94% of agencies have had to turn down new clients in the past two months due to a lack of staff. Here’s how you can use Indeed to recruit more caregivers.

If you’re like most home care agencies, you’ve probably had to turn down new clients over the past year due to lack of staff.  

In our August webinar (Top 10 Reasons Your Caregivers Are Leaving), we took a poll of the 450 providers present, asking how many of them had to turn down cases in the last two months due to staffing shortages. Can you guess the percentage of agencies that said they had? 

You might be surprised to hear that it was 94% — we were too.  

Despite the high level of caregiver shortages in the industry right now, there are still ways to optimize your recruitment efforts to make sure you’re maximizing the number of new caregivers coming in — especially on Indeed.  

With over 250 million unique visitors to their site every month, Indeed is a hot commodity for home care providers on the hunt for new caregivers, and by using the right strategies, you’ll be able to interview and hire more caregivers from the existing pool. 

Through the Home Care Benchmarking Study, we’ve found that internet lead sites like Indeed, myCNAjobs, Craigslist, and Care.com have taken many of the top spots for caregiver recruitment sources in recent years.  



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

Because of the proven success of internet lead sites and the possibility for continuous growth, we’re excited to share some of our findings from a recent podcast interview with Rachel Gartner, Professional Recruiter and CEO of CareWork.

In our discussion, we learned more about what a successful Indeed recruitment strategy looks like, current trends and best practices, and what metrics every agency needs to be measuring to see their progress.

Here are some of the most important things you need to know about using internet lead sites to recruit new caregivers.

Best practices for using Indeed

On average, there are 10 new jobs posted on Indeed every second — meaning, there are close to a million jobs posted every day.  

While home care agencies certainly aren’t competing with all of these companies, it does underscore the need to be more competitive in your recruitment strategy.  

With caregiver shortages at an all-time high, and many industries competing for the same hiring pool, home care agencies need to focus on proven best practices to strengthen their recruitment process and get small gains over an extended period of time in how many applicants are actually turning into hires.  

(Note: Although we’re not going to cover how to write job postings extensively in this article, it is an important part of your success on Indeed. You can read more about how to write a caregiver job posting that attracts all-star applicants here.) 

Here are some of the best practices you should be considering:  

#1: Offer value

One of the most important things to remember when posting a job on Indeed or another job board is to offer value directly to the applicant. There are a variety of ways to do this, but perhaps the most important is to focus on “caregiver first.”

Everyone is always thinking, “What’s in it for me?” If you start off talking about yourself rather than what you’re going to do for the applicant, it’s probably not as effective as it could be.

The number one reason caregivers accepted a job in 2020 was that it was the first job they were offered. To home in on this, you could start your job postings saying things like:

  • “We can get you working this week.”
  • “Start your first shift within ___#____ days.”
  • “Qualified candidates can start tomorrow.”

#2: Optimize for mobile

50% of home care applicants use their smartphone as the sole technology for applying to jobs online. If your postings are too long or have formatting errors, a candidate may quickly dismiss your company, even if it’s a great opportunity.

As you’re auditing your recruitment process, make sure that you’re keeping mobile optimization at the front of your mind.

#3: Make sure your application process is easy to navigate

Put yourself in the shoes of an applicant. As you’re applying for a position, are you jumping through a lot of hoops? If so, you’re probably losing out on a good chunk of potential candidates.

Indeed gives employers the option to gather applications directly on their website or link out to your careers page. Whatever option you choose, you’ll want to make sure that you’re striving for simplicity.

With the caregiver shortage, there are a lot of open jobs right now, so it’s not uncommon for an applicant to start an application with your company, realize the process is too complicated, and then leave it unfinished.

If this is the case, it’s important that you’re “secret shopping” your own agency to see where you can improve — you’ll almost always be surprised at what you can find going through the process yourself. We talk a bit more about that here.

Should you be using paid or free ads?

Paid and free ads are both great options to consider and have their own benefits and drawbacks. If you have the budget to run paid ads, we’d recommend using a combination of both approaches to see what works best for you.  

