The home healthcare sector is the fastest-growing one in the healthcare industry today. So it's no surprise that this sector's job growth has also increased. However, many home care agencies struggle with caregiver recruiting.
In addition to acquiring new home care clients, your agency's success largely depends on your ability to recruit and retain high-quality caregivers. Although this may sound simple, the average home care agency has to replace more than half of its employees yearly. Since a lost caregiver means lost revenue, reducing employees in this sector and filling open positions quickly is probably on top of your concerns.
Nevertheless, some caregiver agencies still manage to find, hire, and retain top talent. In theory, this may sound simple. But, to be a competitive employer, you must ensure a good company culture, competitive pay, and a great employee experience. However, not even these elements alone can help you hire quality caregivers unless you communicate with them effectively throughout the recruitment process.
Luckily for you, we prepared the ultimate guide for caregiver recruiting to help you attract and retain top talent in your company.
Why Is It Challenging to Retain Caregivers?
The increased life expectancy and the large baby boomer population reaching the age where they'll need home care resulted in an increasing demand for caregivers. However, the competition for caregivers is stiff.
The goal is to make caregivers want to work for your agency, as the care they provide is your company's product. And the more product you have, the more your business can grow.
However, caregivers don't like to be treated as commodities. Instead, they want to feel like they're part of the team, to be prepared for their tasks, to be recognized for their contributions, to have a career path, and to have a support system.
That said, here are several things that may cause them to leave:
- They don't feel prepared for their tasks: You'll likely be hiring young caregivers for whom this is their first job. Unless you offer supportive supervision and coaching on their first assignments, they will likely leave because they won't feel prepared.
- No shifts: Most caregivers leave because they aren't getting enough shifts. If you don't provide them with work, other agencies will.
- Issues with managers: Often, people leave their jobs if they don't get along well with their supervisors. Make sure your supervisors are properly trained to manage and support their teams.
- No recognition: Caregivers, and people in general, like to be recognized for their contributions. If they aren't getting any credit, they will likely leave.
- Payment: Companies that offer raises as caregivers receive more experience are more likely to retain their employees. Paying for their training can also help. However, your caregivers may not stay within your company unless you motivate them in terms of finances. Instead, they will look for another agency that values their work more.
- No career path: Great companies offer growth opportunities. If your caregivers learn specialized skills like palliative care, they can earn more, be promoted to supervision or mentorship, or do scheduling or sales from the office. If you don't offer them a chance to grow in their career, they may find someone else who does.
How to Improve Your Caregiver Recruiting From a Marketing Perspective?
The marketing funnel is vital to incorporate into the caregiver recruitment process. By monitoring tracking points and calculating percentages, home care agencies can discover where they need to improve their approach. And by analyzing where most applicants back out, caregiver agencies can improve that part of the recruitment.
That said, here are the tracking points that can help you understand where candidates are dropping out:
- Print publications, job advertising
- Online caregiver job marketing: reports for ad campaigns like Google, Instagram, Facebook, etc., SEO (Search engine optimization) reports from the agency's website and responses from online job search sites for specific keywords
- Media advertising, including television or radio
- Applicant seeking events
- The number of candidates: What percentage progressed to an interview through different recruitment sources? What number of the interviewed candidates were hired?
From a marketing perspective, working on a recruitment process means creating a funnel and adding levels to analyze each item's numbers and percentages. This will allow you to track marketing effectiveness. This, in turn, helps narrow down areas that need to be improved. That said, by using marketing for caregiver recruiting, you can save both money and time and find top-talent caregivers.
Optimize Your Website
Your website is likely the first thing your prospective caregivers will look for. And a well-optimized website has a better chance of attracting the right caregiver applicants.
First, you must ensure your site is easy to find and sits at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs). Second, your website design and content need to present your agency in the best light, including the environment prospective caregivers can envision working in.
SEO Optimization Is a Must
When looking for caregivers, you need to use SEO keywords targeting localized searches, as most caregivers look for jobs in the area they live. They will use keywords such as home care agencies plus the city or county name. Or, they may search for terms like home health care services, in-home care services, caregiver jobs, or care agencies. Therefore, you may want to use those or similar keywords when creating blog posts relevant to caregivers.
Note that more than 50% of users use mobile phones to conduct searches. Considering the statistics, your website needs to be mobile-friendly, if not mobile-first. This also includes your application process.
Create Relevant Career Content
Creating valuable career content on your website is one of the best caregiver recruiting strategies to attract top talent. Your website should have several career pages with all the information and the application process. This will allow prospective caregivers to access your caregiver position details easily, mission statement, and other relevant information that can motivate them to choose your agency.
A candidate who applied directly from an agency career page is four times more likely to be hired than an applicant from a job board. In addition, by offering a great applicant experience, your site promotes the professionalism of your agency.
With this in mind, the career section of your site should include the following:
- The agency's mission statement
- A caregiver job description
- Feedback and reviews from past and current employees
- Contact information on each page
- A FAQ targeted to caregivers
- Shareable options for your social media
By doing this, your website can attract high-quality caregivers, making caregiver recruiting efficient.
A candidate who applied directly from an agency career page is four times more likely to be hired.
Determine the Mission of Your Home Care Company
Modern caregivers want to know more about the company's values and culture before applying for a job. Showing your agency is diverse and sharing your brand's story can encourage applicants to be part of the higher purpose. So, having a powerful mission statement will illustrate the nature of your company and how it treats its employees and clients. This is a part of a successful caregiver recruiting strategy.
