Author imageBrandi Kurtyka
Home Care Office Staff Hiring Tips

There’s a growing disconnect between how agencies and caregivers think about work—and the management of this disconnect is what will separate average agencies from high performing industry leaders.

Like it the old fashioned way?

There is a growing disconnect between how agencies and caregivers think about work. The management of this disconnect is what will separate average agencies from high performing industry leaders. myCNAjobs recently released the findings of its annual Caregiver Trend Report, sharing new strategies on how to leverage the perspective of a Caregiver and tackle the disconnect head-on to win in an increasingly competitive marketplace. On average, caregivers receive 3+ calls a week for work, 97 percent of caregivers are open to another job at any given point in time, and they often work for multiple companies. In fact, 28 percent report that caregiving is not their primary source of income.

Retention: Caregiver vs. Agency

Retaining caregivers is one of the biggest challenges in the industry. Why? The caregiver market is fluid. Shift preferences and
availability change weekly, sometimes by the day, and caregivers won’t travel far to get to work.

We asked thousands of caregivers why they leave an organization and here’s what they reported:

1. Different Hours
2. More Money
3. Different Clients / Patients
4. Better Manager

Although 62 percent of caregivers report being happy with their current employer, annual turnover is much higher than 38 percent for most agencies. In fact, median caregiver turnover in 2018 hit 67 percent. Caregivers don’t just quit because they’re unhappy. They’re searching for different hours, better pay, new clients, and an opportunity allowing them to stay inside the profession. Often times, caregivers work for multiple companies. If there’s even a small change in a single client, it immediately impacts their life, schedule, and availability.

Further,caregivers report there’s often a disconnect of what’s actually happening in the home and what their employer actually knows or understands to be the reality. If a caregiver isn’t comfortable with a client or patient, it’s easy to find another one. Next, we asked agencies why they think caregivers leave their organizations. Here’s what they said:

1. Different Hours
2. More Money
3. Better Benefits
4. Leave Industry

Keep a Close Pulse

Keeping a close pulse on your current care team is critical. We asked both caregivers and agencies for feedback on how frequently they want reviews versus how frequently reviews are actually being conducted. We found both a divide and an opportunity.


The majority of caregivers are asking for more feedback. A driving force is likely tied to two of the largest turnover factors; they’re seeking an opportunity to discuss different hours and/or when a new client may become available. Although time consuming, more frequent reviews could result in lower turnover and an opportunity to better diagnose the true reasons caregivers are leaving and why they stay.

Caregivers also weighed in on how frequently they would attend free training to learn new caregiving skills if held onsite at their current employer. Here’s what they reported:

  • 36% weekly

  • 36% monthly

  • 23% a few times a year

  • 5% not interested in more training

Could you train caregivers more frequently to elevate the knowledge of your team while also staying more connected?

Get Competitive and Innovate

The industry needs to get more competitive and continue innovating. In an industry with too few workers and not enough talent choosing to enter the profession, agencies need to investigate how to align their business in order to become more competitive. Agencies are no longer solely competing against other agencies for talent. Instead, agencies find themselves losing caregivers to retail and warehousing giants like Amazon. In fact, 12 percent of caregivers report they have interviewed or worked for Amazon over the past year. Stop and think about the profile of a caregiver. Caregivers are often women, 22 percent are single parents, and most live paycheck-to-paycheck. In an analysis of 463 home care providers, too few cover basic benefits.

  • 46% offer paid sick time programs

  • 44% have paid vacation policies

  • 41% extend partially subsidized health insurance

  • 41% offer 401K

  • 33% pay weekly

Can you raise rates to accommodate more benefits? Can your bottom-line afford new competitive compensation programs? Evaluate what you’re spending today, current turnover, and the number of cases that are being turned down due to lack of staff. Extending your benefit programs could be a financially sound road to travel. If you’d like to benchmark your pay rates against what Caregivers are requesting within 20 miles of your office, you can access the pay portal at www.myCNAjobs.com/pay. Can you flip your sales strategy? Instead of having your sales team drive where to recruit, can your Caregiver pool drive where your sales team should focus their efforts?

Interestingly, 35 percent of caregivers reported they would be interested in a job where they could bring their kids to work.
Think about the positive impact and current studies of multi-generational care. Senior Living is doing it. Can we?

caregiver recruitment retention


How to Recruit and Retain Caregivers When You’ve Already Tried Everything

Stay Connected

In closing, less than half of agencies report the person(s) in charge of recruitment has been onboard for more than a year. Further, individuals  identifying as the “person in charge of recruitment” most often have no formal recruitment training. In working with thousands of agencies, I want to share an “in-the-trenches” insight – it’s difficult to get owners engaged in the recruitment process. Recruitment is a function that is often not managed or measured.

In a market where only 22 percent of caregivers report wanting to work for a home care agency, it takes a well-trained team to recruit and retain top talent. A good team includes the owner, the recruiter, and your recruitment partners all rowing in the same direction. Get engaged in the recruitment process, develop deep and meaningful partnerships, and measure everything. This year, 61 percent of agency owners reported turning away cases due to lack of staff. You can overcome this statistic by getting involved and taking action now.

Thank you for all you do to serve both caregivers and seniors. I know it’s not easy. My team appreciates your role and the impact you’re making in local communities across the nation. We look forward to helping you grow this year.

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