With paid ads, you’ll find that you have a little more leeway with titles and verbiage than you would with free ads. For example, using the title “CNA – $500 sign-on bonus” might get flagged as a free ad but not as a paid ad.  

Although according to Indeed, sponsored ads are 4.5 times more likely to result in a hire, it’s also important to consider your market and what piques their interest. Sometimes free ads work better in certain areas and can be more engaging for caregivers. Some caregivers will scroll right past the sponsored, paid ads because it looks too promotional or sales-oriented. 

How often should you be updating and reposting your ads?

No matter what type of ad you’re posting (paid or free), you’ll want to make sure that you’re avoiding duplicate posts. Job titles and descriptions can’t be identical; therefore, you’ll want to test out different strategies and also place the locations at least 25 miles apart from each other. To do this, you can place one job ad in the center of your city or target area, and others on the outskirts to draw in applicants that might not see the other.  

If you’re using free ads, the longer you go without updating or reposting your ads, the farther down they’ll get pushed in the search results. On the other hand, however, if you’re updating them too frequently, they may be marked as spam.  

The balance you want to strike here is if you have 3-4 ads running every month, refresh one every week, but don’t refresh the same ad more than once a month.  

The same principle applies to paid ads where if you have a large advertising budget, you want to try different strategies, but you don’t want to divide your budget so much that it runs out. Stick to 2-3 paid ads every month so you don’t go over budget and get your ad pushed down.  

There are three rules that Indeed suggests you follow when reposting your jobs. These include:  

  • Repost only the jobs that truly need it. Reposting should be reserved for situations where a role hasn’t been filled after a reasonable amount of time on the site.  

  • Determine if the job isn’t attracting the right candidates. Effective job titles and descriptions help jobs appear in the relevant search results and attract qualified candidates.  

  • Explore other solutions to the issue. Reposting a job may be a quick fix to an urgent hiring need, but it may not always be the best long-term solution. For example, a strategy targeting employee retention may be a better sustainable option for a job with high turnover.


Which metrics should you be tracking?

If you’re using paid job ads, one of the first metrics you should look at on Indeed is your cost per applicant. Indeed tends to favor job postings that have the best cost per applicant, so if that number is too high, it’s going to be really hard to stay at the forefront of the search.  

 Extending even further than that, you’ll want to be measuring the cost per hire because it’s likely that some of your job ads are performing well in the sense that you’re getting a great cost per applicant but aren’t turning into hires in the long run. In that case, it’s just wasted money.  

Ideally, you should review your numbers and update your strategy at least once a month.  

To find your cost per hire, you’ll just need to take your cost per applicant or your total ad budget and divide it by the number of hires you got in a given time period. To get a little more specific, we’d also recommend tracking which ads got you the actual hires, to see what your best performers are and what you need to replicate in other postings.  

This sets you up for success in the coming month, as you’re able to see where you’re going to focus your spending and allocate your budget accordingly.  

To keep track of these metrics Rachel suggests using a spreadsheet where you put in the number of applicants, how many interviews you got scheduled, how many of those showed up, and how many hires you had. Ideally, this shouldn’t take more than half an hour to update every week.  

Other metrics you’ll want to track include:  

  • New hire turnover rate  

  • Application completion rate: (# of submitted applications / total # of applications started) x 100


The one thing you need to remember

If you remember only one thing from this article, let it be to always put your caregivers first.

We’ve talked about this in regard to the layout of your job postings, but it really applies all the way through your hiring process — it even applies before someone makes it to the job posting.

In the long run, every part of your hiring, recruitment, and retention efforts are strengthened by having a strong employment brand and great reputation — which is really focused on how you treat your caregivers and those that are looking to join your agency.

As almost everyone in the home care industry knows, recruiting caregivers will never be easy; however, if you know how to effectively market your jobs postings, address caregiver pain points, and build a reputation that sells your jobs for you, you’ll be on your way to attracting an influx of new applicants.

Read more:

HCP’s Care Intelligence Platform offers RN-developed training, satisfaction surveys, and reputation management tools to help you become the best employer and provider in your area—and make sure everyone knows about it.

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