How to Recruit Caregivers: Staffing & Retention for Agencies

How to Recruit Caregivers: Staffing & Retention for Agencies

September 6, 2022 By Rob Cantrell
Categories: Blog

For modern senior care providers, there’s no bigger challenge than caregiver recruitment and retention. Over the past decade, the supply of qualified caregivers has failed to keep pace with demand for in-home care services. This has resulted in staffing shortages within the industry and increased pressure on employers.

At Senior Helpers® we’ve identified staffing as one of the most pressing needs for our home care franchises. In response, we’ve developed candidate referral programs, a dedicated recruiting platform, and a series of best practices to keep our franchises ahead of the competition.

Thanks to these efforts, Senior Helpers franchises have a proven system for hiring, onboarding, and retaining talented caregivers. This helps our franchises reduce HR costs, minimize worker turnover, and deliver higher quality care.

Below, you’ll find proven strategies for how to recruit and retain caregivers, including how to:

  • Plan a hiring and onboarding funnel
  • Choose the right channels for recruitment
  • Stand out to qualified candidates
  • Screen and interview caregivers
  • Retain talented team members

1. Plan Your Hiring & Onboarding Funnel

In the same way you’d use a funnel to acquire new clients, a well-structured funnel will help you find and recruit talented caregivers.

How you structure your funnel will depend on a number of factors. These factors include local hiring conditions, strategies used by competitors, and the model you plan to use for your workforce.

When planning your funnel, consider key questions, such as:

  • How to make your postings visible to the most qualified candidates
  • How to make your company the most attractive option for local caregivers
  • How to screen, interview, train, and place applicants in the most effective manner

2. Choose Your Recruiting Channels

At the top of your recruiting funnel are the sources you’ll use to attract applicants. Some of the most popular channels for recruiting caregivers include:

  • Job Posting Websites
  • Social Media
  • Print Media
  • Hiring Fairs
  • Referral Networks
  • Staffing Agencies
  • Employee Referral Programs
  • Word of Mouth

Today, most home care companies rely heavily on online sources for recruitment, such as job boards, social media networks, or paid referrals. Companies with strong workplace cultures have also found success with incentive programs for employee referrals.

3. Stand Out to Local Candidates

As an agency owner, it’s obvious to you why someone would want to work for your company. But the advantages of working for your business might not be so obvious to applicants. To attract the best candidates, you’ll need to clearly stand out.

The most important step you can take is to include clear and detailed information in your job posts. The more detailed you can be, the clearer the advantages will be to applicants.

  • Clearly list the types of tasks that caregivers will be expected to perform.
  • Include detailed information about the location of jobs and travel responsibilities.
  • Explain how scheduling works and what kinds of flexible schedules are available.
  • Be as forthcoming as possible about the compensation caregivers can expect.
  • Offer clear details about the training and support you provide in the first 60 to 90 days.

In addition to these details, provide candidates with a clear sense of your company’s mission, your workplace culture, and how new workers will fit into your organization.

4. Identify the Right Applicants

Attracting quality candidates is only one part of the hiring process. As an agency, you need systems in place to effectively screen, interview, and choose the right people for your business.

Screening is a critical step in the senior care sector. Every company should have clear practices in place for how they screen candidates. A strong screening process will include contacting past employers, performing a detailed background check, and confirming a candidate’s qualifications.

For interviewing, avoid relying on generic questions that could apply to any position. Ask hypothetical questions about caregiving scenarios that require clear and detailed answers. For example:

  • How would you respond to a client who refuses your help with eating, dressing, showering, or a similar activity? 
  • How would you respond if a client became rude or hostile during a care visit?
  • What are three qualities that make you a great caregiver? What are some examples of how you’ve displayed these qualities in the past?
  • What qualities would you like to improve to make yourself a better caregiver? How would you work on these qualities if hired?

At the same time, you should be ready to answer candidates’ questions and give detailed information about the role and your company. Take time to think through what kinds of questions applicants might have and plan your responses.

5. Make Your Agency a Great Place to Work

As a care agency, you don’t simply want to recruit great caregivers — you also want to retain them. Low turnover rates will help reduce your human resources costs in the long-term. It also allows you to deliver higher-quality care by retaining and developing talented workers.

Below are the five most important areas for retaining care providers:

  • Competitive Pay. Paying caregivers at an above-market rate is the number one way to find, hire, and retain high-quality caregiving staff.
  • Scheduling Flexibility. The more flexibility you offer to caregivers, the more attractive your jobs will be to applicants who need to balance their careers against other commitments.
  • Advancement Opportunities. Giving your staff a clear path to skilled positions and increased pay will help you retain and motivate your best workers.
  • Training & Support. Make sure your caregivers get the training they need to succeed as new hires, and the ongoing support they need to deliver high-quality care month after month.
  • Workplace Culture. Find ways to make your workers feel supported, appreciated, and part of a larger team. (This is one area where many agencies struggle, since workers spend most of their work hours at clients’ homes.)

Senior Helpers’ Approach to Recruiting Caregivers

With more than two decades of experience in the senior care industry, Senior Helpers knows how important staffing is for care agencies. In recent years, the caregiver shortage has also made recruitment one of the most challenging parts of running a home care business.

That’s why we’ve made caregiver recruiting and retention a focus of our franchise model. Our owners enjoy a number of advantages for hiring, onboarding, and retaining workers, including:

  • Great Place to Work® Certified. Senior Helpers is the only national home care brand to be Great Place to Work® Certified since 2017. This helps Senior Helpers attract the most qualified candidates in a competitive market.
  • Caregiver Staffing Referrals. Our national partners provide Senior Helpers locations with qualified applicants for caregiver job openings. Each franchise receives 25 referrals per month, and additional referrals can be purchased at a deeply discounted rate.
  • Hiring & Onboarding Systems. Senior Helpers provides franchises with a wealth of training and materials for hiring and onboarding. We also offer an online platform that is specifically designed for screening, interviewing, and hiring caregivers.
  • Caregiver Training & Education. Owners, management, and caregivers at Senior Helpers locations have access to a wealth of training and education materials. Our training programs offer a path to career advancement for caregivers. At the same time, they give our locations a way to train skilled caregivers in-house.

These advantages help our owners manage one of the most challenging aspects of running a home care agency. We provide franchise owners with the tools, systems, and strategies they need to attract — and retain — high-quality caregivers. That way, they can deliver higher quality care, minimize worker turnover, and focus on serving their clients.

Discover the advantages of a Senior Helpers franchise, including our support with caregiver recruitment! Contact us today or book a one-on-one call for franchise details.