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Yenta, the Matchmaker of Home Care

by Stephen Tweed

The other evening, Elizabeth and I joined two other couples at The Kentucky Center for the Arts for the Broadway show, Memphis.  It was a wonderful musical that had us swinging and swaying all evening.

Whenever I think about Broadway musical performances I always think back to one of my all time favorites, Fiddler on the Roof.  While Tevye, the father, is the main character in the show and his song “If I Were a Rich Man” is a classic, I always enjoyed the fun character Yenta, the matchmaker.  Yenta was the woman in the village who’s self proclaimed role was to match up the young women and young men for marriage.

If you think about it, Yenta the Matchmaker in your home care company is your scheduling coordinator.  This is the person who brings a unique set of talents to be able to match up your clients with just the right caregiver.  When you have a perfect match,  you have a satisfied caregiver, an enthusiastic client, and they both stay with you longer.

As my son, Jason, has said often, the chemistry between the client and the caregiver is the magic that makes for a highly successful home care experience.  When the client and the caregiver really care for each other, they are both having a life changing experience and they both want it to continue.

I’m working on the content for our next live web conference on recruiting and selecting a Scheduling Coordinator, so I’ve been doing some telephone interviews with some of my clients in the industry to get their ideas.  I always begin this topic with a quote from our long time friend and valuable resource, Rick Morey, CEO of Home Trak, the software company.  Several years ago we were doing a teleseminar with Rick as our special guest.  I always remember him saying about scheduling coordinators, “The most important characteristic is that they must be ‘charming’, and you can’t teach charm.”

That goes along with our idea that we “hire for attitude and train for skills.”  That’s especially true for the job of scheduling coordinator.  This week, I spoke with Bridget Wempe, the COO at ElderCare 4 Families here in Louisville.  Bridget says there are three things she looks for in a scheduling coordinator:

  1. Attention to Detail
  2. Customer Service Skills
  3. Their matching process.

Then I spoke with Scott Spangler, COO at Cypress Home Care Solutions in Phoenix, AZ.  Scott said there are four things he looks for:

  1. Attitude – “I want a positive, can-do, solutions oriented person.”
  2. Helpful person – “I want someone who really wants to help others be better.”
  3. Computer Skills – “They need to be able to run our scheduling software.”
  4. Punctuality – “The person needs to understand that this is an 8:00 – 5:00 job and they need to be here on time every time.” 

Scott made one more very important point.  He said, “You have to begin your interview on the telephone. If the person cannot communicate well on the telephone, then don’t even bother with a face-to-face interview.  Too many people rely on the face-to-face interview and don’t spend enough time with the candidates on the telephone.” 

(You can can meet Bridget Wempe or Scott Spangler if you attend one of our Private Duty Field Trips, either in Louisville, KY or Pheonix, AZ.)

If you would like to know more about recruiting, selecting, training, and retaining a high performance scheduling coordinator, join us for our next live web conference“Hiring a Scheduling Coordinator” on Thursday, April 11, 2013 at 4:00 pm eastern time brought to you by Caregiver Quality Assurance. 

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