Home care franchisor Home Helpers has pledged to add 3,000 veterans and military dependents to its employee ranks by Veterans Day 2018. Home Helpers, which has more than 325 offices and is based in Cincinnati, has approximately 8,000 employees.
Serving veterans and their families is an issue close to Home Helpers CEO Emma Dickison, whose father was a World War II combat veteran.
“We’re finding ourselves taking care of more and more veterans, and we know through our work with [veterans] that it’s not just the vets but the military families that are then left behind in deployment struggle with under- or unemployment,” she told Home Health Care News.
What Workers Want
The initiative comes at a time when the home care industry may be feeling a labor squeeze coupled with high turnover rates, particularly among home care aides, according to the 2017-2018 Homecare Salary & Benefits report from Hospital & Healthcare Compensation Service (HCS).
Dickison, however, is confident Home Helpers can navigate the challenging labor environment. Veterans and their families will be hired to serve in caregiver roles, but Dickison noted there are other options available.
“There certainly is a high demand for home care services, but that’s not the only position we’re looking to hire,” she said.
Still, about 7,000 of Home Helpers’ 8,000 employees are caregivers, and the vast majority of the jobs will likely be for those roles, Dickison said.
“We would say 80-85% would be in caregiving and the other would be in office position and support positions,” she estimated.
Home Helpers has already undertaken social media and public relations initiatives, and created a dedicated site for military recruiting. The company will also be advertising in military publications and forums, as well as participating in career fairs near or at different military bases across the U.S.
“We can speak to them in places where they naturally are,” Dickison said.
Home Helpers is aiming to help veterans and their families who need flexible scheduling, whether that’s five or 40 hours a week, she explained.
Flexibility also comes in other forms at Home Helpers, as employees can transfer among agencies, Dickison noted. This transferrable skill set, boosted by training including specialized instruction in Alzheimer’s, dementia care and mobility for the disabled, comes in handy for families that have to relocate—such as those in the military.
Plans for Growth
Though Home Helpers does not currently track what portion of its employees are veterans or members of service families, the company has added new components to its software that will let its computer system query whether someone is a veteran or a member of a service family when they are hired.
Home Helpers takes care of veterans at all stages of their career, making this hiring initiative a natural step, Dickison said. But it also aligns with the company’s goal of growing into various markets as the population continues to age.
Looking ahead, along with boosting hires, the franchisor hopes to add around 40 new offices a year, according to Dickison.
“We’re also looking at it from a standpoint of where are we today or where aren’t we today, where we need offices,” she explained. “We would like to further develop in Houston and Dallas and Seattle, even though we have a presence in those states. There’s still a better opportunity to impact those communities that we’re not serving today.”
Written by Maggie Flynn