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Approved Mental Health Professional

  • £49.84
  • Adults
  • Isle of Wight

Service Manager

  • £425.00
  • C&F
  • Gloucestershire

Team Manager

  • £41.00
  • C&F
  • Gloucestershire

Team Manager 

  • £41.00
  • C&F
  • Gloucestershire

Team Manager

  • £41.00
  • C&F
  • Gloucestershire

Team Manager

  • £41.00
  • C&F
  • Gloucestershire

Who we are

We are Portman Recruitment.

An independent recruitment consultancy that specialises in the provision of employment services in the social work sector. Working with qualified professionals, we continuously and successfully match candidates with their ideal work placements around the UK, and then deliver a superb employment service to all concerned. This involves onsite visits and regular catch ups, as well as out of hours support. We do our utmost to make our workers feel a part of our team, so that they put their all into every assignment they choose, and ultimately, are given.

We’re well aware of the bad reputation the social work recruitment industry holds, and we’re determined to be the exception to this. We don’t force our candidates into roles we know aren’t good for them just for the commission. We don’t withhold pay because we’re inefficient, or use an inept payroll system. We don’t offer bad advice just because we think it’s what you want to hear. We truly want to help you develop into the best social worker you can be, and to us, that involves treating you in the best possible way. We support our candidates within the roles of their choice, ensuring that they’re always paid on time, given beneficial career guidance and that they’re always in a role that makes them feel like they’re making a difference.

Therefore, from the moment you join up with us, to interviews, start dates and beyond, we ensure a smooth process. We place your needs above all else, and take it upon ourselves to provide a safe working environment. We want you to enjoy your social work job, and feel that you are making a difference to those you support on a daily basis. We want to feel that way too.

Our mission

To make your life as easy as possible.

We want to make the lives of our contract workers as simple and secure as possible. We believe that, in the social work industry, there is a severe lack of support for those who deliver at the sharp end. We want our candidates to feel they are part of a team that listens to them, assigns them to roles they know they will love, and when a contract ends, will trust us to find them another placement.

Therefore, our mission is simple: To match candidates and clients based on shared needs; to support our social workers throughout their social work careers, with catch ups and regular visits; to always pay wages on time and in full, either through our own in-house PAYE scheme or a suitable umbrella company.

The positive feedback we receive from our contract workers time and time again is a true testament to the high standards at which we deliver, and the level of support that we are only too happy to give.

Find Out More.

What we do

We match clients with true professionals.

Whether you’re a social worker or service user, we always strive to provide you with a level of care that exceeds your expectations, every time. At our social work agency, we match clients with true professionals, who have the capability to uplift, help and cater to the needs of those they support.

How We Help Our Candidates Find Roles:

  • We meet with potential candidates to discuss their current experience, the locations they’d be willing to travel to and the team that they’d like to work in.
  • A dedicated consultant describes roles that meet the candidates’ requirements in depth, as well as the rate of pay.
  • If a potential role appeals to a candidate, their CV is sent to the hiring manager, and if successful, an interview is arranged. An outcome is typically given to the candidate within 48 hours.
  • If they get the job, a start date is agreed, a booking is created and we provide them with a welcome pack. This details the assignment, the payroll process and deadlines, as well as who to contact should they experience any issues.
  • A dedicated consultant will check in with the social worker on a regular basis to ensure job satisfaction and discuss their hours.

We can also help our candidates through the promotion process, from standard social worker all the way up to team managers. We love seeing our candidates succeed in the industry they’ve always wanted to work in.

How We Help Our Clients:

We pride ourselves on our quick, efficient and highly successful solution to hiring problems within the social work industry. We only provide high calibre fully-vetted professionally qualified individuals who pass our strict compliance checks, which include multiple references, a DBS check and full, verified HCPC and CCW registrations. Because we treat our contract social workers properly, we’ve found that they enjoy their roles so much better, and are therefore the most dependable, hard-working and supportive candidates you’ll find out there.

Find Out More.

What Makes
Us Different?

  • We don’t put KPIs and commissions ahead of our candidates’ interests, ensuring instead that every placement is in their best interests.
  • Our social workers always have a say on where they’re placed and our specialist consultants work with them to match them with their ideal assignments.
  • We have an open door policy and treat all of our social workers as equals, because we truly value all of our workers and want them to feel as much a part of our company as the consultants and managers do.
  • We always provide advice based on honesty, expertise and experience within the industry. For example, we would never suggest a worker move from permanent to agency if they had more pressing obligations.
  • We always pay our workers on time and in full, and we have an optional inhouse PAYE scheme should a candidate wish to use it.
  • We help candidates through every step of the process – from application and role suitability through to support with interviews, start dates and the assignments themselves.

Meet The Team

Our dedicated team are with you every step of the way…

We take pride in our talented professionals, who do their utmost to provide the high level of support that we feel all of our workers not only require, but deserve. From Adam and Paul to Supicha, Georgia and Chloe, we encourage you to discover more about our wonderful team.

  • Supicha Fairhurst

    Compliance and Resource Manager

    Supicha Fairhurst

    Compliance and Resource Manager

  • Chloe Riley

    Business Support

    Chloe Riley

    Business Support

  • Georgia Rice

    Recruitment Consultant

    Georgia Rice

    Recruitment Consultant

  • Adam Whitehead

    Senior Recruitment Consultant

    Adam Whitehead

    Senior Recruitment Consultant

  • Paul Slater

    Recruitment Director

    Paul Slater

    Recruitment Director

Who we work with

Trusted by all.

