Ep:47: How to Improve Your Indeed Recruitment Strategy to Drive More Caregiver Applications
Rachel Gartner, CEO of Care Work breaks down what a successful Indeed recruitment strategy includes, the current trends we're seeing on the platform and what social recruitment metrics every agency needs to be measuring.
Miriam Allred (00:08):
Welcome to Vision |The Care Leaders’ Podcast. I’m Miriam Allred with Home Care Pulse. My guest today is Rachel Gartner, the CEO of Care Work. Rachel, welcome to the show!
Rachel Gartner (00:17):
Thank you so much for having me. I am really excited to be here.
Miriam Allred (00:21):
We were just talking about how we’re both data nerds and the industry. And today we’re going to talk about caregiver recruitment, which like we both know is probably the hottest topic in the industry. Right now, we were just talking about the benchmarking study. And one of the interesting findings, you know, in this past 2021 study was the top recruitment sources being indeed and current employees. So today we’re really going to drive home. Indeed, indeed strategies, trends, metrics that agency owners need to be tracking. There’s so much that we’re going to talk about. So really let’s just jump right in and talk about the strategy. You know, what are some basic best practices that agencies need to be focusing on to find more applicants on Indeed?
Rachel Gartner (01:05):
Sure. I am really excited to talk about this. Indeed is the most common applicant source that we use for all of our clients across the U S. So I am on indeed every day. My team is on indeed, literally seven days a week. So what we have found works for agencies to get more applicants. The first thing is just a basic principle is caregiver first. So this applies to your ads and it also applies all the way through your hiring process is how can you make sure that you’re speaking directly to the caregiver? So when an ad, what this looks like is a lot of times, people will fall into having their ads start with like a big paragraph about their agency and the owners. And we’ve been in this area for 20 years, and that is great. I love when people want to share what sets apart their agency, but what we kind of caution people is to not make that the first thing on your ad, because when caregivers are scrolling through indeed, and they’re looking at all of these ads, they’re not looking for a volunteer opportunity, they’re looking for a job.
Rachel Gartner (02:03):
So the key things that they want to know are, how much am I going to get paid? What kind of shifts do you have? How am I going to be treated? And how quickly can you get me working? And a lot of this, if you’re not sure what to share, I would actually point back to the home care benchmarking study, because it always goes into the top reasons caregivers choose an agency. That’s a great place to start if you’re not sure what needs to be at the top of your job ad. So a lot of times, one of those top factors, and I think it’s usually normally, number one is it’s the first job offer that they got. So one of the things you could put at the top of your ad is we can get you working this week, start your first shift within three days.
Rachel Gartner (02:39):
Now that’s really ambitious, but if you can get caregivers working really quickly or get them a job offer by tomorrow, tell them that right away in the ad, you know, put your pay rate, but we will get you a job offer by tomorrow for qualified caregivers. And that’ll really help you get more applicants in the door. So caregiver first and the job that it’s putting, all of the things caregiver is looking for at the top of the ad and then throughout your hiring process is about speaking to what they need and keeping in mind that everyone’s always thinking what’s in it for me. And there’s nothing wrong with that. You know, caregivers are looking for a job to provide for themselves and their families. So make sure you’re always starting with what is in it for them. And then the next strategy that we like is doing a combination of free ads and paid ads.
Rachel Gartner (03:24):
So there are advantages and disadvantages to both with a paid ad. It’s really important to invest money in your indeed, as long as you’re getting the results. And we’re going to talk in a minute about what metrics you need to track before you pump more money into that budget. But when you have paid ads, you have a little bit more leeway about your titles and about verbiage in the ad. So for example, if you want to put in your title, CNA, $500 sign on bonus, sometimes in free ads, those titles can get flagged as spam, but on paid ads, you can get away with a little bit more. So you want to try both. And in some markets, free ads actually perform better than paid ads at times. So as long as you’re trying both, when you’re tracking the outcome, it can really give you a better idea of what’s working. And then also there are some caregivers who scroll past the sponsored ads at the top and just kind of discount them mentally that they’re an ad and they look for the organic ones at the top. And so that’s why you want to always have a combination of both the paid ads to get you continuous returns throughout the month, but the free ads to appeal to those caregivers who maybe aren’t interested in paid ads and just scroll right past them.
Miriam Allred (04:33):
Yeah, really good place to start. Love to ask a couple of follow-up questions to both of those. Starting with the first concept of what’s actually in the ad. You know, we don’t have agency owners, their positioning is so important. I just want to ask, is there a place for kind of a company description or what sets them apart in the ad or do you almost recommend that they save that for say the interview?