Your mission statement should include your agency's values, purpose, goals, and vision for the future. It is a powerful way to add vision and purpose to the caregivers you employ.
Here's information you can include in your company's mission statement:
- A concise story about the company's origins
- Who the clients are and what your company does for them
- Agency's values and goals
- Vision for the future
- What your agency has already achieved
Note that your mission statement should include specific goals that are measurable, achievable, and client-oriented. Framing it to appeal to caregivers can help them see themselves as a vital part of your agency, increasing your chances of talent retention.
Improve Your Job Posts
At in-person recruiting events and job fairs, caregiver agencies can talk to potential candidates and tell them about their employment pros. However, most of them find caregiver jobs online. Therefore, job listings should be framed in a way that appeals to them.
Below are several home care recruiting strategies for optimizing your job listings.
Describing financial incentives and non-monetary perks like parental leave and health insurance can help motivate prospective caregivers to work for your home care agency.
Mention Career Advancement Opportunities
Because not all home care agencies offer opportunities for advancement in career, companies that do have better chances at retaining quality employees. You will want to mention what training you provide and the career advancement path within your company.
The Power of Social Proof: Add Employee Testimonials
Job seekers are more likely to apply for a job in an agency with satisfied employees. So, adding several testimonials in your caregiver job ads can be one of the most persuasive nurses recruiting strategies.
Optimize Your Interview and Onboarding Process
During an interview, it's vital to help the prospective caregiver feel relaxed. For example, you can ask about their day or share something about yourself. This can help create a connection and make candidates feel more comfortable.
However, the truth is that an interview doesn't last long enough to get to know the applicant well. That's when onboarding comes into play. New caregivers going through onboarding will get to know their employer and be introduced to the company's expectations and culture.
How to Achieve a Successful Caregiver Recruitment
- Be engaging: A tedious onboarding process may deter potential employees, so give your new hire examples of job tasks and ask for their feedback on the company's expectations. Also, be respectful and encourage a supportive, team-oriented climate.
- Consistency is key: Although caregivers can have different duties regarding their client load, everyone should follow the same company policies and expectations.
- Be welcoming: Welcoming your new employee and making them feel like they are part of the team can help ensure a great onboarding experience. Introduce them to the company's social networking and have other employees send them a welcome message or an email.
- Establish goals: Create a 30/60/90-day plan that will be revisited at 30, 60, and 90 days from hiring to keep them on track.
Offer Paid Training to Your Caregivers
Offering paid training to caregivers is one of the best nurse recruiting strategies to help retain top talent. In addition, be ready to offer a raise once they complete the higher level classes.
The best classes combine lecture-style training, skills demonstrations, quizzes, discussion, and hands-on portions. And once the training is completed, your employees should get certificates and enjoy graduation ceremonies.
Here is some valuable skill training that will help your employees climb up the career ladder:
- Basic training: Unless they already possess the following skills, your employees will benefit significantly from learning about safety guidelines, body systems, emergency preparedness, hygiene, and cooking and cleaning. Infection prevention is another vital essential skill to have. In addition, your basic training should include your agency's culture, values, vision, and professional standards.
- Advanced caregiving skills: Once your employees master basic caregiving skills, they can move on to advanced ones. These include knowing how to care for clients with chronic conditions, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, stroke, heart attack, and cancer. Advanced training should also provide lectures about the effects of aging on anatomy and body systems, fall prevention and mobility support, nutrition, transfers, and other assistive devices.
- Dementia and behavioral care: In this training, your employees can learn more about Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia, impacts on ADL (activities of daily living) care, end-of-life care, grief and loss support, and team building and care support circles.
- Caregiver advancement: In this part of training, your employees can learn the skills needed to advance to higher positions within the company, including mentorship, overall agency operations, and personal development.
Ensure Your Employees Feel Recognized
Providing recognition to deserving employees can prove to be a successful caregiver recruiting strategy, as everyone wants to feel recognized for their contributions. However, each caregiver will need recognition differently.
Your task here is to get to know your employees and learn how they like to be recognized at work. Taking time to understand your employees on a deeper level and learning how they like to be shown gratitude can positively impact caregiver recruitment and retention.
Follow Through on What You Promise
These are some of the creative ways to recruit caregivers. However, if you're still struggling to find, hire, and retain quality employees after following advice on how to recruit nurses for home care, you will need to dig deeper to pinpoint issues within your agency that deter talented candidates.
Unless you're following through on your promises when hiring new caregivers, not even the best recruitment process can help with employee retention. To help you find and address any blind spots in your company and improve your chances of keeping top talent, interview your caregivers and clients to get unbiased feedback.
This will help you determine and improve specific problems keeping your company from employing top talent and staying at the top of the curve.
Timeero's Role In Caregiver Recruiting
Software solutions are an indispensable part of work in the home health industry, but it doesn't have to be a dreadful task for your caregivers. For example, Timeero has built a simple GPS mileage and time tracking app, but it's much more than that.
In addition to accurately tracking their mileage, your nurses can also clock in and out of their shifts, keep track of their schedules, and demand time off.
And there's more to like about this software: it integrates with most common payroll software. This ensures your valuable staff will be paid timely for every hour worked and reimbursed for each mile driven via their vehicle.
With fair compensation and an easy way to log their miles, you'll be one step ahead of your competition that uses not-so-friendly apps that don't track mileage accurately and come with less handy features.