We have built up strong relationships with, and are widely used by, a range of councils, private companies and individual clients across the UK, providing them with the highest quality of social work professionals. Our expertise within this industry not only ensures the best match between client and candidate, but gives us the best possible understanding of the requirements and challenges that each role will entail.

Staff registered with Portman Recruitment have experience within both children and adults services. We extensively vet all clients and candidates to ensure the quality, safety and welfare of everyone involved.


What Rights Do I Have As An Agency Worker?

All agency workers, have the following employment rights:

  • To be paid at least the minimum wage.
  • Not to have unlawful deductions made from your wages.
  • Not to be discriminated against because of age, gender, disability, marriage, race, religion or sexual orientation.
  • To have a limit on the hours of your working week, to ensure safety.
  • To work in a safe workplace.

You can learn more about your rights as an agency worker here. We also have an open door policy, and we welcome discussion of any topic that you feel we need to address.

We use reliable, well-regulated umbrella payroll services with an optional inhouse PAYE scheme that ensures our workers are always paid on time and in full. You will be provided with details of our payroll process in the welcome pack.

Should a worker want us to work with an umbrella company that is new to us, we will only do so should they pass our strict compliance vetting process.

This is dependent on whether you are paid through us, or an umbrella/payroll company. If you are paid through us, we take care of everything and ensure that we operate within the rules of the IR35.

We pay all of our agency workers weekly (week in hand).

As you may know, this is a candidate-short market and there are always more roles available than people looking. We have over 100  jobs in Greater Manchester alone, ranging from community care, mental health needs and disability support in both childrens’ and adults’ services.

We have roles across the UK, in areas such as Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Yorkshire, so we encourage you to check them all out. You’re sure to find something that interests you.

Ideally, we like our workers to work full-time after qualifying so that they can accrue the experience required to make a successful transition to a contract role. Typically, we see social workers move from permanent to agency work after gaining 2-3 years’ experience.

We do provide roles for non-drivers, but these are office-based roles and are few and far between. We do recommend having a driving license, as this makes the role a lot easier, especially in cases of emergencies.

Before signing up with us, we will need to go through and check, the following documentation:

  • Your passport.
  • Your driving license.
  • Your current CV.
  • Your qualification certificate.
  • Proof of National Insurance.
  • 2x Proof of address dated within the last 3 months.
  • HCPC Letter.

We will also need reference details covering the last 5 years to ensure suitability for the roles we offer.

A DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check helps employers make safer recruitment decisions and prevents unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups, including children. We will pay for the cost of the DBS, and offer advice should you not pass it.

We provide everyone with a dedicated consultant, so that they can get to know you, have a full understanding of your needs and ensure that they offer you the best roles that match your requirements. We hold regular catch ups to determine job satisfaction and we’re available for out of hours calls should you need to contact us.

Our consultants are always happy to help, offering support and guidance wherever possible.

In the unlikely event that you are unhappy with your assignment, or you wish to leave us, then we require a one to two week notice period. We always aim to resolve any issues that arise, so recommend, before making any rash decisions, that workers discuss their contracts with their consultant, and then discuss an exit date that is mutually-respected should you still wish to leave.

We only want the best for our social workers, but we want the best for those that they support too.

A typical agency contract is 3 months, but in most cases the contracts are extended if both the worker and client are happy with the assignment.

This is different dependent on the client, situation and social worker. We’d say that good caseloads consist of 15-20 cases, with high caseloads being 30+.

We’ll discuss every vacancy in detail with you before assigning it to you, and will ensure that you feel comfortable with every aspect of each role prior to confirming you into an assignment. We don’t want anyone feeling overwhelmed, under-valued or unhappy in their role.

We have built up great relationships with over 45 councils up and down the UK, because we provide them with the best social workers out there. These councils include:
Anglesey Council.
Bolton Council.
Derby City Council.
Gloucestershire CC.
Hull City Council.
Liverpool City Council.
Manchester City Council.
Stockport MBC.
Warrington Borough Council.

For more information on the councils we work with, please click here.

There’s no such thing as the perfect applicant, because every role we offer requires a different skillset, level of experience and personality type. For example, to become a Senior Practitioner, Service Manager or Team Manager, you would need to have extensive experience and team leadership qualities that would not be required in roles such as a NQSW or a QSW – Level 2. There are no perfect applicants, just applicants that are perfect for certain roles.

We do tend to employ candidates with multiple years’ of experience, but – we are always happy to provide support and guidance to graduates who are just starting out, or those who are unsure what their next career move should be.

Our general advice includes:

  • Signing up to a social work training scheme such as Step Up to Social Work, Frontline and Think Ahead.
  • Volunteering with charities and other much-needed organisations such as Marie Curie, NSPCC and Cancer Research UK.
  • Getting in touch with contacts you made during university and/or work experience.
  • Joining professional bodies such as the The British Association of Social Workers (BASW) to learn more about social work and find new roles.

Please do give us a call today on 0161 327 0936 if you have any questions concerning your next career move.

  • Our team consists of some of the most qualified consultants out there, whose dedication to our candidates is unrivaled in the industry.
  • We don’t force our candidates into roles that are unsuitable or make them stay in positions that are making them unhappy – in fact, we are regularly onsite and stay in contact to ensure they have every opportunity to let us know what is going on should they want to leave.
  • We always provide honest, open and fair advice based on our experience and expertise within the industry, and would never give guidance we knew wasn’t in our candidates best interests.
  • We don’t just place our candidates in roles and leave them to it. We support candidates through every step of the process – from application and role selection through to help with interviews, start dates and the positions themselves.
  • We aim to provide a level of service that exceeds the expectations of our clients, candidates and anyone else who benefits from your care.


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