Phrases like “talent shortage”, “skills gap,” and even “caregiver crisis” are appearing frequently in the news. Demand for caregivers continues to rise and the challenge of finding and hiring them has become a mainstay on the Home Care Pulse Benchmarking study as a top threat. You may feel like there are no clear solutions in sight, but there is good news!
Home care companies are uniquely positioned to promote their jobs as fulfilling and personally rewarding. Organizations such as the Home Care Association of America and AARP are promoting the value of home care and the increasing need for more caregivers. It is your job to promote the advantages and benefits that come from working for your home care company.
CREATE OPPORTUNITY WITH EMPLOYER BRANDING
An employer brand is an essential part of the employee value proposition. It is how your organization conveys its identity to potential and current employees. It includes your home care company’s mission, values, culture and even personality. A positive employer brand promotes your company as a great place to work. The employer brand, good or bad, affects your recruitment, retention and engagement of employees, and the overall perception of your home care agency in the marketplace.
If you were searching for home care for a loved one and you were comparing companies that offered identical services, you would choose the one that had the best reputation. The best home care companies know selecting the right people drives client satisfaction. Include details of your hiring and training process in your marketing. Feature the quality of your team and your hiring practices on your company home page. If you offer a rewarding place to work, continuous training, flexible hours, and competitive pay, say so in your marketing.
PROVIDE A POSITIVE CANDIDATE EXPERIENCE
Marketing your specialties and quality of care to get new clients may seem obvious. But you may not realize the same methods used in marketing to clients should be used for attracting employees. Your organization is likely spending thousands of dollars on client acquisition, marketing, and creating a positive public opinion of your brand. However, many companies don’t notice that another one of their practices is eroding that positive image. They are undermining all of their efforts to build a great reputation, and burning bridges with future customers. This is happening by not handling the recruiting process the right way.
A CareerBuilder study showed 82 percent of employers think there’s little or no negative impact on the company when a candidate has a bad experience during the hiring process. However, the study showed 58 percent of candidates are less likely to buy from a company to which they’ve applied if they don’t get a response to their application; 69 percent are less likely if they have a bad experience in the interview.1
Handling the recruiting process poorly in the age of social media and online reviews can be especially problematic. It can quickly damage your company’s reputation. When a candidate is not the right fit you can still give them a positive experience. Remember, they may affect the decision of another candidate who is the perfect fit.
- A job description is not a job advertisement
Always remember that a job advertisement is different than a job description. Next time you see a restaurant commercial, pay attention to the language and visuals. Are they describing the ingredients, or are they describing the experience? A job description is the ingredients – the requirements, the duties, the pay rate, and the hours. The “experience” is what really should be highlighted in a job ad. Why is it a great job? What are the aspects of the job that people enjoy? What are the benefits? And don’t overthink benefits or feel you don’t offer any. Every job has some benefits, such as flexible hours, personally rewarding work, room for professional development. There is a lot of great information available on the web for creating effective job ads.
- Put your job openings on your website
If you have read about the value of blogging for home care agencies, then you understand that new content helps with search engines and can boost your rankings and SEO. Job ads are great sources of new, keyword-rich content that is perfect for SEO. But if your job board solution puts your content on someone else’s domain, your website gets zero credit. You can even use your own blog to post jobs, notify people of hiring events and job fairs, and share important information about working for your company, such as testimonials from employees.
- Include a careers page
Whether you have current openings or not, it is always a good idea to have a career page. This page can feature content about your company, the benefits of working with you, where you are located, and the type of jobs you traditionally recruit for. You may create summaries of the various jobs within your organization. “Always be recruiting” is a good motto to live by.
- Calls to action everywhere
Want more people to apply to jobs? Tell them to apply. Don’t assume visitors will know where to go and what to do on your website. If you want people to take action, tell them the actions you want them to take. A simple “Apply Now” button at the top of your website can help immensely.
- Make applying quick and easy
This is a controversial subject. Many business owners feel that a lengthy, in-depth online application process weeds out the less serious and less qualified candidates. While this may or may not be true, it is causing you to miss some great candidates. Gathering a name, email address, phone number and resume gives you a lead. Then your recruiters can follow up to gather more information. By making the application shorter you will increase applicant volume, and you will put more control into the hands of your recruiters, allowing them to “sell” working at your company to the qualified applicants. This may mean more work on your end, but it will also mean bigger rewards and more opportunities to create that positive candidate experience.
- Make applying mobile friendly
At the start of 2015, we saw 20 percent of job board traffic come from mobile devices and tablets. Less than 18 months later, that number increased to 31 percent! How long does it take for a mobile user to complete your application? If it’s longer than a few fields, your success rate will decrease. And if they can’t even do it on mobile, stop reading now and fix it!
Building a positive employer brand and implementing an effective recruiting strategy is an important investment for your future success. The return on your efforts can be measured and the rewards can be enormous. You can overcome the challenge of recruiting and hiring caregivers, build a great team, and continue offering quality care to more of the people that need it most. Now that’s good news!
Jason Chagnon | President of Providentia Marketing
Jason Chagnon is President of Providentia Marketing, an inbound marketing firm specializing in the home care industry. Providentia Marketing offers a range of services to satisfy the marketing needs and fit the budgets of all kinds of senior care firms. The company was founded with a simple mission: to make great marketing more affordable to the senior care industry. Their partner company, Haley Marketing, started in 1996 and has become nationally recognized as a marketing leader in the staffing and recruiting industry. Their award winning team of over 40 marketing professionals is based in the US. Whether you’re looking for an effective way to stand out from the competition or you just need a new website, Providentia can provide it.
1CareerBuilder.com – The 2015 Candidate Behavior study, conducted by Inavero on behalf of CareerBuilder – http://www.careerbuilder.com/share/aboutus/pressreleasesdetail.aspx?sd=5%2F21%2F2015&id=pr894&ed=12%2F31%2F2015
Article originally published in the 2017 Home Care Benchmarking Study