Updated: Aug 21
If you own a home health agency, your recruiting staff are some of the most important staff that you have. Your ability to recruit and retain high-quality CNAs, HHAs, and caregivers will make or break your company. Since our company specializes in caregiver recruiting, I spend the majority of my time managing a team of recruiters who work for our clients across the country. We’ve learned a lot about how to find, train, and manage caregiver recruiters.
We’d like to share some of that knowledge with you today. If you have a full recruiting team but are still struggling, our consulting program can help you manage your team and perfect your process.
The first thing you can do as a business owner is to have realistic expectations for your caregiver recruiting team. Your recruiters cannot produce caregivers out of thin air. They also cannot turn every applicant or lead into a successful interview. I wish that was how it works- our job would be a lot easier! The truth is that caregiver recruiting takes a lot of time and investment throughout the year to produce results. There will be many caregivers who apply and don’t ever respond. Others won’t be qualified. And, of course, some who are scheduled will not show up. That’s not your recruiters' fault, it’s the nature of the market. You should be tracking these conversion numbers and looking for improvement- not perfection.
If you’re expecting too much of your team and not giving them the resources they need, they will inevitably burn out. Your goal is to give them everything they need for success. That means they have enough applicants, enough time to handle them all, and enough training to handle them well. As an owner or leader, you should be monitoring the incoming applicant pool and proactively investing to get enough applicants. Every recruiter can get enough caregivers if they have enough applicants. You need to figure out what “enough” is for your business. If you know your recruiting metrics, you can work backward to find out how many applicants your business needs to get a new hire. This will also need adjusting throughout the year, so keep an eye on it!
Setting the Tone
One area a lot of agencies fall short starts with the culture and tone that they set for caregiver recruiting. You may be accidentally reinforcing the belief that CNA recruiting in your market is impossible. If your recruiter believes their job is impossible from the get-go, they will either burn out or give up. Staff members who are extremely driven and motivated to succeed will become defeated and burdened in a job where success is impossible. This is poison to your company culture! And, in any of these scenarios, you’ll be paying someone who isn’t delivering the best work.
Some examples of bad tone-setting:
“Caregivers don’t want to work in our area”
“They’re probably just using our interview invite to stay on unemployment”
“They probably aren’t going to show up anyways.”
Instead, you can use your messaging to build up your recruiting team. Your team should feel empowered to try new things, solve old problems, and treat caregivers well. The optimism in your recruiting team will carry over to how they speak with potential caregivers. This is key since a positive impression of the initial recruiters makes a big difference in whether or not caregivers complete the hiring process with your company.
Some examples of good tone-setting:
“Caregivers are doing their best to provide for themselves and their families. We need to respect their time and needs.”
“CNA recruiting is a big challenge, but we can succeed if we keep trying new things to find what works”
“I’m open to new ideas- what do you think would make caregivers want to work for us?”
Monitoring the Right Things
Another way to burn out good recruiters is to evaluate their performance based on things that are out of their control. This means you should not be evaluating them just on the number of hires they get. That is just one data point and it is not entirely in their control.
So what is in their control? Let’s take a look at some of the areas where you can really hold a recruiter accountable and give them achievable goals. Zero in on how quickly they respond to applicants, how professional they are on the phone, and how well they follow up with old leads. There is no perfect way to measure these things without micromanaging, but their diligence will show up in a few different data points:
Conversion of applicants to scheduled interviews: This gives you a good idea of how well your recruiter is keeping up with incoming applicants. You are investing in attracting applicants and then entrusting them to your recruiter. If you monitor this metric over time, particularly through changes in recruiters, you can set a good target for your market.
Interviews scheduled per hour: This will only work if you have a large enough applicant pool to have a recruiter dedicated to processing and scheduling applicants, or if you can separate out the hours they spend on other duties. If you can isolate this metric, it’s a great way to see how efficient your recruiter is. It will also help you budget accordingly and set realistic staffing goals for your recruiting needs.
At the end of the day, recruiting caregivers, CNAs, and HHAs is an incredibly unique challenge in every market. There’s no way around that. But, it is not impossible! If you are not getting the caregivers you need, something in your process is broken.
If you’re not sure what’s broken, give us a call. We offer cost-efficient consulting as well as full-service caregiver recruiting. You can happily outsource your recruiting to needs to us and focus on growing your business. Our goal is that no agency turns away hours because they don’t have the staff to cover them!