The Caregiver Trend Report was published this spring by The report is based on data collected from thousands of professional caregivers working in home care, home health, hospice and senior living. 

The report is a gold mine for home care and home health agencies that want to learn how caregiver job searching is changing. It provides key insights to build recruitment and retention strategies that work. Here’s my take on the report and what it means for your agency.

Prospective Caregivers

Besides the fact that the vast majority of agency owners (73%) are concerned about the lack of staff, the data that stuck out for me are:

  • The lack of staff has a real business impact: 63% turn down cases because they can’t staff a case. You are not alone when you turn down business because you can’t staff a new case. This probably means many seniors are got getting the care they need as they try to age in place.
  • Creating a caregiver-centric culture makes sense when you know that a caregiver generates on average $12,243 in revenue for your agency. 
  • The cost of hiring caregivers is on the rise. It costs on average $566 to hire a new caregiver. 
  • Employee referral is the most expensive recruitment source ($640 per new hire). However, caregivers hired through referral have a higher retention rate. So investing in referral makes sense. It also provides existing caregivers with an opportunity to earn more cash!

Sadly, most agencies do not know their cost per hire and don’t even track where caregivers come from. This is something I teach my clients when we work on their caregiver recruitment plan.

Another finding from the Caregiver Trend Report: home care as an employer suffers from an image problem with prospective employees. Twenty-two percent of caregivers want to work for a home care agency. Working directly with a client as a private caregiver is seen as the best option for 28% of caregivers, probably because of the potential for higher pay. 

On the other hand, home care is on par with hospitals (23%) and ahead of assisted living (18%) and nursing homes (8%). This means your agency has to sell the benefits of working in home care through an agency to prospective employees. Think about your value proposition and how it is better than being a self-employed caregiver. 

On the positive side, 67% prefer to work for a small agency or local franchise rather than work for a large corporate home health provider. Again, this is good stuff you should use when marketing your agency with prospective caregivers.

The recruitment in many home care agencies is stuck in the dark ages:

  • 85% check reference manually. Only 8% check online and 7% don’t check references at all. 
  • 85% agencies still require paper application but caregivers are becoming more tech savvy

These percentages cry for a technology solution. There are several online reference checking services available. Think cost and compare on value to your agency. And of course, offer a link to your website to online application which can be connected to your scheduling system or HR system.

How you portrait your agency during interviews is critical to your recruitment success. Caregivers are very sensitive to the way they are treated when they come in your offices for an interview. They want to work for an agency where people are “nice”. Caregivers are turned off by interviewers who don’t connect with them. Building a relationship is critical to getting caregivers to work for your agency.