better caregiver interviews

Better Caregiver Interviews

better caregiver interviewsI am delighted to welcome back Maggie Keen, VP of Strategic Initiatives at mycnajobs.com, as my guest today. In her previous article on the rising caregiver wages, she shared valuable information on how much agencies should pay their caregivers. 

This week, Maggie shares the 8 critical questions you need to answer for caregiver applicants. By structuring your on-site interviews around those 8 factors, you are more likely to get a positive outcome when you extend a job offer. As always, I want your agency to be the best it can be. Read on and implement!


At My CNAJobs.com, we get many questions regarding interviews in the caregiver recruitment process. It’s an important piece of the puzzle, one that can make or break your ability to hire caregivers. As is true with all human interaction, first impressions matter during an interview. The invitation for an interview is often the first time a caregiver will visit your agency’s office and meet the staff. The latest research on recruiting caregivers shows the importance of making a caregiver feel comfortable during the interview. In fact, 28% of all caregivers report the most important part of the interview is if they feel comfortable while they’re there.

Sometimes first impressions aren’t logical. Think back on a time when you met someone new and you had an immediate reaction. Maybe this was a person you connected with. Maybe you didn’t quite feel comfortable. Caregivers have a similar experience when they first step into your office. What does the space say about your agency? How does it feel to walk through your doors for the very first time? They say it only takes seven seconds to form a first impression. What are the first seven seconds at your agency like?

At MyCNAjobs.com, we hear stories from caregivers who arrived at an interview with no one to greet them. They were then asked to sit in a poorly lit, gray-walled waiting area with a few rickety chairs and no reading material until the hiring manager was ready for them. The caregiver certainly didn’t feel comfortable during the interview. This may be an extreme example, but it paints a picture of how an unwelcoming space can impact a caregiver’s view of an agency, making it difficult for them to recruit.

A warm greeting and a genuine smile can go a long way in the recruitment process. Helping a caregiver feel relaxed and at ease doesn’t have to be a laborious process. Simple, humanizing gestures can make a big difference. Consider the fact that only 37% of caregivers report they’re asked if they would like something to drink when they arrive at an interview. Small actions can put you ahead of the pack and show a candidate you care about making them feel welcome.

Forty-four percent of caregivers report they would turn down a job offer if they didn’t feel the interview went well. But this raises the question: what do caregivers look for in an interview?

We asked caregivers. It comes down to these “8 Critical” questions:

  1. Start Date – When’s my first day of work? Is it flexible?
  2. Coworkers – Who are my co-workers? Will I get along with them?
  3. Training – What type of in-service training is offered? Is there a tuition reimbursement program?
  4. Patients – Who is the typical patient at this agency? Will I get along with them?
  5. Boss – What is it like to work with this person?
  6. Stability – How long will this case last?
  7. Reviews – How and when will I be evaluated?
  8. Pay & Benefits – What can I expect?

By making sure you hit all 8 of these critical points, you can answer your candidate’s questions and cover the topics that matter most to them. You can download your own Critical 8 Interview Checklist here and keep it on hand during interviews. Let caregivers know what your agency has to offer in the areas that matter most to them! This will help sell your agency during the recruitment process. It will entice caregivers to choose your agency over a competitor.

There are many “X-factors” at play when it comes to a Caregiver feeling comfortable, many of which you have no control over. The key is to be aware of the factors that you have a say in. Make a conscious effort to lead with those.

Home care has always been a business built on relationships, and home care recruitment shouldn’t be any different. Begin those relationships with genuine care for the candidates and more of them will grow into a long-term working partnership. We’ve pulled together a list of proven tips for taking your recruitment to the next level in our Recruiter Checklist here – if you don’t already have something like in place today, it’s a great tool.