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The Ultimate Guide on How to Hire a Caregiver

women sitting at a table during a job interview

Written by:

Jeffrey Grossman

Published:

June 28th, 2021


In the current home care landscape, everyone is looking for the best ways to recruit caregivers. Whether it’s increased caregiver rates of pay or more flexible hours, there’s no shortage of different approaches to attracting new workers.

Not only is recruiting caregivers becoming more difficult but so is keeping them around. So, what are the best ways to find caregivers and make sure they stay around?

As a cornerstone in the home care industry for years, Commonwise Home Care in Virginia has learned a lot about where to find caregivers and how to hold onto them. 

In this article, we’re sharing expert tips for recruiting caregivers. We’ll start with finding caregivers, move onto the interview process, and finish with ways to keep caregivers around. You’ll also learn how providing industry-leading VA caregiver pay, valuable training, and ongoing support leads to lower caregiver turnover.

 

How to Hire a Caregiver

Successfully hiring caregivers starts before you ever post a job listing, receive an application, or hold an interview. Setting yourself up to hire caregivers means two things:

  • Viewing caregivers as your most valuable asset
  • Properly preparing your job postings

 Let’s expand on these two points so you can lay a better recruiting foundation.

 

1. Viewing Caregivers as Valuable Assets

One of the biggest mistakes home care agencies make is viewing caregivers as disposable commodities instead of long-term, valuable assets.

The best way to recruit caregivers from the beginning is to develop a correct view of caregivers. When you invest in your caregivers and make them the core of your business, it leads to:

  • Increased caregiver excitement and passion in delivering high-quality care
  • Increased client satisfaction as they receive care from caregivers who like their job
  • Decreased caregiver turnover and time spent hiring

If you already greatly value your caregivers, you’re starting on the right foot.

 

2. Preparing Your Job Postings

The second trap home care companies fall into is poorly worded and posted job listings. 

A job posting is often the first thing a potential hire will see—it’s their first impression of you and your company.

Here are two good questions to ask yourself when you post jobs.

1. Are your criteria turning away suitable applicants?   

Anyone in the home care industry knows that character traits and high emotional intelligence are more valuable than hard skills. You can always teach hard skills and provide necessary on-site training, but you can’t train compassion. Ensure you don’t turn away high-quality candidates due to unnecessary qualifications.

2. Are your applications attention-grabbing?

Posting a job is a balancing act between filtering out unwanted contacts and attracting the ones you want. Here are some tips for recruiting caregivers with job listings:

  • Prioritize necessary information
  • Use a relatable tone
  • Provide job-specific roles
  • Showcase any awards you’ve won
  • Give caregiver testimonials

Taking time to make your openings attractive will significantly help in the recruiting and hiring process.

Once you finish the preparatory work, you can start thinking about hiring channels and where to find caregivers.

 

Where to Find Caregivers

There are many places to post job openings and ways to find caregivers. You may be familiar with many of them, but here are our top suggestions.

 

1. Internet Websites

One of the important places to post job listings is online. 

You want to post your jobs on your company website. Often home care agencies will have an entire careers page for potential hires to peruse. 

It’s also an excellent idea to utilize third-party online job sites. There are both general and niche sites, and it’s often best to use both.

Some of the top sites to use are:

Some allow you to post jobs for free, while others require you to pay or purchase a membership. 

 

2. Referral Program

Another way to find caregivers is through an employee referral program.

With a referral program, you pay your employees for any hires they refer to you. You’ll want to create a simple, standard process so that everyone in your company knows about it and can follow it.

Referral programs help you reach more potential candidates through word of mouth. And if you’re treating your caregivers well, they’ll be more active in sending others your way. 

 

3. Social Media and Paid Advertising

Third, you can use social media and paid advertising.

If you have a company Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram account, you can freely post job openings. These channels help reach a wider audience and can be shared by those who follow you.

Many sites like Facebook and Google also allow you to pay for online ads. It will require some time and money to set them up. But once you get your ads set up, they’ll provide another way to help you find new hires.

