According to the 2017 Home Care Benchmarking Study, the median rate of caregiver turnover in the home care industry has risen from 39.4% to 65.7% since 2009. With turnover increasing, recruiting and retaining quality caregivers is an essential competitive advantage for growth.
How to Recruit Quality Caregivers
Ultimately, retention starts at the hire. If you are hiring caregivers who don’t have the drive or the ability to provide exceptional care, they will not stay with your business for long (nor do you want them too). The 2017 Study shows the number one way industry leaders recruit caregivers is through word-of-mouth referrals. In fact, those who cited word of mouth as their number one referral source had a median caregiver turnover rate of 54%, far below the national median. Leaders recognize the best way to build their reputation and recruit caregivers is through their own employees.
When it comes to recruitment, having your best caregivers refer their friends will typically result in more reliable caregivers who will stay longer. The best way to get referrals from your current caregivers is through an employee referral program. This will incentivize your caregivers to refer their friends and help you recruit the best caregivers. Although an employee referral program can initially increase hiring costs, try and look at it as an investment in your team that will ultimately reduce the costs and negative impacts of high caregiver turnover.
How to Increase Caregiver Retention
In 2016, median caregiver turnover was 65.7% for the industry. That’s a 7% increase in just one year. Per the 2017 Study, 32% of providers indicate that caregiver turnover is one of their top three biggest threats. Here are four ways you can take action on now to increase caregiver retention:
1. Recruit with a Purpose
When you feel the sting of caregiver shortages, your first reaction is to hire any caregiver that will take the position. Instead of being reactive to caregiver shortages, you are proactive. You are proactively hiring caregivers who share your desire to help care for those in need, who have a strong work history, and who meet your qualifications. Take the time to hire the right caregivers, and it will pay off in the end with increased retention.
2. Screen and Hire
Before hiring your caregivers, perform background checks and do your own screening. One way to effectively screen and hire caregivers is to hold an open house. Once a month, or more often if needed, invite caregivers to come to your agency for interviews and an in-house pre-employment screening. An open house can make better use of your time resulting in improved productivity and hiring more quality caregivers.
3. Listen and Respond to Your Caregivers
Caregiver satisfaction plays a huge role in caregiver retention. If a caregiver isn’t happy working for you, they won’t stay long. Measuring the satisfaction level of your caregivers will help you understand what their needs are and what you can do to fulfill those needs. Home care businesses enrolled in the Home Care Pulse Satisfaction Management Program get monthly feedback and satisfaction scores from their caregiver they can take action on to boost satisfaction and increase retention. When caregivers know their opinions are being heard, they will be happier working for your home care agency.
4. Recognize and Reward
Caregivers want to be recognized for their efforts and hard work. Many home care business owners feel like increasing pay rate is the only way to make caregivers happy, but pay rate, designed to recognize them for a job well done, is only one factor impacting employee satisfaction. According to the data gathered in the 2017 Study, only 11.4% of caregivers report preferring a pay raise as a “thank you” for doing a good job, while 48.5% would prefer verbal or written recognition. Recognize your caregivers’ sacrifices and abilities, and they will be happy to continue working for your home care agency long term.
To learn more about caregiver recruitment and retention and other insights the 2017 Home Care Benchmarking Study holds, join me for our CORE Webinar on May 3rd and 17th. I will be discussing three powerful insights from the 2017 Study that are critical for driving the growth of your home care business now and in the future.
All the Best,
Aaron Marcum, CEO and Founder of Home Care Pulse