Agencies around the country are reporting that caregiver applications are down in the wake of COVID-19. Here’s how to optimize your strategy and keep your agency staffed.
Across the board, one of the biggest challenges home care agencies are facing is hiring and recruiting an adequate number of qualified caregivers. While the opportunities are limitless for caregivers themselves, there are a few things your organization can take notice of in order to maintain a healthy network of applicants and stand out among the competition.
Here are a few of our favorite strategies for optimizing your recruiting process to streamline hiring and create a well-rounded experience for all parties involved.
Commit to a Fast and Efficient Application/Interview Process
In the job search, we’ve found that qualified candidates are likely to apply for and accept a position based on the order in which they see openings and how quickly they receive responses about their application status. More often than not, home care providers will apply for a position based upon how convenient the application process is. As a home care agency, it is critical to evaluate all facets of the job search and prioritize a system where your openings and opportunities are front and center.
In addition to surveying thousands of clients and caregivers every month, our team also talks to hundreds of home care owners every week. Here’s what we’re hearing right now: Where caregivers used to focus on finding a job that offers flexibility, they’re now gravitating more toward jobs that bring stability. With the ways that COVID-19 has reshaped the hiring landscape, caregivers are seeking roles in which they can be a permanent addition to home care agency efforts.
To cultivate a successful and efficient process, there are a few things you should consider:
Assess Company Needs
Before diving into recruiting efforts, it is important to first evaluate exactly what you are looking for in an individual, and how they can be an asset to the team as a whole. While an individual can add value no matter their background, determining the type of applicant who you see best fit within your organization will help to weed out the competition and give you more time to focus on those who will thrive and grow with the company.
Not only must caregivers fit the role of their specific duties, but they also need to identify with the mission and principles of your agency. This will be necessary as time moves on to ensure that the company evolving and expanding in a direction that aligns within the long-term vision.
Quick Communication & Decisions
Chances are that if a caregiver is looking for a new opportunity, they’re applying to multiple organizations. To stay at the forefront of their job search and remain a top consideration, it is important to be quick and decisive in your communication strategies.
However, if your timeline is lengthy, giving the applicant an overview of the interview process is helpful and will keep them engaged. Agencies seeing the most success right now are committed to responding to all applicants within 24 hours. They will appreciate the way you communicate, and this gives them further insight into what to expect if they accept a position on the team.
Creating a funnel is a necessary component of any thriving recruitment strategy. To be thorough, you may want to include the following metrics to track and quickly identify where in the process you are losing the most applicants.
By tracking each of these statistics, you will be able to anticipate where you are losing traction and how you can reimagine your recruiting process to drive more applicants to the interview and offer stage. The funnel is a great model to envision how each step your company is taking in the recruiting process is impacting the other. For example, a change in one level directly impacts all the levels below it. If you can figure out where you are missing the mark from a high-level perspective, your recruitment success rate will significantly increase.
Use a Mix of Active and Passive Approaches
Active and passive are two very different areas of recruiting that come with their own benefits and drawbacks. Using both, simultaneously, is a great way to connect with a larger target market and effectively diversify your applicant pool. Balancing both pipelines will be beneficial in opening up communication that can be useful down the line.
Here are a few ways to be successful in receiving both, active and passive applicants:
Job Fairs/ Nursing School Visits (Community Events)
Community events are a great resource and should be utilized to whatever extent possible depending on the state of COVID-19 cases in the local area. By strategically placing your agency in front of job seekers and/or recent graduates through school visits and other community events, you’ll open yourself up to a new pool of applicants that are already committed to the job search. Many communities and colleges host these types of events to connect employers with potential employees.
Online Job Postings
In the world of recruiting, job boards are a prominent search tool being used to find top candidates. With the endless options available, posting new jobs on career sites can be a daunting task, but we have compiled a list of some of the most important ones:
In addition to posting new jobs on these websites, refreshing the post after some time goes by will take it back up to the top of the search results, guaranteeing that it reaches more eyes. Also, by creating a company page on sites like Indeed.com, qualified candidates will automatically be pushed to you based on internal scans of profiles and resumes.
Successful recruiting has become increasingly social. With platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, the need to cater to target markets online has increased significantly. Posting new opportunities and running ads
Employee referral programs are a great incentive and can quickly help to attract quality talent. Employee referral programs are pretty simple, and if used correctly will create a drastic shift in your hiring efforts. For employee referral programs to be successful, following a straightforward, indefinite approach will create consistency recognized throughout the company.
Consider Utilizing an ATS Software
An applicant tracking system (ATS) is a software used to help hiring managers post job ads, manage applicants, and oversee each part of the hiring process from a single platform.
While an ATS software can be useful in many cases, it will significantly speed up the hiring process and allow for a more organized workflow. These systems help to maintain a large database of qualified candidates that can be used for new recruiting or as a resource in future recruiting.
By adopting new technology, your home care agency is likely to find an increase in quality and consistency that translates from the recruitment phase into hiring, onboarding, and longevity of employees.
Here are a few systems that we recommend you look into:
Staying on Top of Challenges in Caregiver Recruitment
At its core, successful recruiting is about understanding the needs of your organization and the candidates that fit those roles. It’s important to always keep an eye out for top talent, whether through social media, career fairs, working directly with colleges, or even word of mouth. Networking is key, and when the opportunity presents itself, the prospect will remember your agency.
Although sourcing new candidates can be a difficult task, we’ve found that by following some of these methods, home care agencies have been able to scale up their recruitment efforts and continue growing despite what might appear as a lull in applications.