Over the past several months, COVID-19 has swept through the healthcare system. As a healthcare business owner, it brings both opportunities and challenges in recruiting home healthcare employees.
Most states suspended elective procedures during the peak of the COVID-19 lockdown, thereby reducing some demand for home healthcare services. However, the industry overall has seen an increase in demand. Demand escalated as nursing homes and long-term care facilities reduced their number of patients or stopped taking patients altogether. Additionally, some individuals in need of constant care have opted to stay at home for fear of catching COVID-19.
The recent experience in 2020 simply continues an upward trend in home healthcare that is expected to last as long as 2028, as the boomers retire and age. This makes it prime time to work on your own home healthcare organization.
To grow your home healthcare business, you must have resources available to increase your patient load – namely, employees! To increase your employee roster, you need to focus on recruiting home healthcare employees.
Recruiting Home Healthcare Employees
To grow a successful practice, it is best to set up an organized, methodical approach to employee recruitment – especially as the home healthcare industry historically has high turnover.
Hire an Agency
If you can afford to, hire a recruitment agency specializing in healthcare staffing and recruitment. These agencies can handle sourcing, interviews, and background checks. While it may seem expensive, what is your time worth? Or the potential loss of new customers due to lack of staff to serve them?
Develop Job Descriptions for Your Common Hires
Write descriptions for Home Care Aide, RN Case Managers, Home Health Nurse, etc. Having job descriptions on file and ready to go will make it faster and easier to post openings when they occur. Be sure you know your state’s requirements for certifications or education for the positions you are hiring for and include that in your postings.
Create Accounts on Multiple Job Listing Boards
If you prefer to handle recruitment in-house, be sure to have accounts on multiple job boards. Include both a broad job board, like Indeed.com, and healthcare specific job boards like healthjobsusa.com or careervitals.com. If you have any local vocational schools or colleges, explore if they have any regular job posting boards for students or alumni you could utilize.
Attend Job Fairs
If available and compliant with CDC social distancing guidelines, look for job fairs and college recruitment seminars to attend. You can garner many resumes and build a pipeline of potential candidates to quickly call when you have an opening.
Develop Interview Scripts and Questions for Each Role
Tailor the questions to the duties and authority level that each role requires. Look for both nursing skills, as well as personality qualities – empathetic, a good listener, and the ability to be an advocate for their patients.
In addition, be sure to cover any routine requirements – hours, availability and scheduling, uniform, attendance, transportation, etc. By clarifying these requirements up-front, both you and the employee will be more successful in the relationship. Be sure to use the same interview questions for all candidates (for the same role) to ensure fairness in the interview process.
Develop an Employee Referral Program
One of the best sources for an employee pipeline is your current staff. Encourage your current staff to refer new employees to you through a formal employee recruitment program. Although formal, recruitment programs do not have to be complex!
Your program can be as simple as a $25 gift card to the referring employee once the new employee has worked a minimum time frame – for example, two weeks. An easy way to distribute employee referral rewards is through CardNow – where you have inactive gift cards from top merchants and restaurants like Amazon and P.F. Chang’s on hand, ready to be loaded through an easy-to-use mobile app. When you are ready to give the recruitment referral bonus, simply choose a card from your CardNow collection, scan with the app, load funds, and reward the referrer.
As important as recruiting home healthcare employees is, it is just as important to reduce employee turnover by keeping your current employees motivated and engaged. Check out our blog on employee retention.