When providers feel the sting of caregiver shortages, the knee-jerk reaction is to cast the largest recruitment net possible and fill the positions quickly with anyone who can pass a background check. And while recruitment is the first step in combatting caregiver shortages, the answer doesn’t lie in quantity, but quality. How do you find quality caregivers?
Ask the Right Questions in Caregiver Interviews
Knowing what questions to ask in the caregiver interview is half the battle. In order to sort out the unqualified caregivers, you need to ask strong and informative interview questions. There are four types of questions you should focus on in your interviews:
1. Direct Questions
These type of questions get right to the point. Don’t be shy in asking caregivers the hard questions to get the information you need. “What experience do you have working with Alzheimer’s patients?” Straightforward questions help you understand the caregiver’s background and skill set.
2. Behavioral Questions
Behavioral questions ask about their past to know how they will act in the present. Learned behaviors are hard habits to break, so if a caregiver acted a certain way in past jobs, they will most likely carry those same behaviors to their next job. “If I were to talk with the supervisor of your last job and ask them what kind of team member you were, what would they tell me?” and “Give me an example from your last job where you were able to provide an exceptional experience for a customer/client.” These questions tend to look more at personality rather than specific skills.
3. Hypothetical Questions
While behavioral questions focus on questions about their past, hypothetical questions focus on the future. “What would you do if a client started shouting at you?” Asking questions about how a caregiver will handle fragile or stressful questions, will help you know if the caregiver is good under pressure and if they would act appropriately in a difficult situation.
4. Skill Questions
“Do you know what to do if a client has signs of a stroke?” Much like direct questions, skill questions are aimed to help you determine if caregivers have the basic skills to care for your clients.
Find Caregivers Who Share Your WHY
When you are posting your job openings, make it your goal to attract and hire caregivers who share your why, meaning their motivations match yours. Many job ads will name the requirements and qualifications of the job, but few will share what they expect of the caregiver.
A job posting that attracts caregivers who share your why might look something like this:
“At [agency name], we are a close knit team and we rely on each other to ensure our clients receive the highest quality home care possible. We only hire committed, professional caregivers who love working with the elderly during all hours of the day and night. We do what we do because we want to make a positive impact on the lives of those we care for. We expect this same level of passion from every team member. Only apply if you can live by our high standards of care and want to be challenged daily. Please do not apply if your main purpose is to find any job that will get you by in the short term. If this is you, applying here will only waste your time, and ours. However, if your purpose is to find a career that will help satisfy your desire to serve others, we would love to visit with you. Recently awarded Best of Home Care – Employer of Choice Award, a national award based on the satisfaction of our professional caregivers. [Continue with description of duties].”
An ad like this will likely attract fewer applicants, but those who are interested will be committed, because they’re the ones who “get it.”