Private Duty

Spice up recruitment efforts to compete with expected growth in personal care aide jobs

Projections show the occupations of home health aide and personal care aide will grow exponentially by 2026. As a result, agencies should take recruitment efforts up a notch in order to attract the best candidates amid an avalanche of similar job openings.

By making small improvements in recruitment efforts — including to job post headlines — one California-based home care agency was able to increase the number of applicants from nine to at least 20 within two weeks, says Leigh Davis, owner/partner for consulting firm Davis+Delany and president of ELDirect In-Home Elderly Care, both in Fayetteville, Ark.

Home health aide and personal care aide are projected to be among the five fastest growing occupations between 2016 and 2026, according to the latest industry employment projections from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released in April 2019. The latest estimates project 47% growth for home health aides an 39% growth for personal care aides.

The projection comes as no surprise to industry experts.

Leverage job flexibility in your efforts

Understanding what caregivers want and what your agency can do for them is one of the best ways to double down on your recruitment efforts, Davis says. “The ads that get the most attention are the ones that talk about how we can benefit them. Period,” Davis says. And what Davis finds caregivers truly value is the flexibility the job offers. Flexibility is especially attractive to millennials who are more of a “lifestyle generation,” Davis says.

Ginny Kenyon principal of Seattle-based Kenyon Home Care Consulting, also has found flexibility to be most valued among caregivers. In fact, when she interviewed staff about what they appreciated most, flexibility topped the list. “The ability to set their own schedule was huge, I didn’t realize how big a deal that was,” Kenyon says.

The flexible schedule afforded to caregivers became a central point in job posts for Davis and Kenyon. — Kirsten Dize (kdize@decisionhealth.com)