The reality of talent shortage—marked by high turnover and challenges recruiting and retaining top talent—continues to plague the home care industry.
In fact, among the 600-plus home care providers surveyed in Home Care Pulse’s 2017 Home Care Benchmarking Study, 77% of participants consider “caregiver shortage” a top industry threat, according to Home Care Pulse Founder and CEO Aaron Marcum.
Marcum, alongside Geoff Nudd, founder and CEO of ClearCare—a web-based software solutions provider specializing in the private-duty home care industry—highlighted this troubling trend for the industry in a recent webinar, “Why Caregivers Stay: Retaining Caregivers Beyond 90 Days.”
Turnover and the Importance of the ‘Why’
In their report, the company found that 19% of caregivers employed by the agencies they surveyed quit after 90 days, while a whopping 81% quit before the 90-day period.
The reason? Caregivers weren’t emotionally invested and connected to their assignment, according to Marcum.
“It’s an emotional industry — when people are hiring you to take care of their mother, that’s an emotional decision for them,” he said, adding that this emotional investment has to come from the top of an organization. “Caregivers connect emotionally when they know that who they’re working for really cares about the seniors they’re [taking care of].”
Not feeling appreciated by management and subscribing to the notion that “this is just another job” are among other reasons why caregivers end up bowing out early, according to Marcum. Another factor: A misunderstanding of their duties and responsibilities.
“Many providers struggle to set the proper expectations,” said Marcum. “[Agencies] really need to make sure that [caregivers] understand their role and their expectations with the clients.”
The “STAY” Model
However, there are ways home care companies can mitigate some of the concerns and boost caregiver retainment, according to Marcum. Reinforcing the reasons why a company is in the home care business, and sharing that overall vision for the caregiver is key.
To support this, Marcum shared his “STAY” talent management model. In addition to Sharing your agency’s vision, managers should also Train caregivers deliberately; formalize a sense of Appreciation for them; and have them ultimately become Your Promoter and become a referral source for prospective clients and employees.
Deliberate Hiring Practices
In addition to implementing the “STAY” management model, another best practice that agencies should follow is being deliberate in their hiring practices, and really “[target] your recruitment efforts,” according to Nudd.
“[Agencies] hiring based on [the caregiver’s professional] experience is a supported practice,” he said.
In order to successfully find this strong talent, agencies must establish a required minimum amount of experience when screening candidates, according to Nudd.
Written by Carlo Calma