The demand for home care services is on the rise, but lack of job seeker interest in home care careers is presenting hiring challenges for agencies in the industry. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the caregiver shortage could lead to 7.8 million unfilled jobs by 2026.
Not only is it difficult to attract and hire qualified caregivers, but many employees who already work in the industry aren’t necessarily interested in long-term caregiver careers. In fact, 65 percent of caregivers are always looking for a better job, while 97 percent would be open to a new job opportunity at any given time.
If you don’t have enough qualified caregivers on staff, patient care and overall productivity will decline. How can your home care agency keep caregivers engaged once you have them on board? We’ve outlined several tips below.
Streamline Your Scheduling Process
Hireology recently announced partnerships with ClearCare and AxisCare, enabling home care agencies to more seamlessly attract, hire and manage employees. Through these partnerships, platform, home care agencies can streamline scheduling and fill open shifts in minutes, among other capabilities.
ClearCare data found that scheduling software can help decrease caregiver scheduling time by up to 80 percent. In addition to saving your home care agency time and reducing errors, tapping into streamlined scheduling can also help keep caregivers engaged and excited to work for your agency.
Many caregivers rely on regular shifts as their primary source of income. If your caregivers end up waiting around for shifts to manually get scheduled – and miss out on potential shifts as a result of the long process – they’re likely to get frustrated end up seeking work elsewhere. But more streamlined scheduling enables caregivers to stay engaged and manage their own time – and accept shifts as they open up.
Beyond shift flexibility, improved scheduling can help caregivers cut back on administrative tasks, helping them stay focused on offering top-notch client care. For example, without scheduling software, many caregivers either have to phone the home care agency or manually write down shifts to log their time. With integrated time logs, caregivers can dedicate time back to caring for clients – and your team can reduce errors when it comes time to pay caregivers. Ultimately, more efficient scheduling can improve your agency’s ratings with both satisfied caregivers and clients.
Develop Defined Career Paths
Streamlined employee scheduling is only one way to keep your caregivers engaged. It’s also important to show caregivers you’re invested in their long-term careers.
Many job seekers both inside and outside the home care industry have the misconception that home care agencies don’t offer much when it comes to career paths. And today’s job seekers aren’t simply interested in an exchange of time for money. Rather, they’re motivated by career growth and success.
To excite top talent about joining your team and keep your current employees engaged, it’s critical to have defined career paths. These can be outlined on your career site and discussed with employees on a regular basis during check ins, performance reviews or training sessions.
Your team might offer career progression from homemakers to personal care homemaker to home health aides. Or on the HR side, the career path might range from recruiter to hiring manager. Highlight all possible paths on your career site and in employee-facing materials to help prospective applicants and your employees understand the long-term career growth potential on your team.
Offer Employee Training
Once you have outlined career paths in place, your team needs to set employees up for success with the right training resources. While you can set up occasional lunch and learns or give each employee a set budget to pursue training on their own, some home care businesses have their own structured training programs in place.
Employees at Senior Helpers can participate in the Senior Helpers University program, which includes courses focused on how to be better caregivers. Based on certification through these training courses, employees have opportunities to increase their salaries. And BrightStar Care offers bootcamps for high-level roles like brand manager and director of nursing. BrightStar Care also hosts two annual conferences, one of which is geared toward franchise owners and the other focused on individual location staff. The conferences help employees connect with one another and learn the latest industry best practices.
In today’s competitive hiring market, it can be much easier and cost-effective to keep qualified employees on staff, rather than hiring new caregivers. But it’s also important to kick off this engagement with candidates during the hiring process. For tips to keep top talent engaged each step of the way, read our resource, “The Hireology Candidate Engagement Playbook.”