The homecare industry is facing a crisis: caregivers are in short supply and high demand.
According to the Population Reference Bureau, the number of Americans ages 65 and older will more than double between 2016 and 2060 — from 46 million to over 98 million.
As the elderly population grows, the number of caregivers needed will grow along with it. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there will be roughly one million new jobs to be filled in direct care (including health aides, nursing assistants, and personal care aides) by 2024.
With the already short supply of caregivers in the market, these numbers may seem daunting. However, it’s important to realize the situation is not entirely out of your control. There are solid steps you can take now to attract and recruit quality caregivers.
1. Craft a great job posting.
Your ad is often the first impression jobseekers receive of your company, so make it a great one.
A job posting should be more than an outline of responsibilities and requirements. It should also explain your agency’s mission, your goals, and the types of people you want on your team. Hiring like-minded employees who share your agency’s goals will be key to your success in fulfilling them.
2. Look for quality, not quantity.
We understand, desperate times often call for desperate measures. But, while it could be tempting to fill positions with anyone who can pass a background check, that approach will hurt you in the long run. It’s worth taking the time to find quality candidates.
A good rule of thumb: If you wouldn’t feel comfortable with that person being the caregiver of your own mother or father, you shouldn’t hire them to care for anyone else’s.
3. Spread the word.
Generating positive awareness of your agency will help draw quality candidates to you. One way to do this is through good old-fashioned word of mouth. If you make your agency a great place to work, and treat your caregivers with respect, then they’re likely to talk about it — and bring others on board.
Equally important, if your caregivers are providing excellent care, then the loved ones of those patients may take note and spread the word, too.
4. Identify professional referral sources.
Referrals are an ideal way to source quality candidates. Take a moment to brainstorm places in your area to target for potential referrals. Your local hospitals, senior centers, Chamber of Commerce, churches, community colleges, independent living facilities, and even trade schools are all great places to start.
You can also encourage your current staff to refer only the most qualified people. Consider creating a bonus program as an incentive. For example, if the referred caregiver works more than 25 hours a week, the employee who referred them gets a small cash reward.
5. Make friends with the internet.
Online marketing is key for your agency’s overall success. While it might seem overwhelming at first, there are simple ways you can strengthen your presence online.
Take the following steps, for example:
- Begin with a Google search. Enter terms that prospective clients or job seekers might use, such as “caregivers near me” or “best homecare in [your city’s name]”. If your agency does not appear in the first page of search results, then it’s time to clean up your profile.
- Claim your business pages on Google My Business, Facebook and Yelp. These sources are free and easily to utilize. Take the time to sufficiently fill out your profiles, respond to reviews, and track user views.
- Give your website some TLC! Your online presence is a representation of your company, so make sure it’s something you’re proud of. Does your bio accurately state who you are and why you do what you do? Are your services thoroughly described? Is your contact and location information clear and easily accessible? Are your images current? Can an applicant easily apply for a job?
- Highlight your involvement in the local community. A lot of agencies are highly active in their communities, sponsoring free programs or donating time and money to local organizations. Show how you’re involved on your social networks and website, and use the opportunity to drum up attention for your own events to attract local talent.
6. Plan your interview questions wisely.
Yes-or-no questions won’t give you much insight into how great of a performer your candidate may be on the job, but strategic ones will.
Here are a few pointers for questions that can help you filter out the unqualified, and find the ones you want on your side:
- Asking hypothetical questions can help you test a candidate’s decision-making skills and measure their level of honesty.
Example question: What would you do if a patient was refusing to take their medication?
- Get to the point! Don’t shy away from asking direct or straightforward questions, especially those concerning chronic conditions among your patients.
Example question: What kind of experience do you have in caring for patients with diabetes?
- As you’re aware, caregivers need to possess certain skills in order to properly do their jobs, especially in cases of emergency. It’s important to be direct when assessing critical skills as well.
Example question: Many of our clients are affected by heart disease. Can you tell me the signs of an impending heart attack?
- Behavioral questions can offer a glimpse into a candidate’s true personality, which is key since they’ll be caring for people!
Example question: Describe a stressful situation you had with a patient. How did you handle it? Is there anything you would have done differently?
Congratulations – you’ve recruited a great new group of caregivers.
But recruitment is only half the battle; retention is the other. For expert tips on keeping your homecare stars on board, check out our blog post: What You Can Do Now to Reduce Caregiver Turnover.
You work hard to serve some of the most vulnerable members of society. That’s why we want to do our part to simplify the homecare management process for you, and give you the tools you need to make optimal decisions.
To see how HHAeXchange can help your business, schedule a demo.