In the past month, I have spoken to many home care owners about recruitment and retention of caregivers. They sign up for a strategy call because they need more caregivers. Marty from Ohio told me “This is our number one priority. We have more clients than we can service. Our stumbling block is not enough caregivers.”

The business can only grow if we grow the workforce. Are you in the same situation? The most successful home care agencies consider the recruitment of caregivers a priority for their business.

Home care agencies, private duty and Medicare certified, are very keen to recruit more caregivers, recruit better caregivers and retain them longer. If you are looking for better results, you probably need to change a few things.

Who does the recruitment?

If your scheduler interviews candidates, stop today! The skills required to be a successful recruiter are different from those of a good scheduler. Although good schedulers know the business of home care, they are not trained interviewers and might put off candidates.

Clearly, the ideal situation is to have a full-time recruiter with knowledge of selection techniques and experience of interviews. The recruiter may not know the home care industry but this can be learned. The reality is few agencies can afford a full-time recruiter. In my experience, owners are the best ambassadors for their agency. With a little training, most make good interviewers too.

What does success look like in recruitment?

Finding the right employee is not easy, especially for small businesses. According to a recent research by Lever, small businesses go through an average of 86 applications to find one employee right for the job. That’s about a 1.2% success rate and that’s not good!

Based on my experience with clients, the best-in-class home care agencies get a 5% success rate. In other word, they are able to recruit 1 caregiver for every 20 applications they receive. This type of success is not achieved overnight. It requires hard work and constant adjustments to find the winning formula for your local market.

Set recruitment realistic goals.

If you are currently hiring one caregiver a month, don’t shoot for ten next month. Allow yourself to progressively ramp up your systems.

Consider how many applications you get and how many caregivers get on-boarded every month. That’s your baseline. Review your recruitment masterplan: what do you have in place to generate more applications? Where do you look for qualified candidates?

Answering those questions and tracking numbers will help you identify your winning recruitment formula.

What’s the best “bang for my buck”?

Recruiting for retention is where the gold is. In other words, don’t recruit to fill staff a case tomorrow. Recruit to grow the ranks of your workforce for the next year and beyond.

When interviewing, consider the cultural fit with your agency. Ask yourself if the candidate is likely to stay longer than 3 months. Probe with questions such as “where do you see yourself in 1 year from now?” Also, ask “what might prevent you from getting to work very day?” Don’t let the first obvious answer (“nothing”) be the final answer. Experienced interviewers know how to ask follow-up questions to get to the genuine answer.

“Success seems to be connected with action,” said Conrad Hilton. So get going!

Assess your caregiver recruitment with my help. Book a time in my calendar for a consultation. You will get pointers on how to re-boot your caregiver recruitment effort.