Caregivers hired through agencies tend to be vetted more thoroughly and often have emergency coverage in the event of sick days or vacations. They also have a better chance of finding work quickly.
It’s important to always be recruiting and managing candidates as if they are in a sales pipeline. Here are nine tips to help caregiver agency hiring
1. Have a clear job description.
A caregiver job description is a document that outlines the responsibilities of professionals that provide in-home care and support for individuals who are physically or emotionally challenged. Caregivers may be hired to help with tasks such as bathing, preparing meals and running errands, or they may also assist with more complex care needs, including helping individuals take medications or remember their healthcare appointments.
Caregivers typically work for home health care or private caregiving agencies, but they can also be self-employed independent contractors that are hired by a family to assist their loved one. In addition to state-specific training requirements, a clear and accurate Caregiver job description can help you attract the best applicants. It’s also important to consider how each family’s individual needs differ from one another.
2. Have a screening process.
Many home care agencies will use a specific protocol to assess caregivers. This will include a thorough background check, detailed inquiry of references, and multiple phone or in person interviews. Some agencies may also utilize tests to ensure the caregiver has certain competencies.
When potential caregivers see an agency job posting, they will get a first impression of the company. A well-written listing will quickly weed out unqualified applicants and convey the agency’s values. Agencies can also set themselves apart from the competition by making applying to a position easy, ideally through a one-click process on the agency careers page. Caregivers are more likely to complete the hiring process and be hired when they experience a streamlined but thorough process from start to finish.
3. Have a pre-screening process.
Agencies conduct background checks, reference interviews, and physical exams as part of their caregiver screening process. They also make sure that all relevant certifications are current and valid.
Caregivers typically have a healthcare or nursing background and have previous experience working in home care or another healthcare setting. Agencies screen applicants for their medical knowledge and skills using assessments that include multiple-choice questions and Likert scale agreement on specific dimensions.
Because caregivers are likely to work in private homes, agencies perform a national criminal records check as well as a check on federal exclusion lists, abuse and neglect registry checks, and other types of searches that might not be available in all states. Many agencies also require a TB test because seniors are vulnerable to tuberculosis.
4. Have a post-screening process.
When hiring caregivers, agencies often have a lengthy process to vet applicants. A thorough process allows the agency to find the best candidates and build a solid team that will provide exceptional service to seniors.
Agencies should also ensure they have a post-screening process in place. This includes a detailed job description that reflects precisely what the agency is looking for from caregivers. Agencies that don’t have a clear screening process run the risk of panic hiring which can lead to a bad experience for both the senior and the caregiver.
Agencies should also have a referral program in place to maximize the number of caregivers they can hire. Referred caregivers are typically less expensive to hire and tend to stay longer than non-referred employees.
5. Have a follow-up process.
Many clients have found that it is difficult or impossible to get ahold of a representative from the agency when they need to discuss a caregiver issue, billing issues or schedule changes. Often, they have to jump through hoops or work their way up a long chain of command to get the answers that they need.
Many home care agencies will conduct multiple phone interviews and in-person interviews before hiring a caregiver. They will also have their recruiters call previous employers to verify job-related references. They may even make sure that a caregiver is not listed on any federal exclusion lists before offering employment. They will also typically have their supervisors attend demonstration shifts to provide feedback and assess a caregiver’s performance. This will help the agency better match caregivers to their clients.