Caregivers rarely – if ever – apply to only one job opening. While recruiting to hire CNAs and caregivers, are you selling your office to them as the best place in the region to work? And does that question even matter?
I got my start with Strategic Healthcare Solutions as a recruiter, and now as the Business Development Manager, I have helped numerous homecare offices develop customized recruitment options to boost their workforce, and grow their business.
In the home care industry, we all know the importance of effective caregiver recruiting. Having the right caregivers on your team strengthens relationships with clients, earns referrals, and makes managing the office more enjoyable. Caregivers who apply are competing to display to office recruiters that they are the best option to bring aboard: their reliability, experience, and warm hearts - but what is your office displaying back them during the process?
Caregivers’ Top Priorities
One of the simplest but most critical areas of caregivers recruiting is response time. It seems so obvious, but if your office is not responding to candidates quickly (we say 1 business day) someone else will. There are always multiple offices recruiting in every region, in addition to other industries, so you want to position yourself to be the first one starting a conversation with an applicant. If your team is unable to contact applicants in a timely and consistent manner, be assured there are wonderful caregivers slipping through the cracks to other offices, and other areas of work.
Pay and benefits: if you pay well, advertise it in the listing. If you have great benefits and perks, make sure the applicants know that early in the process, so they are excited to join your team. We want them focused on your office and the opportunities that you have to offer so they will be undeterred by other offers that arise during the hiring process.
You want to hire the caregivers with the best hearts and attitudes for this challenging line of work, right? Make that a selling point of your business to applicants. Caregivers who DO have the passion you are looking for often feel burned out and underappreciated. Wearing your heart for clients on your sleeve will let those top tier caregivers know how valued they will be when they join you.
Another factor that will push applicants away or pull them in is your recruiter’s attitude. We certainly know how deflating and challenging caregiver recruiting can be, it’s all we do! All the same, it is essential to posture yourself towards each caregiver as though they are the high quality, loyal, friendly caregiver you want to be brought on board. Your recruiter’s positive and friendly demeanor in each interaction will advertise to that premier applicant that you care about them, want them on your team, and will treat them well.
Aligning Your Process to the Caregiver
We like to say that it’s not the applicant’s job to make sure you are able to hire them. Take time to assess your hiring process from the point of view of the caregivers applying. If you know many are falling off at the same point in the process, ask yourself what would cause that consistent issue. Here are a few key sticking points that we see often.
Interview windows should be frequent, broad, and flexible. When scheduling an interview, being able to accommodate the applicant’s schedule will reduce attrition and boost your applicant pool. It’s a challenge to prioritize every single interview, but it signals all the right things to a good applicant when they realize you are willing to accommodate their needs to ensure you get them in the door. One great way to accomplish this is to set a few large blocks of time each week that are dedicated primarily to new-hire interviews. Another option is to identify and train a few interviewers in your office staff and alternate their windows of interviewing time so that you can accommodate almost any appointment that works for an applicant. The key here is adjusting your schedule to fit them, rather than expecting them to move things around to fit a narrow window that you are willing to interview them in.
This leads to the next point, which is: Get the applicants in the door ASAP. The sooner you have them in person (or on a video call for those reading this during the current Global Pandemic) the better chance you have of retaining them in the recruiting pipeline. An applicant who makes real contact sees faces and knows they are being seriously considered will be confident prioritizing your job opportunity over other businesses where they have co-applied. It is critical to be the first one to contact them and to get them in the door as soon as possible.
Lastly and most significantly, make sure your process is designed to respect the applicant. Once they know they have your respect and that you value them, you have begun the process of building a relationship that will grow into loyalty, hard work, and better care for your clients. The first step is being available for their interview and giving them your full attention. Rescheduled interviews have abysmal show up rates, and why wouldn’t they? That caregiver who has a warm heart and loves caring for the needy wants to find a business where those qualities are valued and sought after. Once they have been rescheduled, or worse yet showed up and asked to come back another time for an interview, it signals all the wrong things to them, and they are likely to look elsewhere. You are trying to hire the best CNAs and caregivers, so make sure they know your business is the place they will be respected.
Give Yourself the Chance to Be Selective
As a business owner, you know the frustration of turning away business because you cannot hire the CNAs to staff it quickly enough. You have likely dealt with frustrating caregivers and innumerable issues in your recruiting process. You have probably found yourself recruiting from a place of desperation. Consider your process from the perspective of an applicant to make sure you are retaining as many high-quality people as possible, and thereby grow your pool of high-quality caregivers and CNAs walking in the door. Once you grow the number of caregivers who are applied, interviewed, and willing to work for you – you have earned the right to finally be selective about who you choose to send out as a representative of your office into your clients’ homes.
If you are struggling to process your applicants in a timely and consistent manner, we can help! We will assign you a personal recruiter to handle your recruiting process and get qualified CNAs and caregivers walking into your office ready to interview. We value your time and have a passion for finding high-quality caregivers and CNAs, which is why we only charge for successful interviews, not booked interviews.