Statistics indicate that the demand for senior care is set to grow in the coming years thanks to the rising elderly population.
Senior citizens have unique needs, which include social and personal care. The services are readily provided in assisted living facilities, nursing homes and in-home care services. For caregivers, emphasis is always on providing assistance with the utmost dignity. Caregiver wages are generally determined by employers and the job description. However, the staff payroll and tax requirements are governed by state and federal rules and regulations.
In their efforts to provide high quality care and ensure service consistency, home care providers have had to contend with a number of industry specific challenges. According to a Home Care Benchmark Study released in 2017, the top 5 threats faced by in-home care providers are: staff shortages, high staff turnover, conforming to the minimum wage increases and challenges in attracting sufficient referrals. The other common challenges faced by home care employers include increased competition from peer’s and pressure to cover shifts on short notice.
Even with the lingering hiccups, hastening the hiring practices to cover a void resulting from staff shortfall can prove costly to in-home care providers. In the first instance, the new hiring’s may not be keen to stay in the job as expected. Secondly, the time constraints means the hired hand may not undergo exhaustive vetted as required and this could hurt the overall client experience the home care provider is trying hard to safeguard.
Below is a list of tips that can help home care providers retain caregivers, recruit quality hires and keep the recruits happy in their caregiver jobs.
Make Your Stand Known
Besides the emphasize on making a difference to the lives of the residents under their custody, home care providers as a corporate body must clearly spell what they desire of their caregivers. If you need workers who have a passion of working with the elderly, make it known by stating it on the advertisements. This directive is crucial since it will guide the business on who to hire and what to expect from the hires. It will also help retain staff and enhance service delivery.
Get Quality Staff
When shortlisting prospects for advertised positions, you need to pay attention to the quality of the workers to ensure those hired stay on. The key areas to watch include the suitability of the individual traits and attributes. Some of the most desired characteristics for senior caregiver include individuals who are engaging, service-oriented and personable. The recruits must possess the necessary professional certifications and be available for work. Senior care providers can also initiate ongoing staff training and a recognition policy to motivate and maintain staff.
Hold Weekly Open House
Open houses are critical in encouraging cohesion and free exchange of ideas. The care center can consider running weekly or bi-weekly open houses to see how the senior caregiver operates in casual settings, where fun activities and food abound. The open houses also provide a perfect opportunity to scout new prospect and discover talents from within. To gain insights, the organizer can provide job applications, conduct interviews and ask pertinent questions.
Offer Competitive Wages
An attractive pay package can greatly enhance employee happiness and caregiver retention rates. One way the employers can implement the program is by increasing the hourly wages within the stipulated time frame. The whole rewards package may also include meaningful recognition in the form of paid time off, gift cards and cash awards. The incentives are important considering the amount of money that goes into training and preparing the workers for the job.
Staff and Client Relationship
Studies have shown that workers are more likely to stay on caregiver jobs when they are surrounded with people they like. For this reason, the relationship between the staff and clients’ counts a lot. The in-home care provider can come in by matching the client with the best suited caregiver. Getting the right match will most likely guarantee caregiver retention and enhance overall client satisfaction. These factors are also crucial in growing a sustainable home health business.
Encouraging Career Progression
The staff often feels motivated to stay on the job when they are encouraged to grow. Employers can initiate the growth by placing experienced or senior caregivers in charge of new hires during the first few weeks of orientation. The idea is greatly beneficial and easy to implement because it saves the money that would go into hiring an experienced nurse or staff. Senior caregivers are known to relate better with new hires, which is another big plus.
Monitor and Act on Feedbacks
Feedbacks are crucial in motivating staff, analyzing rising trends and encouraging caregiver retention. The HR department can start by sharing positive feedbacks from the clients or the office and recognizing staff members who do well in their postings. The same can be said when a criticism is leveled against the worker or the provider. Acting quickly on negative feedbacks will give the staff and the management the opportunity to rectify the weaknesses in good time.
Ask the Right Interview Questions
Well-structured interview questions and responses can help employers gauge the suitability of job prospects. The questions should be structured with the knowledge that only a few caregivers stay on the job beyond the 90 days window. Screening ideally begins over the phone before a personal meeting for interview ensues. A well-rounded questioning session should cover direct questions, behavioral questions, skill inquisition and hypothetical questions.
The 8 most important questions to ask potential care providers when conducting a caregiver recruitment interview are as follows:
- What certification or training do you possess? Do you have CPR and first aid training?
- Do you have a dependable transportation to and from work?
- Do you have a driver’s license? What is your driving record?
- Can you provide personal information for background check?
- Are you willing to sign a work contract stating that you will not receive any money or any such gift from family members of the client without prior consent?
- Do you have prior senior care experience caring for someone with a similar condition to that of the client (i.e. an elderly, memory loss patient and wheelchair bound client)?
- When are you available to work? Can you work the stipulated hours?
- Can you avail yourself for respite care or stay over the weekend if the job demands?
As interviewer who is undertaking caregiver recruitment, it helps to provide real, on-work scenarios to gauge how well the care staff will respond to various situations. For example, how will they respond should the client fall, develop high fever or become uncooperative. Once you have made the decision on whom to hire, make sure the documentation and paperwork is done and filed as required. Next, provide a work plan covering the first few days and thereafter to give the recruit ample time to make the work transition.