senior woman in wheelchair with her female caregiver

As a home care provider, you’ve experienced difficulty and frustration. When business owners in other industries would have given up and closed their doors, you remain positive and face the challenges, providing outstanding care for your clients. But as government regulations loom and day-to-day operations demand your attention, how do you ensure your business not only survives, but expands? By keeping your caregivers.

The correlation between caregiver retention and business growth may seem loose, but I assure you the connection is absolute. There are 77 million baby boomers reaching retirement age, and the demand for home care will steadily grow over the next several years. While exciting for the industry, the reality is that the only providers who will have the staff necessary to keep up with this growing demand are those who keep their caregiver turnover to a minimum. This is what I refer to as “The Caregiver Shortage Dilemma,” and is why nearly 49% of home care providers report caregiver shortages as the single greatest threat to their growth.

To build and maintain a team of quality caregivers, you need to be consistent, vigilant and strategic in your retention efforts. Let me propose three simple ideas for you to consider as part of your Caregiver Retention Strategy:

  • Quantity first, then quality. When posting your caregiver job openings, focus on the mediums that will produce the largest number of applicants. This actually makes it easier to find quality caregivers, because you have a larger pool of resumes to draw from. To reach as many potential applicants as possible, consider posting your openings on websites like and You can also use local newspaper want ads and online classifieds.
  • Establish a formalized Caregiver Recognition Program. As part of our Satisfaction Management Program, we interview thousands of caregivers every month. From this data, we’ve found that “recognition from supervisors” is right at the top of ways caregivers prefer to be recognized for a job well done. This could include handwritten notes, mentioning specific caregivers in newsletters and meetings and providing gift cards and other incentives. The key is to let your caregivers know you appreciate the work they’re doing, and make it fun.
  • Measure Caregiver Engagement. The Caregiver Engagement Score (CES) is based on caregivers’ answers to one simple question: “How likely are you to recommend employment opportunities offered by

[agency name] to an interested friend or family member?” The question is measured on a 1-10 scale, 10 being “highly recommend.” Without exception, those with a high CES see lower caregiver turnover. For Home Care Pulse customers currently enrolled in our Caregiver Satisfaction Management Program, we calculate this score for you and it can be found in your monthly reports. If you’re not currently enrolled, contact us today and let us help you hold onto those quality caregivers.

While focusing too much on “The Caregiver Shortage Dilemma” could become distracting and even discouraging, ignoring the threat could be even more detrimental to your success. Take the time to work on your retention strategy, be consistent and remember that implementing a good strategy is far more effective than not implementing a great one. Thank you for all the hard work you put into making sure our seniors are well cared for, in the comfort of their own homes.

Aaron MarcumAaron Marcum is the founder and CEO of Home Care Pulse, a satisfaction research and quality assurance firm specializing in the home care industry. Prior to founding Home Care Pulse, Aaron owned and operated a successful home care business. As a home care provider, he recognized the need for a satisfaction management firm specializing in private duty home care. Because Home Care Pulse gathers so much data between their satisfaction management program and the annual Private Duty Benchmarking Study which they conduct, Aaron is recognized as one of the leading sources of data for the home care industry, and he speaks at dozens of conferences nationwide.


  1. Merridith gregory December 18, 2014 at 2:46 pm - Reply

    I don’t see you mention “you get what you pay for”. If your pay scale is poverty income then that is your fault no one wants to work for you. Keep the gift cards and the so called holiday party at the office. We need performance raises and cost of living raises. I have been in the Raleigh NC area for 6 yrs with No cost of living raise making $10.00 an hour, No insurance. I have been a CNA/HHA for 30+years. This is shameful. Why would anyone want to work for that? They will loose me and my experience, I’M looking elsewhere .

  2. Merridith gregory December 18, 2014 at 10:31 pm - Reply

    By the way, I’m working for a national Insurance company that has home care. how they get away with not offering health insurance I would like to know. Disgraceful .

  3. Wanda Kent-Gergerich December 20, 2014 at 1:42 pm - Reply

    I think your post is good, but from an experienced RN and owner/manager of several home care and hospice agencies – you cannot emphasize enough that the emphasis should be more on retention of your good staff. If you retain them, then you won’t have to spend nearly as much time or effort on recruitment. And, if you are constantly turning over your staff, your patients will not be happy, and it will absolutely have an impact on your overall program and ultimately your profit margin! I have worked with people in the past who are so hung up on recruitment and how to obtain masses and masses of potential hires – but then they totally ignore and mistreat those that are already working for them. I have actually seen people run ads offering new hires more compensation and benefits that their present staff are not making! It makes them look like fools! Your employees will be reading the classifieds and noting what you are using to entice new staff – so be advised! And retention, in my opinion, is not something that happens once per year when it comes time for their annual eval, or at Christmas. Every interaction you have with your staff – from your initial interview, to your ongoing phone calls, trainings, and even running into them in the community. If you recognize them, acknowledge their good work, and TREAT THEM WITH RESPECT, that will have the greatest impact on your retention efforts. Take from someone who has been there, and ultimately has been successful in this area.

    • Kiesha January 5, 2015 at 6:03 pm - Reply

      Wanda Kent-Gergerich, I totally agree with everything you’ve said. There is a company that does business like that in Northville, MI; have offices located in that same city and Dearborn, MI.

  4. Nina Fitzgerald December 22, 2014 at 10:40 am - Reply

    I keep hearing that they need us and there is a shortage etc which company is that cause the one I am with and the one I worked for previously don’t have any jobs. I have one client once a week. When I first started I had three but they can’t afford the prices. I don’t want to go back to LTC I would rather help keep individuals out of facilities but I can’t live on $77.00 a week.

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