The Importance of Background Checks When Hiring Home Health Workers

By Beth Kempton,
September 15, 2017

According to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), 90 percent of people over 65 would prefer to remain in their homes for the long haul versus other senior living arrangements. As a result, home health agencies are constantly on the lookout for qualified caregivers to meet the needs of this growing segment. 

Demand for Home Health Workers

The increasing need for at-home help requires organizations to have strong caregiver staff that has been fully vetted through professional background checks.

Employees must be trusted to carry out both companion care and skilled in-home medical care – but skilled workers are in short supply. Just 9.9 percent of the 1.5 million home healthcare workers in the U.S. are registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and licensed vocational nurses or aides, meaning patients who need skilled medical care at home have a difficult time finding it. This also means agencies are competing with one another to attract candidates from a small pool of available talent.

How Background Checks Can Help You Hire the Best Team

Performing thorough background checks can help your home health agency avoid the challenges associated with hiring the wrong talent, as well as assist you in speeding up the time to hire. While there are no federal laws that enforce or regulate background checks, home health workers have patients’ lives in their hands, so it’s critical to verify prospective employees are who they claim to be. Make sure the information your candidates share during the screening process is accurate, as more than half (56 percent) of employers have caught lies on resumes – and you don’t want any of your employees to end up being a liability due to misinformation.

Here are a few key criteria of an effective background check:

  • National Address Locator
  • County Criminal Search
  • National Criminal Database Search
  • Education Verification
  • Employment Verification
  • Motor Vehicle Report

An accurate background check report will provide peace of mind that each prospective registered nurse, nurse’s assistant or home health aide has a history free from negligence or other activities that may put your clients – and business – at risk. As a result, your home health agency can hire your best team and ensure you provide the best experience possible to your clients.

For more information on background checks and other key elements of hiring effective hiring, download our eBook, “The 9 Elements of a Well-Oiled Hiring Process.”



About the Author

Beth is the content strategist on Hireology’s marketing team, responsible for creating compelling blog posts, eBooks, marketing materials and other content. Her background includes five years of experience at a B2B digital marketing agency, where she crafted content for a variety of clients, including several in the HR technology space. Before beginning her career, Beth attended Loyola University Chicago, where she studied advertising and public relations.