Let’s face it. Home care has a tough time when it comes to recruitment of employees. Current employees remain loyal because they love the mission of home care. As an industry, we can’t pay wages equivalent to those of other healthcare venues quite simply due to our reimbursement. Let’s talk about how to recruit employees so that you can focus on keeping them long term.
What Has Helped In The Past:
One of the biggest recruitment opportunities for home care clinicians was the flexibility the position allows. Unlike other clinical settings, you aren’t necessarily clocked in like normal shift work. The idea that employees could work around doctor appointment etc. without having to take a vacation or personal day was a huge draw. Those with young children didn’t have to sweat how to make the day-to-day work while working. While that is still very true today, it doesn’t necessarily make home health different than other venues. Many healthcare settings allow staff the flexibility of working from home multiple days a week. This has made recruitment tougher for us today. It doesn’t mean we can’t still get the hires we need, but we need to think differently when it comes to getting the employee to come knocking at your door.
Successful Recruitment Today:
When was the last time your agency studied recruitment strategies? Are you recruiting employees the same way you did 5-10 years ago? What changes have occurred for employees working at your agency today from what it was like 10 years ago? If you struggle to see why potential employees are not lining up at your door, then it may be tougher for you to see a clear route to recruit successfully. Look closely at those employers who make it work. Being in a different industry doesn’t negate the principles in which recruitment is successful. Let’s look at 4 “grade card” items and see where you can improve and excel.
- Growth and development of employees: We exist in a culture that most employees who excel in their work are just given more of it. This can often stunt professional growth for the employee. It leads to workloads that don’t allow the employee to feel good about work product at the end of the day. Consider how these employees would do mentoring others or helping with a strategic plan for the agency they love.
- Listening to employees: Now, this is a tough one for administrators. There is a fine line between opening your door so far that every employee comes in with every complaint about everything versus closing yourself off completely. If employees feel safe to discuss feelings, then there is not an environment of fear or retribution at work. Unfortunately, leadership by fear is too common in an industry based upon caring about people.
- Clear communication: Do employees clearly understand how to communicate operational issues within your agency? Do you communicate change effectively and appropriately to all clinical and back-office staff? How do you know?
- Empower Employees: Although our business cannot exist without a line of authority, it is important to understand that the line cannot delineate importance. The most effective leadership comes from individuals who empower employees as opposed to being their “boss”. It may seem cliche’ and simplified, but it is reality. Know your staff and the needs they have. They are your biggest advocates for change and performance.
Your Staff Will Recruit Better Than You Ever Will:
If this isn’t happening in your agency, then find out why employees aren’t referring others to come work for you. You don’t need referral bonuses if they are engaged in the mission and feel like a meaningful part of the organization. Target how you engage the employees in the overall success of the business. Referral incentives aren’t a bad thing, but they should not be the only reason someone tries to get an employee on board. If all the employees are literally just working for the weekend, then you will continue to spin your wheels. Consider your middle managers and the influence they have to engage others and motivate staff to succeed. Recruitment has a huge deal to do with how you take care of others you already have.
Kenyon Can Help You Recruit And Motivate:
At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we help agencies strive to be the best in the industry. Join us February 27th for our webinar on recruitment and retaining home care staff. Contact us online or by phone at 206-721-5091.