Caregiver recruitment, development, and retention are the backbone of a successful home care agency. However, home care executives are often good at one of the three human resources tasks, but can’t seem to get a handle on the other two. This imbalance often happens because executives are always worried about bringing in new staff members to cover the shifts of the caregivers who have recently left. It feels like filling a bucket when the bucket already has holes in it.
It’s maddening, and it is an ineffective way to run your home care business.
Here are three best practices that can help you build a well-rounded foundation of solid human resources practices that will help you recruit, develop, and retain your team.
Start with Development
It might seem like you should focus on caregiver recruitment first, but that isn’t the case. First, you need to make sure the caregivers you currently have are getting the training and ongoing education. Staff development means putting money and resources into regular training and growth opportunities for your entire team. What priority level is your commitment to staff development right now? If it could use some improvement, try starting with these practices:
- Schedule monthly in-services and team building sessions for all staff members
- Ask community partners and leaders to present at your monthly training sessions
- Host a caregiving skills workshop twice per year to double-check basic skills
- Send a few caregivers to educational workshops throughout the community during the year
- Ask exceptional caregivers to mentor new or struggling team members
- Consider a tuition reimbursement program as a part of your benefits package
When you choose to develop your team, you automatically increase morale and create feelings of teamwork and agency “buy-in”. A bonus? Your caregivers start to love their jobs more and your clients get even better care.
Next, home care agency owners who are successful at caregiver recruitment make the process as automated as possible. The more you can automate and streamline your recruitment efforts, the less you have to think (and stress) about it on a daily basis. You can start to automate your caregiver recruitment by:
- Setting up your email service to send out follow up emails to caregivers who have filled out applications online
- Setting up text message follow up to caregivers who applied online or who have expressed interest via social media
- Scheduling recurring social media posts and advertisements about caregiving positions available
- Developing your website to have answers to frequently asked application questions, as well as online application capabilities
- Developing your website to have a pop-up messaging for caregivers to ask questions or contact you via social media
With this base of automated practices, you can pour your energy into other types of in-person recruitment efforts. You’ll have the enthusiasm and bandwidth to participate in (and enjoy) job fairs, interviews, and agency open houses.
Retention Starts with Morale
Caregivers can find a new job any time they want, and most home care positions have a similar salary. Caregivers don’t leave because of their salary in most cases; they leave because they are unhappy or unmotivated. Your retention efforts begin with creating a work environment that inspires and encourages caregivers so they feel like a part of something important. You can improve retention by:
- Honoring a Caregiver of the Month at staff meetings and via social media
- Handing out surprise gift cards for a cup of coffee at home visits
- Handwriting birthday cards to caregivers
- Creating teams of caregivers who check in on and encourage one another
- Reviewing your benefits package to see if you can add any additional fun or useful perks, like a gym membership or daycare discounts
Now that you have the secrets to fostering successful caregiver recruitment, development, and retention, you can get started on implementing new practices in your agency. We can’t wait to hear what you come up with and about the positive changes you see.