You can accomplish in one organized evening what might otherwise take weeks to get done.
Running a home care agency comes with more than its share of headaches. With recruiting caregivers being one of the largest headaches for most agencies, it’s important to identify effective processes that will keep a steady pipeline of caregivers coming in. One way to do this is by regularly holding open house recruiting events.
Why Hold An Open House?
An open house is just what it sounds like—an open time for caregiver applicants to come meet you and your staff to learn about your agency and interview for a job. For you, it’s a very efficient way to interview and hire a large number of caregivers in a short amount of time. You can accomplish in one organized evening what might otherwise take weeks to get done.
Additionally, open houses provide a strong screening process. How many times have you hired a caregiver who seemed great in the interview but performed poorly on the job? Open houses mitigate this problem by giving your staff a chance to interact with them in a casual setting (in addition to your interview with them), making it easier to see what the person is really like.
Planning the Event
Here are some basic steps in planning the event, with tips to make it as effective as possible:
Choose a date and time that will make it easy for people to come. Evenings are typically best to accommodate class and work schedules. While you should hold open houses consistently, their frequency should be determined by your agency’s individual needs. Depending on size, turnover, and other factors, you may want to hold open houses anywhere from once a month to every week.
Choose the venue. Typically, your office is the most convenient venue, but if you anticipate a large turnout or want to use a unique venue as a draw to attract more applicants, you might want to get creative with a community building, restaurant, bowling alley, or other venue.
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Plan the screening process and ensure that each of your staff knows which part of the process they are responsible for.
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. The faster your hiring process, the less this will be an issue for you. You should have staff members trained and assigned to tasks including the following:
- Reviewing current applications on file and inviting those applicants to the open house
- Coordinating food and other logistics for the event
- Helping with online pre-employment assessments
- Conducting interviews
- Reviewing background checks
- Notifying new hires and scheduling orientation
Consider using pre-employment testing. Online pre-employment screening assessments like the Caregiver Quality Assurance Program are used by many companies because they give you additional insight into applicants’ personality and abilities. You can incorporate this into your open house by providing one or two computers and a dedicated staff member to quickly guide applicants through the process.
Advertise your event thoroughly. In most cases, it is helpful to utilize the following channels:
- Your website and social channels
- Your caregivers (both word of mouth and by sharing your posts on social media)
- Local job postings and employment resources
- Flyers/signs around town and at community events
- Whichever channels or venues have been most successful for you in the past
If you’re providing food or refreshments, include this in your advertising!
In your advertising, set clear expectations of what to bring and what to expect. Ensure that they bring a resume, work references, and information for background checks. Make sure they know that they’ll have the chance to mingle with staff and ask questions but that they should also be ready for a formal interview. Let them know that interview will be first come, first served.
If possible, have applicants RSVP. Having a ballpark estimate of how many people to expect will make your logistical planning easier. Tools like Google Forms make this easy.
If you’ve planned the event thoroughly, you’ve set yourself up for success. Here’s what to do during the event to make sure it goes as well as possible:
Provide an area to mingle and eat, as well as room(s) dedicated to interviewing. You should also have computers set up on the side to take down applicants’ information and conduct online pre-employment screening.
While you and your management team interview, let your staff mingle with candidates and answer questions. Letting them interact with your caregivers is the most powerful way to demonstrate the benefits of working for your company. It allows them to see the kind of people they would be working with, hear real experiences, and get honest takes on what it’s like to be a caregiver.
This also gives your staff a chance to help in the screening process. They may be able to give you a second picture of the candidate (in addition to the interview) to help you make a good decision about whether to hire them.
When interviewing, have a bank of interview questions prepared and plan for 15-minute interviews, but be flexible with time and questions.
Make the applicants feel like honored guests. You should demonstrate from the beginning that they will feel valued in your company. Be friendly, engaging, and interested in them, and provide food or refreshments of some kind.
Have strong follow-up. Many agencies lose out on caregivers with a sluggish hiring process. Once you’ve made your hiring decisions, follow up quickly and get the ball rolling.
Organize, Delegate, Duplicate
Plan the details out as thoroughly as possible in advance. Involve your staff in the planning and ensure that everyone knows what is expected of them. Improve your open houses over time so that they become an easy-to-duplicate event with a clearly outlined process.
The goal is not only for the event to run as smoothly as possible but to take as much burden off your shoulders as possible during the event so that you can focus on interviewing and finding the right applicants to hire.
Have you had success with an employee open house? Let us know in the comments below.
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