Rachel Gartner (04:57):
I definitely think there’s a place for it as long as it’s within reason and it’s speaking to the caregiver. So there are a lot of things that might set an agency apart, and that could include benefits agencies that have health insurance. If you have really great testimonials from your caregivers, those are all really good things to share. I would just keep it concise in your job ad, but you want to speak to it at every point in the hiring process. So even on phone screens, I recommend the same thing. Tell them a little bit about your agency, but direct it towards the kind of caregiver you’re trying to hire. So if you’re looking for the highest quality professional caregivers in your ad, if you talk about your agency, don’t talk about your own history or even why you love it, talk about why they will love working for you.
Rachel Gartner (05:41):
So we’re an agency that supports the best caregivers who provide the highest quality care. That is something that talks about your agency, but it talks about it in a way that it tracks high quality caregivers. A lot of caregivers are really burnt out from working in facilities or areas where they feel like they’re not providing the kind of care that they want to. And a lot of times that’s what attracts them to home care. So as you’re talking to them in your job ad talk about what they are looking for for the ideal hire that you want to bring
Miriam Allred (06:10):
In. Yeah, really great response. Just one more kind of technical question, as far as length of the job ad you get on indeed. And sometimes you see really short snappy ads. Sometimes you see 10 paragraphs, you know, what’s kind of a best practice on link for it.
Rachel Gartner (06:27):
Yeah, it varies. I would say, keep in mind, the majority of caregivers are on their mobile device. So you want them to be able to apply really easily. You want enough description there that it doesn’t feel like a, like a scam or unprofessional. So I would say steer away from just a couple of sentences or we’re hiring start today, $14 an hour. Like that’s not enough information to feel like a professional opportunity, but still avoid long paragraphs. It’s not very readable. And we know just, there’s a lot of information out there about what people will and won’t read. Most people applying for jobs are not going to sit there and read long paragraphs. So bullet points, a few small paragraphs of two to three sentences each put together to tell a little bit of a story about your agency a little bit about why they would want to work for you, but just keep it brief,
Miriam Allred (07:15):
Really great points. I just, yeah. I wanted to make sure we cover that because we do see quite the variety of posts and simple things like that go a long way, even just, you know, caregivers, looking at these ads on their mobile device, that’s really something to be aware of. So that as user or reader friendly on their mobile, on their mobile device. So really good points. Let’s talk a little bit more about the paid versus organic just high level, you know, budgets for paid. How many ads should you be running at a time? How many posts should you be doing in a weekly or a monthly time period just hit on some of those things.
Rachel Gartner (07:48):
So for paid ads, the balance you want to strike, if you have a fairly large advertising budget is you want enough ads that you’re trying different strategies, you’re trying different areas, different titles that you don’t want to divide your budget so much that it runs out. So on indeed with the daily or monthly budgets, when your budget runs out, they’re going to move your ad really far down in the search results because they don’t want you going over your budget. So if you have too many ads running at one time and you divide your budget down too much, you’re going to end up not getting very many applicants. So I would recommend for most agencies to start with two to three ads at a time up to four. And then as far as reposting, we know you kind of get a bump when you post a new ad, particularly if it’s a free ad, you’re going to get the biggest bump right after you post it.
Rachel Gartner (08:37):
And so one of the things you can do if you have at least four ads running is refresh one every week, or even if you only have two or three ads running, don’t repost them all at the same time. If you want to spread those applicants out throughout the month to kind of even out your hiring flow is maybe every Monday you repost one, your ads and particularly free ads. You can repost to get better results, but don’t repost any ad more frequently than every 30 days. And individual ads should not be re posted because at some point, indeed can flag you. And one of the things that they will do, if they think you’re kind of scamming the system is they’ll completely restrict your ability to place free ads. And they’ll also kind of put a damper on your results. So don’t repost them, constantly spread it out over the month, maybe have a few different ads running. They can’t be identical ads if they are free. So you want to place them with different titles. If you’re hiring multiple job types, like CNA, HHA, caregiver those can all be different ads. And then you want to place them at least twenty-five miles apart, ideally. So you might have one in the center of your hiring area and then have a couple on the outskirts that still draw in caregivers that are in your area.
Miriam Allred (09:48):
Awesome. Great tips. Really specific. I love it. That’s awesome. Let’s talk about the metrics. You know what, yeah, so let’s, let’s talk a little bit about your background here first for a minute. So you worked you know, kind of as a CNA, you have that background and all that training, but then you worked as a recruiter for an agency there in Florida before you started your own business. So you’ve done this in an agency you’ve been, you know, all hands on deck doing it, measuring, taking these metrics to the executive team and saying, Hey, this is what we’re seeing. So, so what are those metrics that need to be tracked? We’re probably talking to a lot of agency owners right now on this podcast, but there may be some recruiters that dial in. So just talk about what needs to be tracked and then what those kinds of conversations look like with, you know, executive team.
