Hiring and On-boarding Home CaregiversCOVID-19 has changed our world at home, at work and everywhere in between. As a result, home care has to change the way it recruits. The industry is adapting its recruitment process to the need for social distancing. If you haven’t read my previous article on the state of the recruitment market during the pandemic, check it out here.

Every crisis presents opportunities. For home care, the increase in unemployment means more people looking for a job. More potential caregivers are available for work. With less competition from other industries, caregivers have shown more focus in their job search. Taking our cues from the Great Recession, we can expect volume recruitment to return. This means having to sift through high numbers of applicants to find your star caregivers. Luckily, recruitment technology has come a long way in the last 10 years. If you want to be ready for the next hiring wave, it’s time to automate your recruitment admin.


How to keep recruiters and applicants safe?

Recruiters might be concerned about their personal safety if they have to interact in-person with applicants. To make sure office staff and candidates feel safe, it’s time to transition to more tech-based recruitment including video interviewing. Most agencies are already doing an initial phone interview. Why not take it to the next step and conduct video interviews?

By the way, video screening of caregivers is efficient. No time is lost traveling to and from the interview. According to MyCNAjobs, 70% of candidates show up for their interviews. This is a high point for the show-up rate! Many think video interviewing is likely here to stay beyond the pandemic. If your agency isn’t doing video interviewing yet, consider investing in cameras and training your recruiter.


How to keep candidates engaged with remote recruitment? 

The loss of the in-person touch doesn’t mean the personal touch is lost! Once candidates have chosen to apply to your jobs, it’s still important to assess applications quickly and contact those you want to interview within a day. 

As unemployment benefits start to wither and many industries are not able to go back full speed, it’s reasonable to expect an increase in the volume of caregiver applicants.  This is a great time to invest in recruiting tech and autoresponders to keep a warm, fast connection with candidates.

Continue to meet candidates where they are. Texting is still the preferred way to reach caregiver candidates. According to Hireology, texting can speed recruitment by 8 days. Using text reminders can reduce the no-show rate to interview by 20%.


How to (still) recruit great caregivers?

If you wish to verify candidate knowledge and skills, use online skill tests and in-person testing at medical testing centers. Some testing centers have remained open. Check your local listings and call them to find out. Many are re-opening now.

Conduct impactful video interviews with consistent interview questions. We know applicants have many questions related to COVID and how care is provided at your agency. Be prepared to outline in a few bullets how your agency is keeping its workers safe and how it continues to provide job opportunities


Automate Pre-Employment Checks

It is shocking how labor-intensive the pre-employment process remains in many agencies. They are still conducting in-person employment verification. Calling previous employers to confirm employment dates is time consuming in the best of times. Now that most workplaces are empty, it’s probably impossible to get anyone on the phone. Now more than ever is a great time to automate employment verification. Equifax offers employment verification and is recommended by the US Department of Labor.

Another area ripe for automation is background checks. I have used Background Checks when recruiting for clients. They offer different levels of background checks and can turn around the basic checks almost instantaneously. Most third-party vendors offer volume discounts. The time saved by the service provided will allow your staff to focus on value-added work such as connecting with candidates.


Automate On-Boarding

The best option is to implement an online on-boarding system. Check with your payroll processor, they may offer a basic on-boarding. If you are considering investing in an HR Information System, many of my home care clients are using BambooHR. The platform offers a user-friendly self-onboarding functionality. 

If you are not financially able to implement the online platform, consider collecting all recruitment documents digitally using Acrobat Adobe. This a first step towards a paperless recruitment. All recruiters who have made the transition love it and wouldn’t consider going back to a paper-based recruitment.


Next month’s article will address how to adapt orientation to a touchless environment. Some of these changes will probably outlast the pandemic.

In the meantime, contact me with your caregiver recruitment questions or to share your experience of recruiting caregivers during a pandemic.