It’s an exciting time to be in the home care industry. Many good things are happening. Here at Home Care Pulse, we’re excited about the upcoming relaunch of our website BestofHomeCare.com this month. This updated website, featuring agency profiles with awards and verified client reviews powered by our Quality Management Program, will be a useful resource for consumers and a valuable source of exclusive leads for home care agencies.
We’re also excited about the recent release of the 2018 Home Care Benchmarking Study. Thanks to those of you who joined me on my webinar last month as I discussed key findings from the study. For those who missed it, you can watch it here. The data and insights in the study are already helping many home care agency owners make more informed decisions that improve their quality of care, decrease turnover, and grow revenue.
The Thinking Behind the Recruiting
Many of the key findings from this year’s study relate to caregiver recruitment. This is a critical issue; 79% of home care owners list caregiver shortages as one of their top two threats to their growth.
Successful recruiting often comes down to the thinking behind the recruiting. Because caregiving is typically a lower than average paying job with little education required, it can be tempting to view caregivers as commodities. It is this way of thinking that turns many agencies into revolving doors for caregivers.
Priceless Assets vs. Replaceable Commodity
The value of a caregiver to your agency becomes clearer when placed in a wider business context. While your home care agency may not require the physical capital common to many other types of businesses, your caregivers are the essential human capital that allows your business to operate and grow. Your agency’s revenue is directly determined by the quantity and the quality of your caregivers.
The more caregivers you have, the longer they stay, and the better they are at their job, the more money your agency will make. Turning away a solid applicant, whether through lack of effort in recruiting or through ineffective hiring processes, is potentially the same as throwing away tens of thousands of dollars.
The most successful home care agencies are those who are aware of the substantial value of a caregiver and view recruiting as assembling priceless assets rather than gathering a commodity. Recruiting shouldn’t feel like a reluctant chore; it should be one of your top priorities.
Best Practices Bring Best Results
Adopting the mindset of your caregivers being priceless assets should guide you to use best practices in every aspect of your recruiting. Here are some of the ways this mindset should lead you to conduct your recruiting:
Research and use the best channels to recruit. The Home Care Benchmarking Study features useful data on which methods other agencies and industry leaders are using to recruit. For instance, the top method used by the highest-revenue generating agencies is referrals from current employees. If you are not using an employee referral program, I strongly recommend you implement one.
Write compelling job postings. Generic help wanted ads are no longer enough in today’s competitive hiring environment. Make your job postings persuasive, personable, and unique. Make sure to share your WHY in the posting.
Evaluate your job qualifications. Are you turning away capable individuals because of arbitrary hiring criteria? According to Brandi Kurtyka, CEO of myCNAjobs, many agencies struggle with this issue. For example, while only 44% of caregiver report having an active CPR certification, many agencies still list CPR certification as a mandatory requirement for applicants. These agencies could open themselves up to a much wider field of talent if they took the simple step of removing that requirement and helping their caregivers become certified in CPR after getting hired.
Make your interviewing and onboarding process quick and efficient. Start processing candidates the moment they walk out of your interview. Many candidates say they are willing to start within 24 hours. Because caregivers often continue to interview with other companies after you interview them, the longer you wait to onboard them, the more likely they are to find work elsewhere.
Invest in your caregivers. After you hire caregivers, work hard to keep them. According to myCNAjobs, caregivers receive an average of three calls a week about employment with other companies. Your caregivers should feel supported, trained, appreciated, and engaged. Pay them competitively, invest in training for them, and recognize them for their efforts. Your agency should be a place where caregivers want to stay.
Make the Change
While recruiting might never be easy, you can make massive strides by changing the way you think about your recruiting. Do you view your caregivers as a commodity that is easily replaced or as priceless assets that are essential to your business? Is recruiting a high priority with its own place on your schedule, or is it a headache that you reluctantly address when it becomes too pressing to ignore?
Recruiting is one of the keys to your success and with the right strategy and processes you can keep a steady of pipeline of capable caregivers. For more information and help on rethinking your approach to caregiver recruitment, register for our May webinar, “How To Recruit A+ Caregivers That Stay.” In it, our COO, Erik Madsen, will further explain how to recruit excellent caregivers in an increasingly competitive industry.
Founder & CEO, Home Care Pulse