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Conquering the Crisis: The Latest Lessons in Caregiver Recruiting and Retention

By Stephen Tweed 

It’s been five years since my latest book, Conquering the Crisis: Proven Solutions for Caregiver Recruiting and Retention came out. Back in 2017, we recognized that the shortage of caregivers in home care was going to be a major issue. We coined the term, “The Caregiver Recruiting and Retention Crisis.”

Since then. the caregiver crisis has become the number one burning issue for home care company owners and CEOs. We spent two years conducting research and seeking solutions to help our Home Care CEO Mastermind Group Members figure out how to find and keep caregivers. We formed a Caregiver Quality Assurance Mastermind Group, and we had the members test out the lessons we were learning from our research.  We gathered data to better understand what was working and what wasn’t.

I’m speaking later this week at a national home care conference on “Conquering the Crisis: The Latest Lessons in Caregiver Recruiting and Retention.”

Here are the Seven Lessons I’ll be discussing with these home care company owners:

1. Build a Better Company Culture – Your company culture forms the base for building a great place to work.  The leading companies in our industry have worked for years crafting a culture that is attractive to high quality caregivers.

2. Define Your Best Caregivers – If you don’t know what you are looking for, you’ll never be able to find it. Only when you know what our best caregivers look like will you be able to craft a recruiting strategy that is targeted at finding other caregivers who are like your very best.

3. Attract Better Applicants.  There is general consensus among leaders in home care that the quality of applicants for caregiver jobs has declined dramatically in the past five years.  If you want to grow your business, you need to apply the for finding and attracting better applicants.  And we have learned that better applicants are not on looking for work.

4. Shorten Your Speed-to-Hire.  Caregivers who are looking for work need work and pay right now.  The companies that have had the most success improving recruiting have focused on reducing the time it takes from when the applicant pushes the submit button on their application until then are “shift ready” to work. 

5 Increase your 90-Day Retention. We learned from Home Care Pulse that 57% of turnover happens in the first 90-days.  We conducted a major project to understand 90-day turnover and identified the Three Big Causes.  Only when you minimize these three big causes can you improve 90-day retention.

6. Reward What Matters.  The behavior that gets rewarded gets repeated.  The leading home care companies are finding ways to measure performance and put in place reward systems that reward the behavior they want repeated. If you want caregivers to stay with you for a year, three years, five years, you need to find innovative ways to reward longevity.

7. Track Your Data and Refine Your Systems. Home care recruiting and retention is a moving target. What worked five years ago may not work today.  To understand that, every home care company needs to have systems in place to capture data, calculate information, and turn knowledge into strategic decisions to improve recruiting and retention processes.  One of the major trends in our industry today and going forward is “Data Oriented Decision Making.”

There are no silver bullets to solving the crisis. But the leading home care companies in our industry that have been successful improving their recruiting and retention are doing these things.

If your home home care company or association is having a conference and would like an in-person or virtual presentation on the latest lessons in caregiver recruiting and retention,  give me a call.  You can reach me at or at 502-339-0653


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