A shortage of quality caregivers is nothing new to home care agency owners. The stress and strain of implementing effective recruitment tactics paired with developing strategies to reduce caregiver turnover go hand in hand with the increasing need and desire for senior care at home. Yet as with so many other aspects of life, 2020 elevated the concerns to an entirely new level – one that feels insurmountable to many.
Home Care Pulse’s 2021 Home Care Benchmarking Study reinforced the severity of the caregiver shortage, with a leap in the number of participants reporting an extremely negative impact over the previous two years’ reports. This is likely attributable to several factors:
- More seniors choosing to age in place at home as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic – and the growing number of aging adults in general
- An increasingly competitive industry, with agencies all vying for the same pool of direct care workers
- Higher starting pay (and perhaps better benefits) in other industries
- Higher unemployment benefits available during the pandemic
- And more
Recent research estimates the need for as many as an additional 7.8 million direct care workers by the year 2026. How can you ensure that your agency is able to attract and retain the best caregivers in order to sustain and grow your client base?
Think Outside of the Box
Creative thinking is going to be key. Placing an ad on Indeed and hoping for the best simply isn’t enough. Caregivers need to know why they should choose your home care agency over the plethora of other options available to them, so plan a brainstorming session with your leadership team, and include a couple of your top caregivers as well for input from their perspective. Talk through your agency’s mission, vision, and current benefits to employees, as well as ideas for additional offerings to help tip the scale in your favor.
Our home care marketing experts have compiled some suggestions of employee perks to get you started:
- Focus on fun. In-home caregivers can feel a bit isolated and lonely in their work. Offer opportunities to bring your caregivers together regularly for teambuilding: a team picnic with games and giveaways, a trip to an amusement park – ongoing opportunities for socializing and forming friendships while letting your caregivers know how much you value and appreciate them.
- Offer financial incentives. Hopefully your caregivers love the work they do and find it incredibly fulfilling and meaningful, but competitive compensation is crucial, especially when trying to attract new caregivers. Provide substantial hiring bonuses: one at the time of hire, another at 30 days, 60 days, and 90 days to promote retention.
- Celebrate existing caregivers. Particularly in light of their dedication through the toughest year in history, honor your current care staff with pay raises, bonuses, awards, etc. Host a celebration in their honor. Shower them with appreciation in various ways, enough that they can’t help but rave to their friends and family about what a great place your agency is to work.
- Truly care about your team. It sounds intuitive, but letting your caregivers know you are there to listen to and support them and that they are not just a number but part of your agency’s family can go a long way towards establishing loyalty.
Unique Recruitment Ideas
Job fairs and classified ads aside, our team has brainstormed the following recruitment targets and tactics:
- Reach out to high schools, especially those that offer CNA classes/certification.
- Drop off coloring books at daycare centers for the kids to take home that include a big sticker announcing your agency’s job openings on the cover.
- Get involved with all career centers – universities, community colleges, veterans, and the career center sponsored by your state.
- Specify a day you are offering open interviews and print that information on a card that can easily be shared around your community, such as at locations where families go to get WIC benefits, apartment buildings, hair salons, veterinarian offices, banks, etc.
- Work with a women’s shelter to offer jobs to those with a clean background check who need a new start.
- Offer a lunch-and-learn presentation to churches, seminaries, religious colleges, etc. with a large population of service-oriented people.
- Target those who have worked in nurturing/mindfulness fields, such as yoga instructors, body workers, massage therapists, holistic healers, etc. who may have had to cut down on hours or are out of work.
Revamp Your Application Process
Make sure it’s easy to apply for a position with your agency – and ensure caregivers who see your ads on Indeed and other hiring sites are enticed to apply with these tips:
- Cut down on your job application questions as much as possible just to get them in the door for an interview.
- Check the mobile-friendliness of your application form; it should be easy to complete on a phone.
- Don’t require a resume upload.
- Showcase your benefits first, including what makes your agency a better choice than the agency down the street.
- Always ask for a cell phone number in your application. Caregivers typically don’t respond to emails, but they do respond to texts.
Let Our Home Care Marketing Experts Help!
We know recruiting and retention are top priorities for home care agencies, and we have plenty of tools and resources to help. Contact us at 800.370.6580, to learn more about how our home care advertising, marketing, and sales can make your agency stand out from the crowd!