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Home Care Overtime: Common Issues and Solutions

home care overtime

Overtime hours are necessary sometimes in order to give exceptional client care and to bridge the gap between your new hires starting on the schedule. However, if your home care overtime budget is steadily increasing each month, it’s time to reevaluate how your recruitment and scheduling strategies could be contributing to the problem. 

Here are a few of our expert tips for decreasing your overtime budget without compromising care.

Improve Retention

Home care overtime is a serious problem for many agencies. Increased turnover rates can quickly lead to more and more overtime for caregivers still available at the agency. In order to decrease your consistent overtime checks, you must commit to improving your retention rates. Developing a mentor program is an excellent start, as is improving your benefits package and creating a team atmosphere for your caregivers.

Improving retention takes time, but stay the course. This is the best way to keep your overtime budget low and your caregivers happy.

Boost Your Part-Time and PRN Rosters

Overtime happens when your agency cannot fill specific shifts and must turn to caregivers who are already working their 40 hours for the week. The easiest way to decrease home care overtime is to strengthen and expand your roster of part-time and PRN caregivers. These caregivers are available more often and can typically pick up shifts that are open due to vacation requests or to help with a new client.

You can improve your part-time and PRN roster by dedicating certain recruitment tasks to this specific need. Create new job postings for part-time and PRN staff for your social media feeds and website, resisting the urge to just lump it in with your calls for full-time staff. You can also develop a partnership with a local college or professional organization that can filter part-time and PRN staff to your agency.

Encourage Time Off

It might seem counterintuitive to encourage your caregivers to use their paid time off days when you are struggling with overtime, but refreshed caregivers are less likely to call in sick or miss a shift. Make sure your team knows you are dedicated to their mental health by encouraging them to take their paid time off days so they can strike a better work-life balance. Further, make sure you are not asking tired and worn out employees to pick up extra shifts; you should have a good enough relationship with your team to know when someone is working too hard or towards burn-out.

Consolidate Schedules

Finally, take a look at your current staff schedule and determine if there are any adjustments you can make to decrease the need for overtime. For example, can you schedule clients in neighborhood clusters so that a caregiver does not have to travel too far between their clients? Can you change shift times in order to be more efficient for the caregiver without compromising the care of the client? Get creative by first determining any challenges and then working to find a solution that doesn’t include hours of overtime.

You can beat your home care overtime problem by getting creative and by increasing your part-time and PRN staff rosters. Today is a great day to get started with your new strategies.


Article written by Haley Burress.

Hi, my name is Wendell Scott and I help Home Care Agencies who are experiencing high caregiver turnover rates, have trouble coordinating client care and feel frustrated with their team to easily increase efficiency and scale their Home Care business.

I’d like to share with you my free Caregiver Recruitment Engine framework. In it, are the tools to help you develop a system to easily attract & hire caregivers (aka a repeatable system for recruiting quality staff), so you can organize your process, reliably recruit staff and efficiently scale your home care team.

The end result: 

Hire caregivers.

Faster than ever. 



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