The home health care industry is growing, with U.S. home health care spending expected to reach $5.7 trillion by 2026. But home health care businesses are facing challenges with attracting and hiring quality employees to keep up with this growth. These challenges are partly due to the record-low unemployment rate, but a significant contributing factor is that few job seekers are interested in home health care careers.
Most job seekers have the misconception that all home health care workers are overworked and underpaid, and that there are limited opportunities for career growth. With an expected shortage of 151,000 paid care workers by 2030, home health care providers need to focus changing the perception of working in the industry to attract top talent.
Hiring the best team can help home health care businesses offer top-notch care, and increase both client retention and profitability. Below, we’ve outlined some tips for your home health care business to change the perception of a career with your team.
Maintain a Compelling Employment Brand
Up to 97% of caregivers would be open to another job opportunity and across industries, 72% of adults keep an eye on open jobs no matter their current employment status. But with unemployment at the lowest rate in almost 50 years, your home health care business needs to sell job seekers on the true opportunity your open roles present to get them excited about making the switch to your team.
Your employment brand should include job descriptions that answer the “What’s in it for me?” question for job seekers. In your job description, focus on what your home health care team has to offer – such as your benefits, company culture and awards. And while home health care-related positions require certain certifications, your job description should also highlight preferred competencies, rather than specific required experience. For example, let job seekers know you’re looking for caregivers with personality traits such as compassion and level-headedness.
In addition to great job descriptions, your business needs a strong career site, as the most engaged candidates apply through career sites. Your career site should include details on the workplace culture, career progression and overall benefits to help top candidates see the opportunity your team offers. Hireology data found that a career site is 15x more cost-effective than job boards when it comes to attracting quality candidates.
Outline Defined Career Paths
One of the misconceptions of the industry is that employees in this industry are underpaid and there’s limited room for career growth. But today’s top job seekers aren’t simply looking for an exchange of time for money. Rather, they demand a clearly defined career path and opportunities for long-term growth. Your career site is a great place for you to change the perception of a home health care career by outlining specific career paths. Your team might offer career progression from homemakers to personal care homemaker to home health aides. Or on the administrative side, the career path might range from administrative assistant to office manager. Highlight all possible paths on your career site to encourage top talent to apply and help them understand the long-term career growth potential on your team.
Continuously Train Employees
Once you have outlined career paths, provide employees with the tools they need to move up the ladder with continuous training. Some agencies already have defined training programs in place. For example, employees at Senior Helpers have the opportunity to participate in the Senior Helpers University program, where employees can take courses to learn how to be better caregivers and, as a result, can increase their salary based on certification level. 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.
Offer Flexible Scheduling
To address job seekers’ concerns about employees being overworked, offer flexible scheduling and make sure it’s clearly outlined in your job descriptions and on your career site. Depending on your current patients, you can offer a variety of schedule options for prospective employees, including days, evenings, weekends and live-in. And for full-time employees, offer vacation benefits to show employees and job seekers you’re invested in their work-life balance.
As the demand for home health care continues to grow and the unemployment rate remains steady, businesses across the industry will face ongoing challenges with securing top talent. By changing the perception of careers in this industry, your team can attract quality candidates, and as a result, increase productivity and profitability at your business. For more tips on building your best team, read our resource, “The Home Health Care Hiring Guide.”