How Home Care Agencies Can Right-Size Their Office Staff

Having the right kind and right number of front-line staff is critical to a home care agency’s success. But the same can be said of a home care agency’s office staff—and having the right number of office staff is absolutely key to generating cash flow.

That was the premise of a June 15 webinar titled “Determining the Right Staffing Levels for Your Home Care Business,” conducted by Home Care Pulse, a company based in Idaho that captures and measures caregiver and client satisfaction for private duty home care agencies.

Every home care agency has a different culture, a different leader and a slew of different personalities, so those factors should be thrown out the window when it comes to measuring staffing efficiency, Home Care Pulse COO Erik Madsen said during the webinar.

To get a true sense of their staffing efficiency, home care agencies should calculate their “sales per full-time employee numbers,” Madsen explained.

To calculate this number, an agency divides its annual revenue by the number of full-time office staff it employs. Note: agencies should include all active owners in the total number of full-time office staff, and part-time office staff should be counted as 0.5 of a person. Caregivers are not included in this calculation.

The higher an agency’s sales per full-time employee number, the more efficiently the agency is being run, Madsen said. He recommends that agencies compare their numbers to those of other agencies in the same revenue range and the same geographic region to determine where they fall among their peers.

Annual revenue also plays a role in determining when an agency adds certain types of new office staff members. For instance, agencies begin adding non-owner executives once their annual revenue falls between $1.6 million and about $2.4 million; agencies also tend to have three full-time care schedulers/staffing coordinators once their annual revenue exceeds $2.4 million, but only one part-time care scheduler/staffing coordinator when their annual revenue is less than $800,000, Home Care Pulse data show.

When a caregiver leaves an agency for a competitor, a home care client has a propensity to leave as well, Madsen said. Minus a beloved caregiver, it’s up to an agency’s office staff to keep that client—and that shouldn’t be forgotten, he stressed.

Written by Mary Kate Nelson