Rachel Gartner (10:38):
Sure. So I actually am really familiar with this cause this is part of what we still do for our clients is every month we send them a monthly report, their key metrics what’s changed and then how we rate that on a current national trend. So that’s why I’m not going to give specific metrics because it changes throughout the year and it changes on your market. But what I do recommend for indeed specifically is you want to be tracking your cost per applicant, and then you want to track that all the way down to cost per hire. So this is really important. If you are speaking directly with indeed or looking at their analytics, they are going to favor the best cost per applicant. And that’s a really good place to start. If your cost per applicant is too high, it’s going to be very hard to overcome that leader in your process, but you have to track that down to cost per hire because there are some ads that are going to perform really well on indeed and get you a great cost per applicant and get you a ton of applicants through.
Rachel Gartner (11:32):
But if they don’t turn into more hires, it’s really wasted money. So we recommend to start with every month reviewing your ads, reviewing what the cost per applicant is and what the cost per hire is. And that’s just taking your cost per applicant or your total ad budget and dividing it by the number of hires you got. If you’re tracking a little bit more specifically, which I would recommend track which ads got you, the actual hires, particularly if you’re in a rural area, that’s very spread out where you’re posting in locations that are kind of far. You want to see which ones are actually turning into hires that come work for you. So cost per applicant cost per hire at least once a month, review this. And when you review it with the executive team, what you want to look at is how the different ads are performing and which ads are going to pump more money into for the following month. So every month you’re updating your strategy. You’re seeing which ads are performing, that they’re getting new hires and the budget that you need. And then that helps you decide where you’re going to put more money in for the next month.
Miriam Allred (12:31):
Yeah, we’re getting really granular here, but I’m just thinking of these hiring ratios. You know, some agencies may feel like, wow, that is so in depth, how do I start tracking that? Where do I start? But it’s all about processes. You know, we’re talking about putting processes in place to where it may feel overwhelming to get that granular and track that specific, but it will reap the rewards. Like you said, you know, then you’ll be able to see, Hey, this job ad, this single job ad is producing. We need to do more of that. So I don’t know anything you want to share just along the lines of establishing processes and those rewards,
Rachel Gartner (13:05):
For sure. I know as I told you, I could talk about this all day, which is why I created an entire program to talk about it for 10 weeks. But to keep it really simple every week, it shouldn’t really take you more than 15 to 30 minutes to update these metrics. And so at the most simple, it looks like maybe a Google spreadsheet where you put on the number of applicants, how many interviews did you get scheduled? How many of those showed up? How many hires did you have? But if you’re only looking at your indeed budget once a month, when you go on indeed and their analytics, you can pull all of these numbers automatically in the analytics section to see what your cost per applicant was. So if you know that you go on, indeed, you look at your job performance, it will show you which ads have what cost per applicant and all these numbers look at your cost per applicant for each ad.
Rachel Gartner (13:54):
And then look at how many hires you’ve got for the month. It can be really simple. I would recommend updating your total recruiting metrics once a week for about 15 to 30 minutes. And then once a month, take 45 minutes to an hour to do this. And I know it can feel very overwhelming. I told you I’m a data nerd. I’m pretty obsessed with metrics. So I do go very in-depth, but at its most basic once a month, how much did you spend on indeed? How many hires did you get and is that meeting your needs?
Miriam Allred (14:22):
Yeah. For agencies listening to this, I just want to put in a plug to either share this information that Rachel sharing with your recruiter, or if you don’t have a recruiter start thinking about getting one and or a consulting agency, similar to what Rachel has established here, because this is invaluable to really just hone in on these processes, make sure you’re taking advantage of indeed also these other recruitment sources that we’re not talking about. There’s so much that can be done with each and every one of them. So just want to kind of put a plug in for that. Let’s talk a little bit about this. You’re you have a national footprint, you know, you’re working with agencies all across the country before this conversation, we were talking about the local market and how it varies. So drastically state to state, but city to city, county to county. And you’re able to consult with and talk to agencies all over the country. Maybe just high level talk about some of the trends that you’re seeing on the recruitment front, across the country, and you know, any trends that are standing out to you or that more, you know, the majority of agencies are seeing and how they’re dealing with it. Yeah.
Rachel Gartner (15:27):
So first I think it’s important to understand that when we do recruiting for our clients, we are on their indeed account seven days a week. We do all of this for them. So when I am talking to agency owners, I’m also talking to my team who are functioning like in-house recruiters, but we’re all really good at it. And we have a whole process for it. And so we only get paid when caregivers show up to their interviews. So that’s why I’m really invested in these, these problems in recruiting is because my company only gets paid. If the caregiver shows up, right. When, what we have seen over the past year, obviously with the pandemic and unemployment benefits and so many things, there were really huge rocks in the kind of environment of caregiver recruiting. What we are seeing right now, nationally is what everybody’s probably feeling.
