By Jill Scott
The trend is clear. The home care industry in America is officially experiencing a Caregiver Recruiting Crisis. According to all of the input we are receiving from our Home Care Field Trips, our Home Care Mastermind Groups, and from home care CEOs in our speeches and seminars around the country, everyone is facing a drastic shortage of caregivers.
“Every owner and CEO at the HCAOA Conference was talking about the problems in recruiting enough caregivers,” said Stephen Tweed, CEO of Leading Home Care.
“We’ve nearly doubled our business in the past 18 months, but we can’t keep growing at that rate if we can’t find more caregivers,” said Amy Ozimek, Executive Director of Independence At Home, the private pay unit of Hartford CT based Hartford Health.
“The biggest issue identified by our Area Representatives and franchisees is caregiver recruiting,” said Jake Brown, COO of Always Best Care Senior Services.
Immediately after he returned from the 2014 HCAOA convention in Kansas City, Stephen Tweed led us to launch the 2015 Home Care Recruiting Study to figure out what is working and what is not working in caregiver recruiting. That industry-wide survey gave us a very clear picture of which techniques are most effective in finding high quality applicants. We wrote a detailed research report, and that report is available to you FREE of charge compliments of our Resource Partner, HomeTrak. Download a Copy.
What’s Your Story?
While we learned a lot about the best places to run your recruiting ads, we also learned that the story you tell and the language you use is more critical than where you run the ads. We continue to study this issue and we’re learning that to attract high quality caregivers, you have to tell a story that resonates with them. For the best caregivers, it’s not about making money. It’s about making a difference. They want to know why you started your company. They want to know how your services make your client’s life better. They want to know why the should work with you. They want to know how working for you will make their life better.
Make Them Feel Valued
Other research from Leading Home Care shows that the number one factor in why caregivers stay with a company is appreciation and recognition. Number two is meaningful work.
Caregivers will stay with you when they feel that they are valued and appreciated, and that they are doing work that matters in the lives of their clients. It’s about creating a company culture where everyone in the organization puts caregivers first, clients second, and owners and profits at the bottom line last.
That sounds all warm and fuzzy, but the research we have done makes it pretty clear.
Bobby Herrera, CEO of a $200 million company called The Populus Group says, “A great culture attracts great people. Culture is to recruiting what service is to customers. Just as customers are attracted to uncommon service, amazing people are attracted to a great culture.”
Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks says, “Our Vision was a to create a ‘Third Place’ between home and work.
It’s about integrating the beverage with a sense of destination and a sense of community.” Schultz goes on to say, “Coffee is what we sell, but we’re in the people business. Our goal was to build a company that treats people with dignity and respect.”
Or to put in more bluntly, Herb Kelleher, Founder of Southwest Airlines says in his trademark salty language. “Culture matters. If you ain’t got culture, you ain’t got s***.” Kelleher says, “Treat your people well and they’ll treat you well.”
According to the 2015 Private Duty Benchmarking Report from Home Care Pulse, the greatest threat facing home care providers in the coming year is “Caregiver Shortages”. Nearly 63% of those who replied to the survey said finding enough caregivers is the biggest barrier to growing their business. This was followed a long way back in 2nd place where 29.6% said increasing competition was a major threat.
What are Other CEOs Saying?
To help solve the Caregiver Recruiting Crisis, we are planning a series of CEO Virtual Round Tables. These online conversations are designed to focus on innovative ideas to attract, select, and retain high quality caregivers. Stephen Tweed will be presenting key concepts from our research and from industry best practices. Then he’ll be interviewing home care CEOs and COOs with a proven track record in applying these ideas.
Our first Virtual CEO Round Table will be on Thursday, March 24, 2016 at 4:00 pm eastern time. Stephen’s special guest for that conversation will be Scott Spangler, former COO at Cypress Home Care Solutions in Phoenix AZ. Cypress is one of the largest private pay home care companies in the Valley of the Sun, and was host for our very first Private Duty Field Trip. Since then, we have worked closely with Cypress and Scott.
Since leaving Cypress in January of 2016, Scott has been focused on working with other home care companies to improve their internal operations. Part of that is creating a culture from the top down that values and appreciates caregivers. He then works with companies to help them tell their story in their recruiting ads.
On Thursday, March 24, 2016, Stephen Tweed and Scott Spangler will be talking about “What CEOs Need to Understand about Caregiver Recruiting.“
This 30 minutes web conference followed by Q&A will focus on how CEOs can send a message to their team members that will make recruiting, selection, and retention easier and more effective. There is no short term fix to the recruiting crisis. If you company is going to grow and prosper over the long haul, there are some principles about culture and people that you need to know and apply. Stephen and Scott will get you started on a path to create a company culture that values and appreciates loyal, dedicated caregivers.
Members of the Home Care CEO Forum (Formerly the Academy for Private Duty Home Care).
For non-members, you can register on a pay-per-view basis.
Join us for the Private Duty Field Trip to Cypress in Phoenix.
For those of you who want a more hands-on approach to learning how the big companies do it, join us in Phoenix, Arizona at April 13 and 14 for our next Private Duty Field Trip. Imagine what it could be like spending a full day inside one of the top tier home care companies in the country. Imagine what it could be like spending a full day with a CEO and office team who will describe exactly how they have grown their business. Imagine what it could be like spending the day with 11 other home care company owners and leaders talking about what works and what doesn’t for them.
There is no place else where you can experience this hands-on approach the learning what you need to know to grow your business to the top tier of home care.