Guest post by Beth Kempton, Content Strategist at Hireology.
The home care industry is growing, with U.S. home care jobs projected to reach 2.3 million by 2024 (an increase from 1.8 million in 2014). But home care agencies are struggling to keep up with the industry’s growth as they face challenges when it comes to attracting and hiring quality employees to keep up with this growth.
Many factors contribute to home care hiring challenges, including the record-low unemployment rate, baby boomers retiring and few job seekers interested in home care careers. And a key reason most job seekers aren’t interested in the industry is that they have the misconception that all home care employees are overworked and underpaid, and that a career as a home care aide has limited opportunity for growth.
Without the right team in place, your home care agency risks losing business to competitors. Hiring the best team can help your home care businesses offer top-notch care, and increase both client retention and profitability. Below, we’ve outlined some tips for your home care business to change the perception of a career as a home care aide and get job seekers excited to join your team.
Maintain a Strong Employment Brand
While unemployment is at a record low, 72% of adults across job industries keep an eye on open jobs no matter their current employment status. But with most top talent already gainfully employed, job seekers can be more selective with moving on to new roles, meaning your home care business needs to sell prospective applicants on the opportunity working for your team presents. This can be done by building and maintaining a strong employment brand.
Your employment brand should include compelling job descriptions that answer the “What’s in it for me?” question for job seekers. In your job descriptions, focus on what working on your team as an aide has to offer – such as your benefits, training opportunities and accolades you’ve received for being a great employer.
While home care-related positions require certain certifications, your job description should also highlight preferred competencies, rather than specific required experience. For example, let job seekers know you’re looking for home care aides with personality traits such as compassion and level-headedness. The right candidate might not have 100% of the certifications, but this is something you can help top talent achieve through initial onboarding and training.
In addition to great job descriptions, your home care business needs a strong career site, as the most engaged candidates apply through career sites, rather than simply clicking “apply” on dozens of postings on a job board. Your career site should include details on career progression, employee testimonials and overall benefits to help top candidates see the opportunity your team offers. Hireology data found that a strong career site is 15x more cost-effective than job boards when it comes to attracting quality candidates.
Build Out Clear Paths for Career Growth
One of the misconceptions of the home care industry is that employees are underpaid and there’s limited room for career growth. But today’s top job seekers aren’t simply looking for an exchange of time for money. Instead of seeing pay as a top priority when looking for jobs, prospective applicants demand a clearly defined career path and opportunities for long-term growth from employers.
Your career site is a great place for you to change the perception of a home care career by outlining specific career paths. Your team might offer career progression from homemakers to personal care homemaker to home aides. Or on the administrative side, the career path might range from administrative assistant to office manager. But if this isn’t highlighted on your career site, job seekers will have no way of knowing the tremendous growth opportunities on your team. Highlight all possible paths on your career site to help top talent understand long-term growth potential.
Offer Flexible Scheduling
As many job seekers have the misconception that all home care employees are overworked, it’s important to offer flexible scheduling and make sure it’s clearly outlined in your job descriptions and on your career site. Depending on your current volume of clients, you can offer a variety of schedule options for prospective employees, including days, evenings, weekends and live-in. Doing so will help you attract more applicants who otherwise would have hesitated to join your team. And for full-time employees, consider offering vacation benefits to show employees and job seekers you’re invested in their work-life balance.
As the demand for home care continues to grow and the unemployment rate remains at the lowest in 50 years, agencies will likely face ongoing challenges with securing top talent. By changing the perception of home care careers, your team can attract quality candidates, and as a result, increase productivity and profitability at your business while providing the best care possible to your clients.
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