What to Look for in a Social Work Candidate

Social workers do seriously important work. These selfless people dedicate their careers to helping others. The job can be very taxing at times, but those genuinely committed to it couldn’t imagine doing anything else. 

Clients rely on social workers to help them solve problems and deal with serious issues in their everyday lives, so when hiring, you need to choose wisely.

Here’s a look at seven characteristics social worker candidates must possess. 

Empathy 

Clients assigned to a social worker are typically in tough situations. These people are struggling, and they need someone who really cares about them and wants to help improve their situation. People won’t open up to their social worker if they don’t feel comfortable with them, so the ability to display empathy is a must. 

Patience 

Working directly with others isn’t always easy  especially when it comes to the often complex cases social workers deal with. Guiding clients through necessary life changes is a process that takes time. People don’t always listen to advice designed to help them, and may even behave in a manner that goes directly against the goals they’re trying to achieve. Social workers need to be patient and work with their clients to help them change their ways gradually. 

Organization 

Every case a social worker oversees comes with a lot of paperwork. Add to this the fact that they’re managing multiple cases at once, and things can get very messy  if they’re not seriously organized. Keeping files properly organized ensures they can produce important paperwork on a moment’s notice and helps them save serious time. 

Perception 

Some people are very clear about their feelings, but others aren’t as easy to read. Social workers need to be perceptive, so they can assess what’s truly going on with their clients. This involves keen observation and listening skills because it’s often necessary to read between the lines to really understand what a client is going through. 

Flexibility 

No two days are the same in the life of a social worker. The job doesn’t follow a standard work schedule, because it’s all about helping clients and being there for them. This means meetings might need to happen during evening hours or on weekends. In emergency situations, social workers might have to rush to their clients at any time of day, so the ability to be on-call is a must.  

Resilience 

Social work can involve some very heavy days. Clients are often in dire situations, which can be emotionally draining. It’s important for professionals in this field to have the ability to leave the stress of the job at the door when they’re finished working for the day. Both for their own mental health and the well-being of their clients, they need to let the pressure of the job roll off their backs in order to be effective. 

Persistence 

The best social workers always have a plan  and are always willing to change it. They accept the fact that their clients might not always take their advice on the first, second or third time. Instead of giving up on them, they keep on trying until they’re finally able to get through to them and help them make the positive changes needed to improve their lives. 

Contact Us Today

An outstanding social worker can change their clients lives forever, so take care to choose the best person for the job. To learn more about how we can help you find top behavioral health talent, contact us today at (513) 651-9500 or by email at info@psychpros.com. 

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