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Caregiver recruiting frequently asked questions

Caregiver recruiting is one of the biggest threats to the home care industry. Most caregivers are paid a much lower salary than other healthcare professionals. They have long hours, lack of training opportunities, inflexible schedules, and little room for advancement. As agencies, it is important to not only provide exceptional care to patients but also to the caregivers.

An applicant tracking system is a software application that allows all recruitment and hiring needs to be done electronically. The status of hiring each applicant can be accessed immediately online, which saves time and reduces errors. In addition to this, most systems have integrations that allow recruiters to source candidates, post job openings, and even schedule interviews. A few of the top applicant tracking systems are BambooHR, CareerPlug, Jobvite, and Greenhouse.


A caregiver gives care to someone who needs help with taking care of themselves. They provide ongoing assistance with everyday tasks on a regular basis. Caregivers take many forms. They take care of people with impairments related to old age, disabilities, disease, or mental disorders. This can range from children to older adults. Caregivers range from informal or unpaid caregivers to professional caregivers. Unpaid caregivers are typically those who take care of a friend or family member. Professional caregivers are those who took on caregiving responsibilities as a long-term career.


Onboarding is the process in which new hires are integrated and introduced to an agency. This process gives new hires the information and tools needed to become a productive member of the team. Onboarding can be done in person by showing the employee around the office or by introducing them to their new coworkers. Onboarding can also be done online, utilizing services such as Onboarding is important because it ensures that all new hires feel welcomed. It builds and promotes valuable relationships, and establishes the structure, vision, mission, and goals of the organization.

The main goal of healthcare professionals is to ensure that the elderly, disabled, and physically challenged community gets quality and compassionate care. Home health care provides that with a wide range of personalized health care services that can be offered in the patient’s home. Research shows that elderly adults recover faster and with fewer complications when it is done at home rather than in a hospital. Home health care also individualizes the services and tailors it to the specific patient's needs and finances. Home care agencies hire caregivers that assess each patient’s needs and develop care plans that are customized. Because agencies perform background checks on the caregivers, the patient and their family have a peace of mind knowing who is providing the care. Ultimately, home health care is an essential service for many families and is far preferred over hospital settings.

Building up a successful referral program allows the opportunity to hire many talented caregivers. Most highly trained and experienced caregivers will have peers who are just as trained and experienced as them. To start, there should be an incentive for the referral program. Establishing a caregiver acquisition cost will gauge how much should be spent on the rewards. Once this is done, introduce the program to current caregivers and explain the reward process. When the referrals start to come in, be sure to pay the caregivers immediately. Delaying the payment could potentially lead to discouraging the existing employees from participating any further.

Social media is one of the most effective ways to recruit, because many caregivers are scrolling through social media daily. Social media has grown from being only a social platform to being a business marketing tool. In research done by Forbes, it is shown that 73 percent of job seekers between the ages of 18 and 34 found their last job on social media. In order to reach potential caregivers on these platforms, it is important to post regularly and consistently. Posting meaningful content that shows current caregivers and patient testimonials is another way to encourage traffic from potential candidates.

Caregivers feeling like they were misled about the kind of hours, assignments, or pay they would get is a feeling that can lead to low retention. Ultimately, not telling all of the details about the job expectations can create more problems for the agency and the new hired caregiver in the long run. Being transparent allows the agency to hire caregivers who want the job with the negative and positive aspects in mind. It also builds a sense of trust between the potential caregiver and the agency recruiter. The right candidate will appreciate the transparency and be excited to join the agency.

Holding regularly scheduled training sessions allows caregivers to have the skills and certifications that they need to properly manage their job. This also ensures advancement and increases the caregivers value in the agency. In 2013, spending by U.S. companies on corporate training programs surpassed the $70 billion spending mark. Based on this, is clear that investing in ongoing training for employees is imperative. A few benefits to ongoing training is remaining compliant with regulations, staying up to date on best practices, and maintaining and adding new skills. Training can be done in person or through online training services such as

Wellness offerings are intended to improve health and fitness through the workplace. They allow employees to have premium discounts, cash rewards, gym memberships, and other incentives. For caregivers specifically, this is a great service for agencies to offer. Healthy caregivers have a low rate of absenteeism and a high rate of productivity. As a result, caregivers are able to do their job more efficiently. There is a positive connection between caregiver wellness and the wellness of the patients. The benefits of implementing a comprehensive employee wellness program well surpassess the costs.


