The day you stop actively recruiting caregivers is the day you decide your agency doesn’t need to grow anymore. Here’s what you can do to adapt to the recruitment landscape of COVID-19.
You’ve probably heard the old adage: the show must go on.
It hits home for essential businesses like home care working to keep going during a time like COVID-19.
When society is still largely shut down, home care—and therefore caregiver recruitment—must continue.
The day you stop recruiting is the day you decide your agency doesn’t need to grow anymore.
Caregiver recruitment has its challenges right now. While COVID-19 has so many aspects of home care management turning on a dime, it’s important to stay ahead on what’s working and what’s not.
As far as recruitment, what’s working is a mixture of new ideas that weren’t really on the radar before, and best practices that were already important but have become more necessary during COVID.
Based on talking with home care agencies across the industry and working closely with recruitment experts at companies like myCNAjobs, here are some tips that are helping agencies most in recruitment right now.
#1: Update your job postings to acknowledge COVID-19 and mention the measures you’re taking to help your caregivers.
According to myCNAjobs, only 12% of agencies have updated their job postings since COVID-19 started, but those that acknowledge COVID-19 and discuss how they’re handling it in their job postings are seeing many more applicants than those that don’t. Caregivers want their questions addressed.
If any of the following are true for your agency, they should probably be included in your job postings:
Your agency is offering hazard pay
Your caregivers have the PPE that they need
Your agency has thorough procedures for handling COVID-19 patients while keeping caregivers safe
Your company is holding virtual interviews
Your company offers all-online caregiver training
Your company offers COVID-19 specific training
#2: Beef up your online caregiver training.
The demand for online training by both caregivers and agencies is through the roof; usage of our online caregiver training portal is up over 400% from this time last year.
Training offers a measure of security to caregivers, and online training is particularly sought after at a time when any interpersonal contact requires justification.
How does this play into hiring? More than before, caregivers are seeking agencies where they know they’ll be given what they need to be safe. Advertising your training is a strong differentiator when they’re scrolling through job postings.
#3: Hold virtual interviews.
This has been embraced by many agencies already; according to our COVID-19 survey, over 65% of agencies are holding virtual interviews to hire caregivers.
While there may be various reasons why an agency hasn’t yet implemented virtual interviews, we strongly recommend you begin them as soon as possible. Many agencies we’ve spoken to plan to continue them after the COVID-19 crisis is over because of the higher interview show-up rate and the ease of scheduling them back-to-back.
#4: If at all possible, offer hazard pay.
The circumstances of every agency are different and COVID-19 has been hard on nearly every agency’s bottom line, but wherever possible, agencies should offer hazard pay to caregivers caring for COVID-19 patients or working in other higher-risk conditions during the pandemic.
Even a small increase in pay for caregivers working in higher-risk conditions provides a reward to those caregivers that will keep your retention up and offer a boost to your recruitment.
#5: Shorten your contact time and overall time-to-hire.
This was important before the COVID-19 crisis, but it remains both a key way to create a competitive advantage in hiring and an area where many agencies are struggling.
According to our research, the top reason most caregivers work for a given agency is simply because it was the first one that offered them a job.
The agencies with the most effective hiring processes are typically:
Responding same-day to new applicants
Handling all paperwork online
Communicating with applicants via multiple channels including text
Keeping tight communication throughout the hiring process
Caregiver Job Satisfaction Starts At The Top
The core of recruitment comes down to the employment you offer to your caregivers—and in turn, that largely comes down to the kind of leadership you display through the COVID-19 crisis.
Caregivers gravitate toward stability in uncertainty. People historically rally around leaders during challenging times; an interesting fact to illustrate this principle is that no US president serving during a major war has ever lost re-election. (Likewise, wartime presidents typically enjoy higher ratings and overall approval.)
It’s encouraging to know that most agencies are doing an excellent job of leading their employees through uncertain times. According to our monthly surveys, the industry eNPS (Employee Net Promoter Score) is higher than it’s been since we started measuring it in 2008.
What that means is that the average caregiver is currently more likely to recommend working for their agency than they have been at any time since we started tracking it twelve years ago—even amid a global pandemic.
That’s incredible, great news.
Likewise, caregiver (and client) satisfaction scores are up across the board.
NOTE: These scores are taken from the surveys we conduct with thousands of caregivers every month to learn how their agencies can improve (not to be confused with the Home Care Benchmarking Study, which is an annual publication based on a single survey administered to agency owners.) You can learn more about having us survey your clients and caregivers here.
These scores hint at the way that home care has weathered this storm but also at home care’s future growth outlook.
It’s a tough time, but home care is coming out of this on top.
If you don’t believe it, listen to this interview that the CEO of Brightstar Care recently gave with Bloomberg News.
Or this article in the Wall Street Journal talking about rising demand for in-home care.
If, like many agencies, you’re struggling to continue recruiting, keep getting client referrals, and hold your profit margins up, hang in there. When this finally blows over, there are great things on the horizon.
We want to hear from you.
What are you seeing and experiencing during the COVID crisis? What topics do you want to hear more about? We want to hear from you.
Send us a sentence or write us a novel; we’ll read it.
Post your thoughts in the comments below and/or send an email directly to me at [email protected] I respond to every email and every comment.
Thanks in advance!
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