We’re Home Care Pulse, a leading provider of experience management & surveys, caregiver/CNA training, and online reputation management.

With a 65% industry-wide caregiver turnover rate for 3 consecutive years in a row, home care agencies are getting stuck in a downward recruitment spiral. Streamline your hiring funnel by tracking these often-overlooked metrics to begin recruiting for success without it costing you another cent.

You’re understaffed, so you have to turn away client cases.

This produces lower revenue and profit, which means you can no longer afford to invest more into your ad budget or recruiting pipeline.

As a result, you can’t attract enough hires to your agency, and the cycle repeats itself.

Sound familiar?

If you’ve ever found yourself stuck in this never-ending downward recruitment spiral, the answer to your problems isn’t to invest more money into your recruitment pipeline—it’s data.

During the 2022 Home Care Growth Summit, National Home Care Hiring Expert and Founder/CEO of Carework, Rachel Gartner, explained that, while you can’t outspend a broken recruiting pipeline, you can streamline your entire hiring process with the right strategy.

After processing over 50,000 home care applications with her team, Gartner has a proven process to streamline the hiring funnel and increase recruitment success. You can improve your own hiring process by tracking these 5 underrated metrics:

  • Ratio of applicants to booked interviews 

  • Total time it takes to hire 

  • Time between job offer and first day 

  • Number and quality of new hires 

  • Cost per applicant and per hire


Check out more videos like this one on Home Care TV.

Ratio of Applicants to Booked Interviews

Why It’s Important

Tracking how many applicants reach their first interview will help you measure the quality of applicants that your hiring funnel is attracting. To find your applicant to interview ratio, divide your total number of applicants by the number of applicants who completed their first interview.

According to the HCP Benchmarking Report, Indeed was the top recruitment source for home care providers.

But while it may bring in the most applicants, it also has the highest acquisition cost and produces the highest turnover rate of 85%—which is 20% more than the industry average caregiver turnover.

If this trend continues, the overall caregiver turnover rate will increase.

Why is this happening?

While many providers rely solely on the recruitment data that job sites directly track, such as the number of applicants acquired on their platform, the real information lies in the indirect data that job boards don’t report.

How to Improve It

If you want to increase the number of applicants who turn into booked interviews, tweak your application process to attract interview-level candidates who will become long-term hires:

  • Hire someone dedicated to monitoring applications outside of office hours: While the average hiring process takes around 28 days, research shows that 10% of your best candidates are already taken off the marketplace within 10. If your hiring process is taking longer than that, you’ve already lost some of your best hires. To speed up the process and avoid losing sleep or losing candidates, hire someone to monitor applications and answer questions during your off hours. 20% of caregiver applications are submitted on the weekend. Hearing from you right away will keep your applicants excited and engaged with your agency, no matter what day of the week they apply.

  • Know how to play the algorithm: Paid ads will naturally appear higher in results, but they shouldn’t be your only type of job listing. Gartner recommends combining free and paid ads to appeal to all job seeker scrolling habits, as some candidates will scroll right past your sponsored ad at the top. It’s also helpful to repost your ad at least every 30 days. Run 3-4 ads at once and repost a different ad each week to stay current on the job board.

  • Avoid using buzzwords or posting a high volume of ads: Job boards closely monitor any signs of spam on their platform. If you’re posting an abnormally high volume of ads and/or are using too many buzzwords, Indeed may suspend your ability to post free ads. If this is the case for you, reach out to your job board representative for help.

  • Use multiple job boards: Expand your reach by posting where your future caregivers are searching. While Indeed is currently the most popular, these job boards also made the top 10 list of recruitment sources:,, and

  • Evaluate your job listings: At the end of every month, perform an assessment to see which ads performed the best. This will help you know which job postings deserve your budget, and which ones are just wasting your money.


Total Time it Takes to Hire

Why It’s Important

This is how agency owners lose the majority of applicants. For every step you add to your hiring funnel, you lose potential hires. The average home care agency’s hiring funnel resembles the diagram on the right and takes approximately 16 days from start to finish.


However, according to Gartner, the ideal hiring funnel should instead resemble the diagram on the left. If you remove the unnecessary recruiting roadblocks, the entire hiring process should only take a maximum of 9 days.

How to Improve It

It’s easy to assume that the best candidates are those willing to take as many steps as needed to be hired. But your potential hire’s ability to wait for you during your hiring process shouldn’t be the determining factor whether they deserve a job offer.

Gartner explains that job seekers looking for the path of least resistance in today’s job market isn’t a red flag:

“There’s an old-school hiring mindset where employers assume if candidates aren’t willing to do this or that, then they wouldn’t have been a good hire anyway. I’m trying to break down that mindset, because it’s really not true. They are not competing for a job; they can go anywhere and get hired. A lot of caregivers are in really precarious financial situations, so when they are looking for a job, they need to know, how quickly am I going to get paid and am I going to get paid enough to provide for my family?”

Streamline the interview portion of your pipeline by recruiting with a caregiver-first mindset. The smoother and easier you can make your hiring process, the more recruits you’ll have to work with who appreciate efficient communication from their employer.

Easily cut down on the unnecessary steps in your hiring funnel:

  • Cross-train your entire office staff to conduct interviews: While it is best to have one person dedicated to recruitment, ensuring your whole team knows how and what to interview your candidates for will guarantee that someone is always ready and available to transition successful candidates straight into the next step of the hiring process.

