Why A One-Size-Fits-All Strategy No Longer Cuts It For Home Care Recruitment And Retention

Having a clearer understanding of the caregivers working within home care creates room for providers to develop more precise and creative recruitment and retention strategies.

That’s one key takeaway from a recent webinar hosted by the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC).

“There is such a huge and interesting opportunity to go deeper, to get more personalized [and] to reach more people,” Brandi Kurtyka, CEO of MissionCare Collective, said during the webinar presentation. “The more you understand [caregivers] and the more you can unpack, the greater you can come alongside [them]. You can recruit and retain, and you can set strategies to really scale your business.”


NAHC and MissionCare Collective teamed up to conduct a data study on 67,000 caregivers. While the full study hasn’t been released yet, the organizations shared their insights on recruitment based on these findings.

The study breaks down the types of people, or cohorts, that make up the broader caregiver population. The list includes the colorful labels of: career caregivers, caring-on-the-siders, young-and-on-the-move, oodles of offspring, single moving mamas, empty nesters and still-going-strong retirees.

One mistake that home care providers make is putting out job ads that only speak to one of these cohorts, the career caregivers. These are individuals that have, typically, worked as a caregiver for three or more years.


In other words, if an employer took a peak at a career caregiver’s resume, they will find that most of their past jobs are caregiver roles.

“That’s who everyone wants. That’s who everyone’s talking to,” Kurtyka said. “Here’s the reality — there are not enough career caregivers.”

Providers should look at their current workforce and take note of where they are versus where they’d like to be, according to Kurtyka.

“You have control over thinking about how you advertise, how you approach it, how you inspire some of these different groups,” she said. “How you inspire a career caregiver and an empty nester to take your job are different, and how you inspire young-and-on-the-move and oodles of offspring to move beyond that 90-day mark — 57% of caregivers are quitting after 90 days — are fundamentally different.”

When thinking about recruiting different cohorts it’s important to develop a strategy that attracts the various cohorts.

Caring-on-the-siders, for example, can be found all over the internet, across a number of job boards. This group is typically made up of middle-aged people who are working a number of different hourly jobs in various fields, such as retail and food service.

It’s also crucial to examine how to create an offering that’s attractive to specific groups and to identify what benefits they care about.

For example, career caregivers value stability, training and continued growth, and earning enough money to avoid working jobs outside of care. The biggest turnover risk with this group is a bad client match.

Wages and flexibility are two of the biggest drivers for caring-on-the-siders when it comes to accepting and keeping a job. The biggest risk with this group is a scheduling conflict with a higher-paying job.

“As an employer, you probably just have the same benefits for your entire team, but how you talk about them can be different, how you address them in your job ads, how you address them in an interview,” Kurtyka said.

Another factor is figuring out ways to onboard individuals, and how you plan to engage employees over time in order to sustain a workplace that has longevity.

When engaging a career caregiver, for example, it’s best to be transparent in scheduling.

Ultimately, becoming more targeted in their efforts could be the key to helping providers stand out in a competitive labor market.

“It’s really wonky what’s happening in the labor market right now,” Kurtyka said. “We have unemployment going up. Yet we have this fight for hourly labor that’s never been more fierce.”

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