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There’s one problem we hear about surprisingly frequently—and the fact that this is so common speaks volumes about the difficulties of recruiting and managing caregivers. This problem is that many caregivers apply to a job but don’t show up to their scheduled interview or don’t show up to their first day of work once they’re hired.
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There are a variety of reasons why your applicants may not show up to interview or their first day of work, and there are several ways you can address this issue. Here are some tips to help you tackle this problem:
Solution #1: Speed up your interview and hiring process.
According to the 2018 Home Care Benchmarking Study, the top reason that caregivers choose to work for a provider is that it’s the first place they applied or received an offer. While many factors including pay and schedule play into the decision of there to work, it seems that the need for a job can push many caregivers to take the job that allows them to start working the soonest.
To combat this issue, you must establish an efficient process that makes timeliness a competitive advantage for your agency rather than a crippling factor.
Speeding up your process will also help reduce the number of caregivers that don’t show up on their first day of work. Sometimes, caregivers don’t show up for their first day because they’ve taken another job while waiting to start working for you.
According to myCNAjobs, most caregivers continue interviewing with other companies while they’re interviewing with you; additionally, over half of caregivers indicate that they can start work within three days.
If you wait too long to schedule them due to slow internal processes or other reasons, you may be losing some of your caregivers to competition. Even if you don’t have a client they can visit right away, you can at least have them come in for paid training.
This certainly doesn’t mean you should rush the process so that you hire unqualified caregivers. It simply means that you should work to streamline your hiring process and avoid wasting time between steps so that your agency gets first pick of prospective caregivers.
Solution #2: Increase communication by making a follow-up call after the interview.
Occasionally, a caregiver may decide at some point during the hiring process that they are no longer interested in the job but are unsure how to say so after the interview. This contributes to the frustrating issue of caregivers not showing up after they are hired.
A good way to deal with this problem is to give them a follow-up phone call before their first shift to check up on how they’re doing and confirm that they’re planning on coming in at the scheduled time. If they seem hesitant, you can ask questions to reveal how interested they are.
If a new caregiver is reluctant to show their lack of interest in the job, it’s better to deal with it then and there.
The objective of this call is simply to make sure everyone is on the same page. If the candidate is ready and eager to start working, a call like this will simply help them feel valued and in the loop. If they feel like the job is not for them and feel awkward about saying so, this will give them the opportunity to say so before it creates bigger problems.
Solution #3: Set clear expectations from the get-go and create a culture of consistent accountability.
While most caregivers who miss their first day probably have no intention of showing up for future shifts, some caregivers may miss their first shift (or one of their first shifts) because they have developed bad habits from instances when past employers let things slide.
This is an easy trap to fall into—a shortage of caregivers can push agency owners to excuse unacceptable behavior because they are afraid that too much discipline will push caregivers to seek employment elsewhere. If this was the case with past employers of your new caregivers, it may be up to you to restore a sense of accountability and structure.
Fortunately, most employees will rise to meet the expectations set for them if they know they will be held accountable. Set clear expectations immediately upon hiring and consistently hold caregivers accountable for showing up on time and completing their duties as promised.
Make Your Hiring Process a Competitive Advantage
Whether or not your agency frequently deals with caregivers not showing up to their interview or first shift, the concepts of streamlining your hiring process, maintaining strong communication, and creating a culture of accountability will benefit your agency. The way you conduct your hiring process can be a competitive advantage, not a weakness.
Is this a challenge you’ve had? What else have you done to deal with this? Let us know in the comments below.
For more help, register for the second session of our webinar on May 23rd, “How To Recruit A+ Caregivers That Stay.” In this webinar, our COO, Erik Madsen, will share insights and data on how to more effectively recruit and retain caregivers.