The struggle to find and retain caregivers is nothing new to the home care industry. Developing effective recruitment strategies while simultaneously working to reduce caregiver turnover and retain top talent is more vital than ever with the explosion in the number of older adults desiring care at home. While there was already a preference among the majority of older adults to age in place, living through a pandemic solidified that decision even further.
Home Care Pulse’s 2021 Home Care Benchmarking Study verified the severity of the caregiver shortage, with an increase in the number of agency survey participants reporting the shortage having an extremely negative impact over the past two years’ reports. This is likely the result of a few different factors:
The growing number of aging adults in general (along with factoring in COVID-19 concerns)
Increasing competition in the home care industry, with agencies all trying to attract the same caregivers
A higher pay scale (and sometimes, better benefits) in other industries
Recent statistics approximate the need for an astounding additional 7.8 million direct care workers by the year 2026. How will your home care company attract and retain the best caregivers in order to both meet your current clients’ needs and grow your client base?
Make Sure You’re Using the Best Recruiting Sites
So much of our everyday lives utilize the internet that it only makes sense that the most effective recruiting efforts would take place online as well. In order to attract caregivers, your agency needs to have a strong presence and a solid, appealing message in the top places where caregivers are searching for work. Internet job posting sites continue to be the leading sources for caregiver recruitment, with Indeed.com far out in front, followed by myCNAjobs.com, Craigslist.org Job Ads, and Care.com.
Make Your Content Meaningful
Why should someone apply to your agency over the plethora of others vying for their attention? Before sending that job posting into cyberspace, make sure your content is compelling enough to catch a caregiver’s eye.
It’s important to make sure the value of working for your agency is prominently and succinctly expressed. A potential employee may be scanning through hundreds of job postings, looking for the benefits to working for one agency over another. Highlight upfront what your agency brings to the table: flexible schedules, company culture and values, peer mentoring, weekly pay, immediate work, shifts close to home, paid training, bonuses, rewards, and any other perks.
Consider these additional content creation tips:
Let them know how much they matter. Potential caregivers should know that your company recognizes that the work they’ll be doing will be making a difference. Caregivers can have a direct and powerful impact on the quality of life for clients, one-on-one. Make sure you emphasize how crucial their role is.
Let them know how your agency is different. Establish a connection with your potential employees by briefly sharing your own story – the experience you have walking a mile in their shoes. Did you start your own agency as a result of providing care for a family member at home? What challenges did you face and overcome along the way? How did you feel in your caregiving role, and what might have made it easier? A personal story and related language can help illustrate your company’s culture and values.
Make Your Agency Stand Out
Thinking creatively is key to rising above your competitors. It’s simply not enough to post an ad on Indeed and hope for the best. Plan a brainstorming session with your team, including leadership as well as some of your top caregivers to gain varying perspectives. Talk through your agency’s mission, vision, and the benefits currently offered to employees, along with ideas for additional offerings to try to tip the scale in your favor.
These ideas can give you a starting point:
Showcase the fun. Those who care for a client at home may feel a bit lonely and isolated in their work. Provide opportunities to bring your caregivers together on a regular basis for team building: a summertime picnic with games and prizes, a day trip to an amusement park, a festive holiday party. Fun activities allow caregivers time to socialize and form bonds with one another, and receive the message loud and clear that you value and appreciate them.
Provide financial rewards. Caregiving is an incredibly fulfilling and meaningful career for many, but competitive compensation is crucial for attracting new caregivers. Offer significant hiring and retention bonuses: one on the first day of employment and another at 30 days, 90 days, each year, etc.
Appreciate your current caregivers. Honor your existing care staff with pay raises, bonuses, awards, etc. Hold an annual celebration in their honor. Show them your appreciation in a variety of ways so that they can’t help but rave to their family and friends about what a wonderful place to work your agency is.
Simply say you care. It sounds like a no-brainer, but expressing how much you care for your staff may require a concerted effort to implement. Communicate with your caregivers on a regular basis to let them know you are available to listen to and support them. Make sure they hear from you that they aren’t just a number, but part of your agency’s family. Knowing you truly care about them will go a long way towards establishing and maintaining loyalty.
Make Your Recruitment Efforts Unique
Aside from job postings, try these unique recruitment tactics:
Recruit at local high schools, particularly those that offer CNA classes.
Deliver coloring books to daycare centers that include a large sticker announcing your agency’s job openings on the front cover for kids to take home to their parents.
Make sure to have a presence at all career centers, such as universities, community colleges, veterans’ career placement sites, and your state’s sponsored career center.
Pick a day to offer open interviews and print that information on a card to share around your community, like in apartment buildings, beauty shops, places where families go to get WIC benefits, veterinarian offices, and banks.
Collaborate with a shelter for women to offer jobs to those who are looking for a new start.
Host a lunch-and-learn at churches, seminaries, religious colleges, and other places that have a large population of service-minded people.
Target nurturing/mindfulness fields, such as yoga instructors, massage therapists, holistic healers, etc. who may be looking for extra work.
Make Your Application Process Easier
If it isn’t easy to apply for a position with your agency, many potential caregivers won’t bother. Entice caregivers to apply by:
Scaling back on your job application questions as much as possible in the initial application process.
Checking the mobile-friendliness of your application to ensure it’s easy to complete on a smartphone.
Skipping the requirement to upload a resume.
Showcasing your benefits first.
Asking for a cell phone number on the application. Caregivers may respond better to texts than to emails.
Creating effective content and strategies for recruiting and retention takes both time and specific expertise. Partner with a home care marketing specialist, like corecubed, to ensure your agency stands out from the crowd and draws in the caregiving talent you need to grow!
About Amy Selle
Amy Selle is Vice President of corecubed, an in-home care marketing company that uses the best home care sales and marketing talent to promote the best care companies. Amy acts as a strategic marketing partner to corecubed clients, helping them achieve results in an increasingly dynamic marketplace. To help ensure your agency stands out in the crowded aging care marketplace, contact the home care marketing experts at corecubed.
Email: [email protected]