In Tough Recruitment Environment, Home Care Leaders Turn Attention To ‘Capacity Management’

Capacity management is one of the major focuses of home care franchise leaders in the new year.

While recruiting and retention remain paramount, driving efficiencies with existing staff will help franchisees thrive in today’s environment, Synergy Home Care CEO Charlie Young said last month during Home Health Care News’ Franchise Forum.

“There’s been so much focus over the last 24 months on labor, on recruiting and retention of caregivers, and we’re still very focused on that … but we’re starting to see a time where we need to shift our thinking into, ‘Are we being as efficient with our staff as we can be?’” Young said.


Synergy is a Gilbert, Arizona-based non-medical home care franchise that operates more than 400 franchise locations nationwide. The company offers companionship services, in addition to personal assistance, housekeeping, live-in care and 24-hour home care services.

At Synergy, capacity management means that every caregiver — adhering to their scheduling requirements — is maxed out at 100% capacity.

“How are we scheduling, how are we managing those schedules?” Young said. “How are we also looking at things like drive time, and where we’re putting people in between?”


Young believes that home care franchise companies are in a good position to implement resources that will help in this area.

“We’re going to leverage our national scale to talk to the same people that are working in other industries,” he said. “[We’re going to be] providing software and data management tools that enable us to maximize capacity of the workforce within our franchise operations. We’re very focused on that. I’m very excited about the impacts that can have on the business.”

For Synergy, it’s also been important to remember that – since the onset of the pandemic – the needs and desires of the caregiver have changed.

This means that caregivers are less likely to embrace a schedule that is set in stone and more likely embrace one that offers them flexibility.

“[They] want a schedule that is going to meet [their needs],” Young said. “That might mean four days on, four days off. That might mean something less than eight hours. This puts a higher demand on capacity management as well, because you have a more varied need set from your caregiver universe. You’ve got to slot that into the client scheduling.”

During the discussion, Young also touched on Synergy’s recruitment and retention efforts and what’s been successful for the company.

“Our franchise operations that are most successful are those who are really focused on the softer side of the equation — the culture, the connection, the understanding of caregivers’ total needs,” Young said.

The company has begun approaching its recruitment and retention strategy like its sales processes.

To that end, the company has implemented a recruiting management system. Specifically, a software tool that enables Synergy to post and market jobs more efficiently.

The recruiting management system has also given the company access to important data that is critical to the hiring process.

“There’s several core metrics that we have our entire system really focused on,” Young said. “Number of applicants, and how many of those applicants are actually interviewing? How do we increase that percentage once we’re interviewing them, [or] before that? How fast do you respond to an applicant? In any sales environment, it’s the speed to lead.”

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