If you’re feeling stressed by the caregiver shortage you’re not alone. Home care managers across the nation are struggling to find and keep good caregivers.
Restaurants, retailers, and service companies are all experiencing worker shortages. In the last 10 years the unemployment rate has gone from 10% (very high) to 3.7% (very low). Simply saying “We’re Hiring” is no longer effective. Everyone is hiring and $15/hr jobs are plentiful.
The rise of the gig economy (Uber, Lfy, TaskRabbit, Care.com) has created a lot of opportunity for part-time workers. In the past, working for a home care agency was a great way to generate part time income, now you can tap on your phone and get a $15/hr gig almost immediately.
As a manager you might think that you are the one interviewing caregivers… and you’d be wrong. The caregivers are interviewing you. Employees have choices and how we advertise our open positions is more critical than ever. Unfortunately, most managers are advertising their jobs like its 2009. Things have changed.
So what do we need to do to get more caregivers from online job sites?
1. Clearly Communicate Why Caregivers Should Apply
Job posts should focus on what a caregiver will get working for you versus restaurants or retail.
We need to move beyond hourly rates because companies who gain employees by paying above market rates will lose their advantage as soon as a competitor starts paying more.
Competing on wages is like competing on price… there’s always someone willing to sacrifice a little more margin which creates a race to the bottom.
So what are you going to offer that caregivers aren’t able to get by driving for Uber/Lyft or doing gigs through Care.com?
If you can’t answer this question, start by asking every applicant what they’re looking for in a job and look for patterns. If your applicants can’t articulate what they want, give them a list of options and ask them to pick three. Ask where else they’re applying to determine who you are really competing against. Chances are it’s not the home care agency down the street.
Once you know what matters, incorporate that into your job posts: At XYZ Co you’ll learn valuable new skills through monthly paid training have access career growth opportunities… we promote from within!
Here’s another way to think about this… simply fill in the blanks: At XYZ Co, we might not be the highest paying agency in town but you’ll get ______, ______, and ______.
What three things could you say to capture a caregivers attention and motivate them to apply?
2. Make Job Ads Caregiver Focused
The majority of the job post simply state “a job is available”. That’s not going to work today.
We need to flip the script and make our job posts caregiver-focused. You probably know that simply being in business will not get you new customers. It’s the same with employees, so think of your job post as marketing flyer or a sales letter to get employees.
Here is a winning job post outline:
Headline: Catch the Caregivers Attention
Paragraph 1: Meet the Caregiver where their at and show you understand what they want in a job
Paragraph 2: Provide three reasons why your company is the preferred employer
Paragraph 3: Provide three benefits your caregivers only get by working for you
Call to Action 1: Invite applications and tell them what to expect in the process
Bullet List 1: List out 3-9 benefits you offer that other employers don’t
Bullet List 2: List out 3-9 job requirements or what you are looking for
Paragraph 4: Press Release Style About Us
Final Call to Action: Invite them to learn more on your website and apply
Here’s a quick exercise to determine whether your job post is caregiver focused or agency focused:
- Print out your most recent job post and find two different colored highlighter pens.
- Highlight caregiver focused sentences in one color and agency focused sentences in another.
Here’s an example – sentences in italics are employer focused, bold is caregiver focused:
Helping Hands is currently looking for several Personal Care Aides (PCAs) for clients Dallas. We are looking for full time or part time. If you want to work full time we also have Overtime available. Our PCA’s are paid to support individuals with their activities of daily living (ADL’s) which may include, but are not limited to, medication administration, meal prep, and light housekeeping.
In the example, the only thing a caregiver is going to see is that this employer has overtime available. Every other sentence would also be present in every other job ad.
If you would like to learn more about how to implement this job post formula, we have a free 1-hour training webinar called Double Your Caregivers that walks you through it step-by-step. Click here to watch now.
3. Create Urgency and Scarcity
When it comes to interviews, are you sick and tired of no-call no-shows?
Caregivers know they can get a job pretty much anytime they want. So in order to stand out we’re going to need to use marketing tactics to create urgency and scarcity.
As humans, we put a lot of value on rare and scarce things. It’s been proven that simply saying things like limit 2 per customer causes customers to buy 2 items instead of one.
If candidates are much more likely to show up and go through your interview process quickly when they perceive that you’re agency is unique and your jobs are in high demand.
Urgency and Scarcity can be incorporated into job posts very easily with phrases such as these:
- Due to business growth we’re hiring four caregivers next week. If you want to start working as soon as next week, apply today.
- We’ve just received a new contract with a local healthcare organization and need to hire three experienced caregivers immediately. If you’re looking for more hours (or want to go full time), apply by xx/xx (put a date that is 7-10 days in the future). Then update the job ad every week to a new date 7-10 days in the future.
- We’ve recently expanded our service area to (City You Need Caregivers In) and we’re hiring four caregivers. You’ll need to be able to start next week. If you are currently available and would like to start working immediately, please apply today.
Ultimately the caregiver shortage can only be solved by bringing new caregivers into the industry. However, by understanding what caregivers are looking for in a job you can fine tune your caregiver recruiting strategy and ultimately become the employer of choice in your area.