By Stephen Tweed
All the signs are clear.
The single biggest barrier to growing your business in 2015 will be recruiting caregivers.
The first sign came early in the year with the release of the 2014 Private Duty Benchmarking Study from Home Care Pulse. The number one concern of company owners for the coming year was recruiting caregivers.
Then as we moved through the summer of 2014, we heard participants at our Private Duty Field Trips and Private Duty Marketing Master Class talking about the trouble they are having finding caregivers.
And the third sign -remember me talking about the Rule of Threes? The third sign is the conversation in the breakout sessions and the hallways at the HCAOA annual Leadership Conference in Kansas City this week.
To begin with, the opening keynote presentation by my friend and professional speaking colleague Donald Cooper from Toronto was called “Winning the Talent Wars.” Donald talked about the critical nature of finding and keeping top talent in growing your business.
In our pre-conference workshops on the Affordable Care Act Employer Mandate and the elimination of the federal overtime exemption, home care company owners and CEOs talked about the problems they face in finding new people to grow, plus the numbers of new caregivers they will need because their current caregivers will be limited to 40 hours.
Then there’s a brand new twist. The US Department of Labor is requiring you to pay travel time of a caregiver works for two clients in the same day regardless of the amount of time between shifts. If this travel time pay takes them over 40 hours you must pay overtime, and it will be difficult to charge that time and a half to any one client. Go figure that one out.
(More on the travel time requirement in our next article.)
What’s Working in Recruiting?
We have some data about what has worked for other companies in recruiting new caregivers.
In the 2014 Private Duty Benchmarking Study, we learned that the most frequently used recruiting techniques are:
2 Employee Referrals
3 Your Web Site
4 Word of Mouth
5 Daily Newspaper Classified Ads
7. Career Builder
8. Community events and job fairs
9. Referral Sources
However, this survey asked about which techniques companies are using. It does not dig deeply into which techniques are most effective for finding high quality caregivers.
Back in early 2008 when recruiting was a huge issue – before the economic crash – we did a survey of our readers and the members of our Caregiver Quality Assurance program. We asked which techniques agencies were using, which techniques were most effective for getting high quantity of applicants, and which techniques were most effective for getting high quality applicants.
1. Four Year Scho0ls of Nursing
2. Faith Based Recruiting
3 .Employee Referral Program
4. CNA Training Program
5. Staffing Agency
6. Networking in the community
7. Clients and Family
9. Direct Mail
What we have learned by studying the results of these two studies is that the best quality caregivers are not found using newspaper ads, Craigslist, and other mass market communication vehicles. The best caregivers come from developing personal relationships with referral sources, such as nursing schools, places of worship, and current employees.
We also know that the very best caregivers are already happily working for someone else. If you want to hire them, you will have to attract them away by convincing them that your company is a better place to work than their current company.
We Need to Update that Study
To get a clear picture of the most effective techniques for recruiting high quality caregivers, we need your help. We have updated the questions from our 2008 survey to include internet and technology techniques.
Please pass this article on to your HR Director and \ or your recruiter. Ask them to look at their statistics for recruiting caregivers so far in 2014. Then take ten minutes to complete the survey. We will compile this valuable information and prepare an executive summary of the report. If you give us your data, we’ll give you a free copy of the executive summary.