One of the biggest challenges facing homecare is retaining good workers. With an industry turnover of over 50%, retaining caregivers is a critical issue with real dollars tied to it. A recent study, Q1 2014 Caregiver Trend Report, analyzed the key drivers of thousands of professional caregivers, nurse aides, and home health aides to get under the hood to better understand how companies and their families can better hire and retain this workforce. With 20% of the workforce coming from retail and 15% from fast food, here are a few tips to consider when building your 2014 retention plans.
Understand Your Employees’ Plan B
The biggest factor in a caregiver determining whether or not to stay on with a company is stability, which includes predictable pay, hours, etc. And if a caregiver can't get the hours they want in 2014 in homecare, here's their plan:
- 39% will seek multiple part-time jobs in caregiving
- 38% will seek work at a hospital, assisted living community, or a long term care facility
- 14% will seek multiple part-time jobs outside of caregiving
- 9% will week work full-time outside of caregiving
Tip: So, what can you do when you may only be able to offer part time hours or even per diem cases? Make friends with your competitors. Consider sharing your talent so you don't lose them to fast food or retail where it's easier to get the hours they need to pay their bills. Further, pay close attention to telling your caregivers how much you value them (if it's true). The more a caregiver feels valued by a company, the more stable they report feeling.
Don’t Be the Best Kept Secret in Town
Caregivers don't know that you offer an incredible work experience until they hear it from their friends, see it online, or read it in a local paper. It’s possible that you have the lowest turnover in town and you offer high quality paid caregiver training, but if your brand isn’t being advertised, you might be the best kept secret in town.
Tip: Utilize social media to discuss how great it is to work for your agency and encourage your caregivers to share their stories and positive opinions (you may want to offer an incentive to do so). Apply for any “best place to work” awards, host career fairs on location, and spend time promoting your employment brand, just as you do your client-facing brand! Here's an example of a best place to work program: Caregiver Choice Awards.
Email is Great and Impersonal
It’s much more convenient and efficient to send an email, right? But, you may be driving away potential hires that report preference of a phone call to schedule an interview. The personal connection a caregiver feels with the person doing your recruiting is critical (and you'll get more caregivers to show-up for the interview).
Tip: First call to schedule an interview; email second.
Commute time, Commute time, Commute time!
The length of time it takes a caregiver to commute to your job is one of the biggest factors in a caregiver deciding to apply to your job, respond to your message, or attend the interview.
Tip: Whenever you post a job, include multiple hyper-local cities and towns to make it known that you have openings near the caregiver’s home. When you're leaving a voice message inviting a caregiver for an interview, mention that you have shifts near their house
Brag About Your Career Development Opportunities
According to our research, 85% of caregivers state that they are eager for more paid training opportunities and 71% say they need to be learning in order to stay on board with a company.
Tip: If your agency has training opportunities available, shout it from the rooftops! Promote those opportunities whenever possible (in job posts, on social media, within your company communications, etc.).
Interested in learning a few more tips for hiring and retaining caregivers in homecare jobs this year? Check out the a full white paper here: 10 Research-Based Tips to Hire & Retain Caregivers in 2014.