  • Be considerate of your candidates’ time by expediting the application process: Requiring just one application is best, but if you really need your candidates to fill out a second application, schedule an extra 15 minutes for them to do it before the interview. Have the application open and ready for them to fill out during that time to save them one more step in the process.

  • Check references simultaneously throughout the hiring process: Don’t withhold a job offer as you check their references. This is a step in your funnel that you can do simultaneously with the hiring process so that your caregivers aren’t left waiting on you.

  • Allow your candidates to complete their paperwork at their own pace: Make it optional for your caregivers to submit their documents before the interview to avoid losing prospective employees to the hassle of filling them out ahead of time. It’s okay to allow them time to fill out their paperwork afterward, even if it means they are hired and scheduled for their orientation before they hand their documents in.


Stephen Tweed, Founder and CEO at Home Care CEO Forum, shared his secret recruiting weapon to hiring with caregivers’ needs in mind during the Growth Summit. He asks every new caregiver how much money they need to make each week, then does the math to show new hires the number of hours they will need to work each week to reach their financial goals.

This caregiver-first recruitment approach streamlines your hiring process and prevents candidates from bowing out of your pipeline due to unmet needs.

Time Between Job Offer and First Day

Why It’s Important

Do your new hires sound enthusiastic about their job offer but then fail to show up on their first day? This is a common problem for many agency owners that occurs from a communication snag in your pipeline.

Many providers make the mistake of transitioning their recruiting efforts into retention efforts on their new hire’s first day. However, retention efforts along the recruitment pipeline need to start the moment a new hire is offered the job.

The average caregiver makes a median of $14,000 a year, meaning the majority of your employees are living paycheck to paycheck. The difference of a matter of days from job offer to first shift could force your caregivers to apply elsewhere to find an employer who can pay them faster.

New hires who experience a positive onboarding experience are 70% more likely to continue working for an organization for more than three years, and it begins with clear communication from their employer.

How to Improve It

While your new hires don’t need their weekly schedule completely planned out from the moment they accept your offer, you’ll need to prove to them that you’ll get them into the field quickly.

As soon as you hire a new caregiver, meet with or call them to discuss everything they will need to know in their first two weeks:

  • when they can expect to have their first training (preferably their previously stated start date)

  • the type of training topics they can expect 

  • any supplies they should bring to their first day 

  • when they can expect to meet their clients 

  • how many clients they can expect to have 

  • who their mentor will be, if your agency has a mentorship program

  • their goals, and what they want to get out of working for your agency

  • answers to common new caregiver FAQs your contact information


Number of New Hires

Why It’s Important

A new hire brings together the data points you need to evaluate what is and isn’t working in your hiring process.

The average home care agency will have to hire approximately 81 caregivers this year, but with the current annual turnover rate, 53 of those new hires will quit by the end of the year!

Which means the data your new hires are bringing in will be crucial to choosing the right recruitment mix to ensure that 65% of your hiring efforts aren’t going to waste.

While the most important, it’s the type of data that your job boards won’t track for you.

Evaluate the effectiveness of your hiring process up to this point by tracking the number of hires, cost per hire, and new employee 90-day retention rate.

How to Improve It

The tips above will ensure the right applicants stay in your recruitment pipeline. Once you’ve made your hires, compare the number of applicants you received to the number of hires you made from each job ad.

This will teach you which ads are drawing the attention of the right applicants, the ones who will become long-term assets to your agency. When you update your other ads, continuously test what works and use what you learn from your top performing posts to adjust all others.

Cost Per Applicant and Per Hire

Why It’s Important

The purpose of improving your hiring funnel is to convert more applicants to hires, which is why your cost per applicant and cost per hire are two of the most important metrics when evaluating your recruitment pipeline.

If your cost per applicant and per hire are too high, you’ll need to work through all these steps backwards to uncover which metrics you need to improve to pull yourself out of the downward recruitment spiral.

There was a significant dip in job applications when unemployment benefits were offered during the pandemic. While this is no longer the case for the majority of Americans, the hiring landscape has changed forever as employers must now focus on proving why an employee should continue through their hiring funnel in such a competitive job market.

How to Improve It

Now that you’ve made it to the end of your funnel, the last step is to evaluate its effectiveness with A/B testing.

Assess which job ads are bringing you the most hires by posting two versions of your job ads and comparing their performance. Experiment using different key words, shorter text, and different information to see what type of content resonates best with your audience. Once a month, review how much you spent on advertising versus how many applicants and hires you got from each type of ad.

This information will be key to understanding which ad—and which platform—is worth investing your budget in. It will streamline your entire pipeline by efficiently attracting the right hires from the start of your funnel.

A Higher Way to Hire

75% of job seekers research a company’s reputation before applying for a job opening. Which means you can have the best hiring process in the industry but if your online reviews are detracting candidates from your agency, you’ll never get the chance to prove it.

Proven to produce the lowest turnover rate at the lowest acquisition cost, word of mouth referrals are the best way to get your hiring funnel performing at a higher level.

Control what others are saying about you online to start your recruitment pipeline on a high note and begin seeing an influx of new hires funneling toward your agency.

Learn more:

HCP’s Care Intelligence Platform offers RN-developed training, satisfaction surveys, and reputation management tools to help you become the best employer and provider in your area—and make sure everyone knows about it.

Like it the old fashioned way?

Leave A Comment