Devastating events have a way of changing everything, dividing time periods into the “before” and the “after.” Although it is too early to know how much impact the COVID pandemic will have on home care, it is fair to assume that much will be disrupted in the senior care industry. One thing we know is the need for senior care will not go away. The pandemic makes home care even more attractive than before the COVID pandemic. As a result, your agency must carry on with its caregiver recruitment to expand its workforce. Crises can present great opportunities to build a better future for your agency. It’s no time to stop your recruitment. In fact, this might be a golden time for those who can adapt to the times.
The Case For Caregiver Recruitment for Home Care During COVID Pandemic
Although 20% of agencies have cut down their recruitment, most know that this is the time to double down on their recruitment efforts. Put your best foot forward to attract the experienced caregivers looking to make a switch from hospital to a home-based care.
Your #1 recruitment target should be your former caregivers. Look in your files for the good caregivers who left in good standing the last year or two. They might be interested in coming back to home care as other employment options have dried up. They might be touched that you take the time to check on them and come with a job opportunity. Returning caregivers are mostly trained. They know your agency and might require minimal training to bring them up to speed.
Don’t forget to keep your employee referral program top of mind with current caregivers. We know that referred employees tend to stay longer than someone walking in cold off the street.
It’s a great time to tap non-healthcare markets to promote your job opportunities. Home care continues to provide job opportunities for those willing to make a career switch. At a time when we sadly experience record-high unemployment, caregiver jobs are once again a job of choice. Consider the industries where home care used to compete for frontline workers: retail, restaurants, hospitality. Those employers are struggling now and certainly not hiring. This means new workers available for your job opportunities.
Because there are many uncertainties in the future. You don’t want to be caught without a bench of caregivers ready to step up and work. It’s now possible to build a bench of caregivers so they are ready to take a case when it’s available.
Caregiver Recruitment: What Caregivers Want
We know that caregivers are always looking for the best mix of wages, case location, and hours. This hasn’t changed.
At this time, caregivers are also looking for an agency that really cares about them as individuals. As frontline workers, they are putting their personal well-being on the line every day. They need to feel that their agency has their back. Access to PPE and proper training are two important ways to show your caring for caregivers.
More than ever, caregivers want a personal relationship with their agency. They want to know that a member of your staff cares about them and wouldn’t send them blindly into harm’s way. Being a caregiver-centric agency is more important than ever before.
Update Job Ads To Address COVID Concerns
If you haven’t done it yet, change your recruitment ads with new wording to address what your agency offers to protect its employees. The first area of concern is access to PPE. Outline in your ad the PPE you provide caregivers.
Your ad should also address your position on caring for COVID patients. Is your agency taking on COVID patients? Do you provide extra pay for caregivers who provide COVID care?
Update your website with COVID specific messages to highlight how you keep employees safe and how you deliver your services in a different way.
Create new ads that “speak” to different groups of candidates. Create ads aimed at out-of-work retail and hospitality workers who may not have considered home care beforehand. Many are now home getting unemployment benefits, looking for their next move once unemployment benefits expire. Provide a job preview via video of what the work of a home care aide entails. Focus on competencies and soft skills rather than the need for home care experience.
Learning and Earning Through COVID
More than ever, training is essential. In your ads and interviews, promote your COVID training as a testimony to your commitment to keeping your staff and clients safe.
Training can also be used as an earning opportunity. Many caregivers are looking for extra earnings at a time. They may have lost their second job or a family member has lost theirs. One of my clients is offering about 30 hours of paid training to all caregivers who want to get certified in COVID patient care during the month of May.
In addition to earning, this learning opportunity also builds your bench of COVID certified caregivers which may provide business growth for your agency. Training and certifying your caregivers on COVID-19 could be a win-win!
In the meantime, contact me with your caregiver recruitment questions or to share your experience of recruiting caregivers during a pandemic.