressive or extremely upset client?
Interview guide for a Social Worker
Once your Vervoe skills assessment has surfaced the most qualified people for your open role, you can focus on interviewing these candidates. The PDF interview guide contains structured questions against each of the competencies for this role.
This interview guide is intended to be used in conjunction with the Vervoe skills assessment. Where a candidate has scored Low – Medium on a skill, focus on asking more questions from that skill to gain deeper insight into their level of competency.
PDF INTERVIEW GUIDE
Get your copy of the interview guide to complete the hiring process. Includes questions against each of the skill competencies for the role.