Caregivers have a lot of responsibilities that are included in their job description. Caregivers are responsible for providing assistance to those who need basic care such as bathing, eating, and personal hygiene. Typically, caregivers work with elderly or disabled individuals. A well written caregiver job description should be specific to the role, and it should highlight all of the responsibilities that come with it. 

A caregiver's job description should include:


  • What their daily responsibilities will be
  • What hours are required and what benefits they will receive
  • What qualifications and skills they should possess
  • What licensing requirements are needed

Creating a detailed job description that targets the skills needed for the job is a great way to narrow down a large pool of potential candidates. Letting the potential caregivers know upfront what will be expected of them during their application process is key to successful recruiting.

There is a vast amount of responsibilities that come with being a caregiver. A few of them are listed below.


Assisting Patients

Key caregiver responsibilities include assisting patients with activities including bathing, grooming, toileting, and dressing. Also, transferring them in and out of bed and getting them to their daily appointments and activities is a responsibility that falls under assisting patients. Serving meals and/or preparing meals in the home is an additional duty. 


Maintaining Records

Caregivers maintain all patient records and keep up with company policy and procedures. They also document medications and any observations that they make throughout. In addition to this, a duty is to follow physician orders and administer giving medications if needed.


Keeping Spaces Clean

Maintaining a safe and clean environment for the patients and performing general housekeeping is a typical duty of a caregiver. Doing patient laundry, cleaning eating areas and sleep areas are all a part of the cleaning responsibility that falls on caregivers.

Although they seem similar, caregivers and CNAs have different day to day responsibilities, and require different qualifications. 


First, caregivers require less education than CNA’s do. Caregiver training courses can be taken online, typically within a few months. On the contrary, CNAs are required to have at least 100 training hours in order to be considered for positions. 


Similarly, caregivers do not have to have any particular requirements that are needed for them to get a job as a caregiver. However CNAs have to successfully complete a certification exam for their respective states. 


Most drastically, caregivers are intended to require care to patients and typically are only performing non-medical tasks. CNAs are intended to provide medical assistance. This means, they assist with getting patient vitals, preparing for surgery, and cleaning medical equipment under the directive of RNs or Doctors. 


Both caregivers and CNAs provide care for people who need it, and both careers are an asset to the healthcare industry. Knowing the difference between the two is crucial because organizations should know what they are needing before they start their recruiting efforts. Some positions may require more medical background candidates, in which case, it would be beneficial to look for CNAs to fill this position. Some positions simply need a person to care for an individual who cannot do things for themselves, and in that case it is beneficial to go with a caregiver.

Recruiting caregivers is not cheap. Recruitment costs are the costs associated with sourcing caregiver candidates, hiring, and onboarding them . In addition, the actual budget of recruiting caregivers includes the salary of recruiters, advertising on online job boards, and any commissions made from employee referral bonuses. In the search of a good caregiver that will be beneficial to your organization, investing in the process is important. Properly recruiting caregivers is a great way to reduce turnover. 

It is important to consider the costs of recruiting caregivers before the hiring process is started. This ensures that human resources and management can pay for all of the hiring costs. Considering all recruitment costs allows the short term and long term hiring plans to be made without having to worry about overspending and running out of budget.

To recruit a caregiver, your organization should first assess their strengths and weaknesses. This will provide key details that will help to determine what needs to be addressed prior to bringing on another caregiver. Once that is done, there are key steps that should be taken in order to properly recruit and develop a caregiver.


  1. Get Organized

Include a calendar that highlights key recruitment events and how the process will go. This will ensure that the recruitment process is done smoothly, and everyone within the organization is on the same page. In addition, look at your organization's budget and see how much you can allocate to the recruitment process.


  1. Utilize technology

Many organizations rely on manual processes, but implementing software is necessary if there is a high volume of recruitment. Applicant Tracking Systems are the best way to get more functionality and reduce the amount of labor that goes into recruiting efforts. 


  1. Implement referral programs

Many employees have  peers in their network that would be interested in working at your organization, so creating a referral program can encourage employees to refer more people that they know. Providing incentives for referrals by using bonuses and contests can create excitement around referring new people to the organization.




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