Welcome to another article in our series on Home Care Jobs. In this series of articles, we look at the office staff because having a solid team in the office is so important to your agency’s overall success! Today’s article is devoted to the Human Resources function beyond the basics. First and foremost, the HR Manager in the home care industry is a recruiter who hires and onboards caregivers. That’s the biggest business need. I covered this in detail in a previous article: the basics of HR in Home Care.
However, the HR role shouldn’t stop with recruitment. A great HR manager will step into the full dimension of the role to include compliance and employee relations. If you want to get more out of the HR function at your agency, there are steps you can take to develop your HR personnel.
A capable HR manager is, with the agency owner, the standard keeper of the policies and procedures that guide the employment relationship. They are the guardian of employment policies usually collected into a handbook. Don’t have a handbook? Contact me. I can help with employee handbooks in any of the 50 states!
Part of compliance includes employment compliance: employment authorization, vaccination, background checks, and drug testing for the caregivers. PTO tracking, FMLA requests, and worker’s compensation claims also fall under the purview of HR. Supported by a good HR system, your HR manager should be preparing all federal and state employment reports (e.g. EEO-1).
They might also be tasked with administering the referral bonus program for your agency.
Linchpin of Employee relations
Look for managers with experience handling difficult employee situations. Are they able to have difficult conversations? Have they solved conflicts by creating a win-win for both parties?
A capable HR manager handles questions from employees and initiates disciplinary procedures when required. They also get involved in performance evaluation working with the Nurse for the initial review and annual assessments.
How To Develop Your HR Manager in the Home Care Industry
If you are wondering how to become a great HR manager, the job requires both technical knowledge of HR and practical experience. HR can be compliance-heavy so having a working knowledge of major state and federal employment laws is critical. Whenever I hire an HR manager for a client, I always check for the candidate’s knowledge of HR-specific laws. For example, what do they know of the Fair Labor Standards Act and what it takes to classify a position as exempt? A good HR manager not only knows the law but also understands how to apply it to the specifics of your agency and employee population.
In terms of practical experience, most supervisors have a working knowledge of discrimination and harassment prevention. Your HR generalist needs to also understand when to start an investigation and how to handle employee discipline to create compliance rather than resentment.
Because this is the Home Care industry, HR managers also need to understand the latest OSHA standards and HIPAA regulations. In states where home health is regulated, having experience with regulations issued by the Joint Commission and Board of Nursing (or their equivalent) is definitely a plus when your agency gets audited.
Above all, the most valuable HR professionals are those who continuously educate themselves through daily reading and professional education. I have been a certified HR professional with HRCI since 2000. I highly recommend you look for HR certifications in your applicant pool or encourage your HR staff to become certified.
Because of the nature of the work, the agency owner has to develop a trusting relationship with their HR Manager. This is probably a topic for another blog!