Growing Your Agency from 0 to 150 Employees: 4 Key Takeaways

by | Aug 23, 2019

Wayne Gentry of Home Helpers Home Care London, Kentucky, grew his home care agency from 0 to 150 caregivers in just three short years! CareAcademy’s CEO, Helen Adeosun, interviewed Wayne to get key insights into how he was able to accomplish this rapid growth, despite the major caregiver shortage and an average caregiver turnover rate of 82%.

Here were some key takeaways from what we learned (to listen to the full replay, click here):

1. 5 Minutes in a Box

Wayne identified the “5 minutes in a box” method as a key differentiator for his agency.

While many home care agencies engage caregivers and show they care through offer birthday cards and gift cards to caregivers, Wayne also prefers to take a more consistent, proactive approach.

Every day for a full 90 days after a caregiver is hired, they receive a 5 minute phone call to check-in on their days. This simple tactic allowed Wayne to drastically reduce turnover in the 30/60/90 day critical time frame, identify churn risk, and combat the risks by providing more individualized attention and simple accommodations that would help his caregivers. Caregivers also loved it; he stated that the best source for recruiting was caregiver referrals, while the second best source was Facebook.

2. Combining Online and In-Person Training

Wayne regularly gathered feedback from his caregivers from the 5 minutes in a box sessions. What he found was that caregivers always asked him for more training. Although Kentucky doesn’t require training for compliance, Wayne set out to give caregivers what they wanted.

Because some of his caregivers lived hours away from the office, Wayne combined both online and in-person training. For online training, Wayne began using CareAcademy for onboarding and initial training, and helping new caregivers understand the requirements of their position before getting started. This gave him and his staff time to do more specialized, in-person training.

Wayne also found that he was able to use online training as a way to identify star performers. After assigning initial training for new hires, he was able to use CareAcademy’s dashboard to see the training progress of all caregivers before they came in-person for orientation. Some caregivers either started or completed the full training even before orientation – a key indicator that they would go above and beyond for clients. He would star those names and ensure to pay extra attention to their onboarding to ensure he could retain them.

3. Focus on People and Process

As a home care agency owner, you know that time and resources are limited. In order to grow the business, Wayne knew that he needed to focus on two things: his people and process. 

This meant Wayne was very conscious in thinking about what he could do to help his staff, constantly improve processes, and save time.

As an example, Wayne completed a pilot with CareAcademy to revamp his training program. Although he initially had no intention to undergo a huge change, his office staff and caregivers loved it AND it was saving his office staff 64 hours per week. Those 64 hours were put into better use – building a recruiting program and engaging with his caregivers.

4. Keep Open Lines of Communication During Recruiting and Before Orientation

After the webinar, Wayne also shared with us a bit about his recruiting and onboarding process:

Recruiting:

  1. Call all candidates within 24 hours of applying (this makes a big difference!).
  2. Phone screen candidates.
  3. Follow up with an email verifying the day and time of an in-person interview, making it clear to them that if anything comes up, they should notify the office.
  4. All interviews are in the office. Since the staff is working there on other items anyways, even if there are no-shows (which will still inevitably happen), it isn’t a waste of time.

*The best sources for recruiting for Wayne were: 1)  caregiver referrals and 2) Facebook

After Hiring:

  1. Add new hires to CareAcademy and assign them initial training.
  2. Call to touch base with the caregiver and keep them warm.
  3. All caregivers meet the staff member doing the introduction into the home 2 hours before the shift to go through the care plan. This gives some buffer time in case there is a no show.

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