Recruitment across etnicity and nationality in elder care
Social Policy SFI - The Danish National Centre for Social Research Copenhagen, Denmark
Danish municipalities seek to overcome shortage of staff in the elder care sector amongst other by recruiting care workers among the ethnic population in Denmark and across the borders. The article investigates the municipal recruitment strategies and practices as well as the experiences of top and middle managers in terms of care workers´ skills and ability to work in a Danish care culture.
The findings show that how and whether the care organisations decide to 'do ethnicity' and 'do nationality' differs greatly between organisations. Recruitment from cross-border countries might be accompanied by extensive language courses and assistance to get settled, but to a lesser extent includes considerations about national care culture specificities. In contrast, there is somewhat more awareness about cross-cultural differences between care workers of Danish and non-Danish ethnic origin. Findings also confirm that care work requires basic skills such as language skills but also a thorough understanding of cross-national and cross-cultural care cultures.
The article is based on interviews with top and middle managers and care staff in 3 municipalities in Denmark.