Each of these three benefits to working with an agency can help to lower your caregivers’ chances of leaving to work privately. Here are some other best practices:
Paying caregivers competitively: By paying caregivers more, you can improve retention rates, in turn, making caregivers feel valued for the work that they do. You should aim to pay in the 75th percentile of your local market.
Timely and effective communication: Stress the importance of building the relationships that your office staff have with both your clients and caregivers, rather than only the relationship between your clients and caregivers. Keep your clients and caregivers loyal to your agency in the quality and care that you bring. This can include promptly responding to messages and calls as well as checking in on clients and caregivers for changes/updates to care.
Educate your clients and caregivers on the back-end work that goes into making a home care agency successful, like:
Financial consequences: Your service agreement for clients should have a non-compete clause that outlines the consequences and cost of hiring a caregiver from you.
For caregivers, there should be a section in their employee handbook that outlines the consequences and fees of working with one of your clients after discharging services.
These fees are important because there are financial costs to finding a client and caregiver. A lot of sales and marketing efforts take place to nurture a client from the inquiry to the start of care.
For caregivers, you spend time and money posting job ads and attending career fairs. After that point, you take the caregiver through an interview process, hiring process, onboarding/orientation, and continuous training. Those costs add up. This also gives you legal leverage, if it needs to go that far.
When calculating these fees, it is important to be reasonable. The caregiver’s non-compete fee should not be greater than the costs to hire and train. The client fee should also be within reason.
Consult your agency’s attorney or seek legal guidance when drawing up your contracts to make sure that they are reasonable and enforceable.
How do you address caregivers?
This can be an awkward topic to bring up in conversation, but it is important to establish boundaries. Here are some points to bring up with caregivers who may look to work privately:
There may be some others, but these are talking points that will help educate your caregivers on the highlights of working with a home care agency, as opposed to private work.
How do you address clients?
Now that we’ve discussed what points you should bring up to caregivers, let’s dive into how to address the concerns that pertain to clients.
The agency acts as a mediator in conflicts. By only working with the caregiver, they will also have limited access to senior-related services and referrals to necessary providers.
How do you expand your applicant pool while helping unpaid family caregivers?
You can also use existing family caregivers and work backward, to help them secure care through an agency. By working with Medicaid and other third-party payers, you can help unpaid family caregivers get paid to care for their relative. And they will also have the stability and administrative expertise of funneling care through a home care agency.
This can also help in your agency positioning and sales/marketing process. Caregivers know their family members better than anyone else.
In exchange, you would have a steady client with a reliable caregiver. Family caregivers may also have an interest in working with your other clients, and be willing to help out in a last-minute shift request.