How to Get Creative with Recruitment When Caregiver Applications Are Down

Home Care Office Staff Hiring Tips

If you’re facing a major shortage of caregivers right now, know that you’re not alone. Here are some out-of-the-box ideas to spark your recruitment efforts and engage with more caregivers.

Like it the old fashioned way?

Is your home care agency feeling it? Despite millions of Americans being unemployed, increasing labor shortages are causing challenges for companies across the country – and home care is no exception.

Our team talks to hundreds of home care agencies every week, and from all sides of the table we’ve been hearing that labor shortages have become an increasing problem.

In the 2021 Home Care Benchmarking Study, we also found some interesting data to support the rising threat of caregiver shortages. Throughout the past year, over half of home care agencies reported an extremely negative or very negative impact of caregiver shortages. Note that while home care agencies have identified caregiver shortages as a threat for years, this year’s study showed a large increase in agencies who identified as a severe threat – more than ever before.

caregiver shortages

If you’re facing a major shortage of caregivers right now, know that you’re not alone. Perhaps it just means that it’s time to get a little more creative.

Here are some out-of-the-box ideas to spark your recruitment efforts and engage with more caregivers.

#1: Create social channels around recruitment.

For more than five years, social media has been one of the top ten caregiver recruitment sources. With that in mind, we can infer that the return on investment will continue to grow as home care agencies put more time and resources into it.

While being active on social media has proven to be enough, it’s always a good idea to see what other opportunities there are to recruit caregivers.

One idea that we’ve periodically seen circling around healthcare is a dedicated recruitment page.

On various social platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and more, companies are starting to create pages that are used to post new jobs, show company culture, and engage with potential applicants.

Having separate channels for your agency can be useful when you have very different content or messages to send. If recruitment is becoming a bigger focus for your approach on social media, it might be beneficial for you to create a separate channel so you’re not intertwining content related for caregivers with content aimed at attracting new clients.

Here’s an example of a careers page created on Twitter by CVS Health:

cvs health careers

Potential employees are always looking for deeper insight into what it would be like to work for your agency. Creating a dedicated recruitment page on social media is a great place to host all this information in a convenient, easily accessible way.

Here’s what some of those posts might look like:

As you start building your recruitment presence online, more caregivers will start becoming engaged and familiar with your brand. By establishing a strong employer brand online, you’re likely to see an increase in the demand for jobs with your agency.

#2: Re-engage with past candidates.

Are you using an applicant tracking system (ATS)? If not, you should consider whether it would be useful for your agency.

An ATS software can save your staff a significant amount of time by automating processes in your recruitment workflow. It can also provide you with an extra way to recruit candidates.

An ATS software is a great tracking tool to see who’s interested in a job, who has previously applied, or who’s worked for you in the past.

With this wealth of information at your fingertips, it’s simple to re-engage candidates or share your openings with those who might be interested.

Let’s consider the warm leads for a second. Perhaps you’ve had a caregiver apply to your agency in the past couple of years, but at the time, it wasn’t the right fit (maybe the accepted another role or didn’t have the experience you required at the time).

Now, as you’re actively looking for more caregivers, you realize that you have a database full of them. Even if they didn’t previously accept a job with your agency or weren’t qualified at the time, it doesn’t hurt to reach out and see where their career is at and if they’re in search of a new role.

You never know where a simple conversation might lead.

#3: Use QR codes that link to your online application.

However you advertise your jobs – direct mail, social media, posters, presentations, etc. – it’s a good idea to include a QR code to your online application.

We’ve continuously heard from caregivers that their primary source of technology when applying to jobs was/is through their smartphones. By making it easy for them and adding a QR code, all they have to do is scan and complete – they’re not jumping through any hoops.

#4: Bring caregivers to jobs fairs.

When your agency attends a career fair, you probably send people from your management and/or office staff team. While that’s a non-negotiable, you should also consider asking caregivers to participate.

We’d suggest asking 1-3 caregivers to join depending on the size of the event and the number of booth visitors you anticipate.

Having caregivers join you at a job fair will allow potential applicants to ask more in-depth questions and get a better sense of what it’s actually like working for your agency. Caregivers know their roles best and having them there will allow for deeper connections and bonds.

#5: Test your application process as a secret shopper.

Is your agency facing problems with the recruitment process that are causing applicants to drop out before even applying? Unless you’re continuously acting as a “secret shopper” for your own agency, or an applicant informs you of any problems, there’s no way to truly know.

Becoming a secret shopper allows you to recognize growth opportunities or problems in your recruitment process. But, even more importantly, it gets you thinking about this question: “If you were a caregiver and had your pick of jobs, would your agency’s application process make it to the top of your list?”

Here are some of the steps we suggest as you try and answer that question:

  • Google caregiver jobs in your area and see if your agency appears. If not, some work might be needed to optimize your postings.

  • Then, go through the motions of applying. Is it mobile-friendly? Is the amount of information required over-the-top or just right? Are there ways to simplify? These are all questions you should be asking yourself as you go through the process.

  • Submit your application and see how long it takes for a member of your team to reach out to you. This should ideally happen ASAP, but we always recommend within 24 hours.

     

Let’s step into the shoes of an applicant for a second. They’ve found a caregiving position at your agency and would be the perfect fit for the role. They start applying to the job, but quickly run into problems such as a page not loading, redundant questions, or a confusing website layout if they’re viewing it on their phone. With many other agencies in the area, they figure that they can apply to another agency quicker and with less hassle.

With fewer overall applicants, it’s more important than ever to make sure that your application process isn’t letting any of the applicants that do come along slip through the cracks.

#6: Have caregivers create Tik Tok videos about their job.

We’ve already mentioned that starting dedicated social channels is important for recruitment, but have you considered Tik Tok? Seeing as Tik Tok is where a lot of applicants are hanging out, it makes sense to transition some of your efforts there.

Tik Tok has become an online community for people of all ages to interact with content and users similar to their interests.

On the “For You” page of Tik Tok, it recommends videos based on personal preference by tracking user interactions, video information, and account settings. With all that in mind, we’re going to throw out what might be our most “out there” idea yet – having caregivers create Tik Tok videos.

There’s a lot of benefit that Tik Tok can create for home care agencies. Caregivers can talk about their jobs and what they’re finding rewarding. These videos can also be used as recruitment tools for your other social platforms.

Additionally, you may also want to consider the option of using Tik Tok job ads. The platform gives users the ability to create objectives for their campaigns while optimizing for brand awareness and conversions.

With Tik Tok’s unique targeting and recommendation features, you’ll be effortlessly getting in front of people who may be looking for the type of job you’re offering.

Making the Most of Your Recruitment Process

Recruiting caregivers has always been a challenge and while that might not change anytime soon, we encourage you to take some or all of these ideas and see how you can make the most of them.

Creative recruitment doesn’t start and end with the list above. There are always new strategies you can try or new ideas you can try. It’s always beneficial to see what other industries are doing to recruit and find ideas there.

Whatever that next step looks like for you, there’s a lot of room for growth – and while we know recruitment isn’t always easy, sometimes it’s important to change your perspective and see how you can spice things up.

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