 

4. Job Fairs

Lastly, job and career fairs are an excellent way to recruit candidates. Due to world events the past year, in-person recruiting opportunities have been minimal. However, as restrictions loosen and in-person events happen again, you should look to take advantage of them.

We’ve talked about preparing for hiring and some of the ways to find caregiving candidates. Now, let’s spend some time looking at the interview process.

 

The Caregiver Interview Process

Creating a good interview process is one of the best ways to recruit caregivers that provide excellent care and stay with your company long term.

Because of their need for more caregivers, most home care companies have a short interview that doesn’t properly vet and screen the candidate. After a few weeks or months, either the employee leaves or the company realizes they weren’t a good hire.

If you want to hire quality caregivers, you need the ability to boil down your applicants to the ones that can excel in the caregiver role.

At Commonwise, we partnered with an organizational psychologist to help us develop a recruitment process and better understand how to hire a caregiver successfully. The process involved:

  • Conducting a rigorous job analysis
  • Clarifying our vision of a successful caregiver
  • Performing a multi-month evaluation of our highest performing caregivers
  • Understanding the skills and personality traits necessary to provide exceptional care

All this information allowed us to create a standard interview process. We can score candidates against predictive questions to assess how successful they’ll be in their role. 

No process is perfect, but our interview assessment provides us with a way to vet candidates more effectively.

 

How to Decrease Caregiver Turnover

After the hiring process is complete, you need to make sure that your caregivers have every reason to stick around. You can’t control everything, but there are some things you can do that will go a long way in retaining caregivers.

 

1. Better Pay

Money isn’t everything, but it certainly is a significant contributor to hiring and retaining employees. 

  • Do you know what the competitive caregiver rates of pay are?
  • Do you offer training and incentives that lead to higher pay?
  • Are your caregivers satisfied with their wages?

One of our values at Commonwise is to offer the highest caregiver salary to our employees. Since they’re our greatest asset, providing high VA caregiver pay is a worthwhile investment.

 

2. Better Training

The second action you can take to create a culture of loyalty is to offer high-quality training.

Caregivers desire:

  • To be well prepared for their first day on the job
  • Have opportunities to grow in their caregiving careers

When caregivers are ready for their job and know that you’re investing in their career, they’ll be more likely to stick around.

At Commonwise, we offer in-house training to new employees to ensure they’re ready for their roles. We also provide “Level Up” days throughout the year for caregivers to attend voluntary training and increase their salaries.

 

3. Better Support

Lastly, you’ll want to create a work environment that fosters encouragement and relational support. 

Caregiving is a challenging profession. It requires great mental, emotional, and physical determination. Even experienced caregivers might experience exhaustion or a season of burnout. Additionally, there may be situations that arise that your caregivers need help with or aren’t prepared to handle.

Caregivers need to know that someone is ready to assist them and provide the necessary support. They require ongoing help from their employer that makes them feel like human beings and a valued member of the team.

 

The Best Ways to Recruit Caregivers

The best ways to recruit caregivers involve good preparation and end with a healthy staff of qualified employees. But getting through the process with a positive result can be challenging.

Here’s a quick rundown of how to hire a caregiver successfully:

  • View your caregivers as valuable assets
  • Create clean, attractive job offers
  • Utilize different recruiting platforms
  • Develop an interview process
  • Pay, train, and support your caregivers well

We know this is how you hire and retain top caregiving talent because we’ve been doing it for decades.

At Commonwise Home Care, we’ve dedicated ourselves to providing premium in-home care to elderly adults. The way we deliver exceptional care day-in and day-out is by investing money, time, and resources into our caregivers. We genuinely believe that caregivers are at the core of our company, so we make sure they’re:

  • The highest-paid caregivers
  • Expertly trained
  • Sufficiently supported

Caregivers looking to join our team can check out our job openings online.

Adult children with aging parents can contact our Care Advisors to learn more about in-home care.

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