Rachel Gartner (16:18):
There’s a lot fewer applicants by and large in the national trends. There are a lot more jobs being posted on indeed, cause there’s a labor shortage that is affecting a lot of jobs that are competing for the same hiring pool as caregivers. So the same people who might work for you as a caregiver, they might go down the road and work at a restaurant. They might go work at a retail store for pretty similar pay. So you’re really competing against a lot of different hiring sources and they’re all posting jobs right now. And there’s a lot fewer people looking for jobs. So that’s why right now the main focus is to increase the number of applicants you get, but also strengthen the rest of your process to get small gains and how many applicants are actually turning into hires so that when your applicant numbers go down, you know exactly what to do to keep your hiring flow steady.
Miriam Allred (17:07):
Yeah, absolutely. And that’s not even to mention unemployment, we are still battling with these, this unemployment. That’s still, you know, sweeping the nation, but hopefully, you know, we’ll see some changes coming in the next couple of months, but you’re right. The competition is stiffer than ever because we’re competing for other industries. And the benchmarking, we talk about, you know, caregivers working for multiple agencies, we’re actually competing for our own caregivers, time to work more hours for our own agencies. So, so competition is stiff. And so it’s more important than ever to refine these processes and hone in on these platforms such as indeed and really own it and know what you’re doing and track every single thing so that you can just own that process start to finish.
Rachel Gartner (17:52):
Yeah. It’s really fun when you start tracking your metrics over time to figure out how you can make a small gain on one metric. Like if it’s your applicant numbers, that’s great. You get more applicants on indeed that helps the whole rest of your process. But then when you can dive into the individual steps and say, how do I increase the number of my booked interviews that show up? How do I increase the percentage of applicants that are booked interviews? You have a lot of control over how many applicants get booked for interviews. And a lot of that comes back to indeed to make sure you’re attracting the right caregivers. So as you make small gains at each step along the way, you’re going to get more applicants, but you’re also going to get more from the applicants that you’re attracting, turn them into more hires.
Miriam Allred (18:35):
Yeah, yeah. A hundred percent, a hundred percent. So you’ve talked a little bit about your business. I just want to give you a couple of minutes. You mentioned this training that you’ve put together for recruiters that agencies can obtain. Talk to me a little bit about that and where people can access.
Rachel Gartner (18:50):
Sure. [email protected] is our website where we have all of our full service recruiting options, as well as the care work academy that CareWork academy is currently in a beta launch, which for you who are listening, that means you get a really big discount and you get one-on-one coaching with me, but it is a 10 week program where every week you’re going to have 30 to 45 minutes of training to go over a specific part of the recruiting process. And then you get what I call homework, which is basically action items. So on one of the first weeks, we just show you how we want you to set up your spreadsheet to track those metrics. And then throughout the process, we get really granular into your phone screens and what you should say on a phone screen and what the process should look like, how do you standardize it?
Rachel Gartner (19:32):
And then we move into each of the different metrics to show if this metric is too high, here’s where the problem probably lies and here’s where you solve it. So we go through 10 weeks of training. Then at the end, you know, all of your metrics are being tracked and less than 30 minutes a week, you know exactly what to do with those metrics. And it’s turning them into a brand new recruiting process that is totally standardized. And in our full service recruiting, like I said, we’re working across the country. We’ve processed over 45,000 applicants so far for our clients. So our process is very efficient. It’s very standardized. And that’s what allows us to address any recruiting challenges that come up is we can look at the numbers and see, where is the problem? How do we fix it? And we’re doing that across the country every day, literally seven days a week, my recruiters are on indeed and other hiring platforms. So we really have that national experience. And we’ve turned that into training for other agencies.
Miriam Allred (20:25):
Yeah. I love it. Rachel, this has been awesome. Super insightful. I appreciate all your insights here on indeed. There’s so much to be learned for so many agencies on this topic specifically, but any advice that agencies can get on recruitment right now is invaluable and we’ve got to just continue to help each other. This is we’re in it together, obviously got local competitors and we’re competing for our caregivers time. But I think as an industry, we’ve got to come together, share best practices, you know, help each other. And that’s what we’re really trying to do. So thank you so much for your time. Thanks for joining me on the show today. We’ll look forward to staying connected with you as you continue to grow and scale and work with so many agencies across the country.
Rachel Gartner (21:06):
Thank you so much for having me. It was an honor. I always tell people I could talk about caregiver recruiting all day. So if you’re out there and you’re not sure how to apply this, please come to our website. I do free strategy sessions all the time, 30 minutes strategy session to just talk to agency owners about what’s working. So if all of this was maybe a little bit overwhelming, go on the website, book, a strategy session, I’ll break it all down for you.
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