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If you’re looking for the right people, are you paying enough for them to choose your agency over other options? If you’ve already got the right people, are you paying them enough to expect them to stay long-term?

Before we dive into what other agencies are paying, let’s talk about who you’ve got working for you.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that hiring the right team members has a major impact on every area of your business.

The right sales reps will bring in more business; the right intake coordinators will convert more inquiries to clients; the right care coordinators will ensure that clients have a better experience with your agency and stay longer; the right receptionist can help to defuse angry clients and ensure positive interactions with your agency.

Office Staff Turnover: A Hidden Threat

Office staff turnover doesn’t grab the headlines like caregiver turnover, but there’s a strong correlation (and likely causation) between the two. Home care agencies that maintain office staff longer nearly always retain caregivers longer. According to our annual Home Care Benchmarking Study, for every 1 office staff member who quits, you’ll lose 5 additional caregivers.

(Note that that’s the conservative and overall estimate; our data also showed that if we’re looking at large agencies and caregiver-facing positions such as care supervisors, the number is much higher; statistically, in these circumstances, 25 additional caregivers will leave for every care supervisor who leaves.)

It’s not hard to imagine why this might be, especially with a role like a caregiver supervisor or a scheduler; if a good scheduler leaves and a caregiver notices they’re consistently getting schedules that don’t work as well as before, it’s easy to move to the agency down the street. Likewise, if you hire an abrasive or condescending supervisor, you shouldn’t be surprised when your caregivers start scrolling Indeed in their spare time.

Additionally, studies by the Center for American Progress, paired with Benchmarking Study data, show that every time a member of your office team leaves, it’ll cost you more than $14,000 from its impact on caregiver turnover and the ways that caregiver turnover trickles down into missed shifts, negative experiences for clients, and lack of consistency. You can read more about the dollar impact of caregiver turnover here.

If you’ve already got the right people, are you paying them enough to expect them to stay long-term? If you’re looking for the right people, are you paying enough for them to choose your agency over other options?

Office Staff Pay Is A Neglected Lever For Success

With the clear costs of hiring the wrong team members or losing the right team members, paying competitively isn’t an optional check-box; it’s a mandatory component to success.

While business owners are rightly wary of paying too much, paying office staff a little more is typically an investment that pays itself back through returns across multiple channels: better client experiences, faster agency growth, smoother operations, lower caregiver turnover, and better sleep for you.

Extra cash can be hard to come by in a home care agency, especially in the age of COVID, but the bottom line is clear: paying your staff enough to retain them is worth the investment.

How Much Are Home Care Agencies Paying Their Office Staff?

While the exact amounts you pay will depend on the competition in your local area, we’ve got solid data to point you in the right direction and give you a ballpark on what other agencies are paying. Here are the national medians for what agencies paid different members of their office staff last year:

How much to pay home care office staff

(To take a closer look at the data above, right-click the image to “open image in a new tab.”)

Note that this data is from the 2021 Benchmarking Study, which was released on May 19th.

The study has 200 pages of this kind of data, and if you’re interested in getting a copy, you can do so here.

How Much Should You Be Paying Your Office Staff?

The data above is designed to set a benchmark; we generally advise agencies to pay in the 75th percentile of their local area. For most agencies, that will mean going a little higher than the benchmark for agencies of their revenue size in the above chart.

As you probably know, the unfortunate truth is that while your closest competition is other home care agencies, you’re competing for good staff with everything from medical offices to hotels.

As such, it’s good to keep an overall pulse on what various businesses are paying for positions similar to those in your agency. You can’t beat them all in pay, but you can probably beat enough of them that, coupled with a good culture and opportunities for development, you can attract some star players.

The Right People In the Right Seats

Jim Collins, well-known business thinker and author of Good to Great, says it best as he compares building a team to driving a bus:

”Those who build great organizations make sure they have the right people on the bus and the right people in the key seats before they figure out where to drive the bus. They always think first about who and then about what.

When facing chaos and uncertainty, and you cannot possibly predict what’s coming around the corner, your best “strategy” is to have a busload of people who can adapt to and perform brilliantly no matter what comes next. Great vision without great people is irrelevant.”

In future blogs, we’ll cover how many office staff to hire, which roles to hire for, and in what order you should hire them.

Until then, here’s to getting the right people on your bus.

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