Recruitment Strategies, Legal Landscapes, and the Great Home Care Divide: 3 Changes to Expect Next Year

Home Care Office Staff Hiring Tips

2020 is a year that promises to hold change for the home care industry. Legal changes, economic shifts, and new technology could all play a part in changing home care as we know it. Here’s some of what you can expect.

The content of this article was compiled from a webinar hosted by myCNAjobs with co-hosts from Home Care Pulse and Littler in December 2019. To view the webinar replay, click here.

Competitive Recruitment Strategies Will Be a Major Determinant of Success

Moving into 2020, caregiver recruitment is going to continue to plague the industry. With the national caregiver turnover average rate rising over the last three years to 80%, it’s impractical to say we’ll see any substantial drop in 2020. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t take action to decrease it.

With turnover on the rise, agencies should keep their attention focused on recruitment and retention in 2020. Caregiver recruitment will continue to be one of the biggest challenges’ agency owners will face, but could also become a great opportunity as well.

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As an agency owner, caregiver wages need to be competitive and high on your priority list. According to myCNAjobs, in 2019 caregivers reported they’d work for $12.68, nearly a dollar higher than what it was in 2018. To compete for entry-level positions, home care must adapt with the rising wages inside and outside of our industry.

Our advice is stay competitive on a local level and get creative. Find who your local competitors are and what they’re paying entry-level employees. Find additional benefits or incentives your employees would appreciate and offer those too, when you can.

Brandi Kurtyka, Founder and CEO of myCNAjobs explains that in addition to highlighting raising caregiver wages and benefits, home care recruiters need to emphasize ‘why home care’. It isn’t enough to compete solely compete based off wage. To stay competitive, your agency has to sell applicants on why they should work in home care and why they should work for your agency.

Caregivers want to work for a brand or company that adds value to their life. Within home care, we’re dealing with five different generations. In 2020, the agencies that recruit using multiple methods to market their agency and communicate with applicants will have the most success.

Moving away from traditional marketing and having an online presence with local SEO, social media profiles and stellar online reviews will give your agency a leg up on recruiting as well.

2020 will progressively become the year that divides home care agencies that are pulling themselves out of the recruitment crises from those who are falling in deeper.

Two Camps – The Great Home Care Divide

2020 we’ll really be able to see ‘two camps’ of home care agencies emerging, according to Kurtyka as well as Erik Madsen, CEO of Home Care Pulse. We’ll see some agencies getting more aggressive, innovative and data driven. These agencies will have a strategy and game plan in place to combat industry-wide issues in areas such as retention, operations, marketing and finance.

A defining attribute of these agencies will be flexibility. These agencies are adapting and changing with the times. The agencies that are embracing technology and automating processes will see an increase in efficiency and a decrease in costs. You’ll see these forward-thinking agencies using technologies such as CRMs, ATS software, data and analytical platforms, daily pay solutions, and other tech options to improve their processes and stand out from competitors.

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In contrast, we’ll also see agencies that don’t have a strategy and that aren’t adapting to technology and updated methodologies. These agencies will be functioning in denial because they don’t want to spend the time or money changing their processes.

We’ll see these agencies relying on traditional methods that have been in place for decades. Outdated recruitment strategies, manual internal processes, and failure to hire sufficient staff will drag these agencies down as increasing competition rises. These agencies will struggle to thrive in this evolving home care industry moving into 2020.

More than likely, your agency will fit into one of these two camps in 2020. Recognizing where your agency stands now can help you make the necessary changes to become like the former camp mentioned; aggressive, innovative and data driven.

The agencies that continue to adapt and move quickly and efficiently will see the largest growth in 2020.

2020 Legal Landscape Taking Shape

Angelo Spinola, a leading attorney in the home care industry recaps 2019 as being an interesting year where federal and state legislature have played a larger role in our industry. We’ve seen local unions getting their foot in the home care door more and more.

For example, this year in California we’ve seen AB 5 get roll out and begin affecting the local home health and home care agencies. Under AB 5, all home-based care workers would have to be hired as employees rather than having the option to be contracted out as specialized workers. Often times home health agencies can’t hire on a therapist or workers from a staffing agency due to increased costs or other conflicts.

AB 5 also required contracted workers to perform tasks outside of a company’s usual course of business based off their own independent trade or occupation. The increased labor cost to bring on such employees will be nearly impossible for most agencies.

This bill is one example of state legislature stepping in and impacting the home health industry. Other state-specific examples, including changing labor laws on 24-hour workdays or issues with post-acute care in Washington D.C display a changing legal landscape across the nation.

The nation-wide and state-wide legal landscapes will continue to take shape in 2020. Agency owners should stay up to date on local and industry-wide changes in legislation. As we’ve seen this past year, more sophisticated claims are being filed and agencies need to be aware of claims involving background checks and strict liability. A simple company audit for compliance can ensure the safety and standing of your agency.

From a local perspective, stay involved and band together to challenge and attack common threats. As an industry we’ll see more and more threats attacking from outside of the industry and agencies will have to band together to attack these opposing threats.

From a legal standpoint, the home care industry has had some big wins in 2019, namely employee wages, disclosure laws and coalition work. These victories were only made possible from joint efforts on the behalf of agencies, franchisers, state associations and nation-wide support.

Spinola explains that, to achieve more local and industry-wide wins, agencies will have to continue to work together and combat these opposing forces together in 2020.

Bring On 2020, We’re Ready

As with most year-end wrap-ups and new-year beginnings, there’s a lot to review and lots to prepare. Keep in mind the value of building a 2020 strategy or plan for your agency. It’s a busy time of year, but having a business game plan for 2020 will be invaluable as you launch into the new year.

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About the Author:

Miriam is a Project Manager at Home Care Pulse and comes from a background in traditional and digital marketing. Previously, she worked at a radio broadcasting group, social media ad agency and a freelance web designer/graphic designer. Miriam has helped local businesses achieve great success through marketing strategy and execution. She's explored and added value to many different industries, but now finds herself passionate and motivated to help the home care industry grow.

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