Private Duty

Consider these 4 tips to bolster your agency’s caregiver recruitment efforts

Turnover for private duty caregivers is an ongoing challenge in the industry, and it’s only getting worse.

In 2018 the turnover rate increased to 81.6%, according to the spring edition of the 2019 Home Care Benchmarking Study by Home Care Pulse of Rexburg, Idaho. That’s up from 66.7% in 2017.

Consider the following tips to help address turnover at your own agency:

  1. Focus on compelling job post headlines. A powerful headline can be the difference between a job candidate scrolling past your agency’s post and following through to submit an application. Make sure your headline looks different than the rest, says Leigh Davis, owner/partner for consulting firm Davis+Delany and president of ELDirect In-Home Elderly Care, both in Fayetteville, Ark. Dress it up by using dots, dashes and exclamation points.

Reference a major pain point, such as flexibility, in your headline. An ad headline that receives strong response for Davis’ agency is “Are you a home health aide looking for flexible hours?”

It asks a question, it makes the post about the applicant as opposed to the agency and it appeals to a major pain point for caregivers.

When crafting a headline, it’s also a good idea to include the name of the city from which you want to draw caregivers, he says. That appeals to caregivers personally and gives your agency a search word boost.

For instance, the headline would read: “[City name] caregivers, are you interested in flexible hours?”

  1. Hold a focus group with your staff to get their take. Ginny Kenyon principal of Seattle-based Kenyon Home Care Consulting, suggests in-person interviews with top staff to get a better idea of what keeps those stand-out staffers. Use what you learn in crafting job posts to put your agency’s best foot forward with potential hires.
  2. Include tidbits on your agency’s story. Answer the question, ‘Why keep getting up every day to do this job?” That’s your story, and a piece of it should be in the body of your job posts, Davis says.

Applicants want to feel like they will work for someone they know and trust as opposed working within a corporate structure, Davis says. Build connection within the body of your job post.

Once you’re on the phone with an applicant, similar scripting should follow the ad’s theme. Talk more about that story and sink that emotional hook deeper, Davis says.

Agencies that form a deeper bond with staff might have greater success in retaining those employees down the line, Davis says.

  1. Spend more time on the phone with applicants. Train staff to ask how applicants are doing or where they are from to establish a relationship on the phone.

“It may add 30 to 40 minutes per week on calls, but the upside is much bigger than that,” Davis says. — Kirsten Dize (kdize@decisionhealth.com)