Recruiting caregivers with a marketing and retention mindset

Recruiting the best direct care workers is undoubtedly one of the most challenging parts of owning a Home Care Agency. The Home Care Benchmarking Study, in a survey, identified the shortage of caregivers as the biggest threat to the home care business, well above threats like the rise of minimum wages, growing competition in the industry, among others.

Home health agency managers would give anything to see a crowd of qualified caregivers at their doorsteps at the slightest job opportunity, ready to hand-in powerful CVs. Sadly, this is far from the reality of what is attainable in the industry today.

With the health crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the situation has gotten worse, as caregivers’ applications have dropped drastically, according to reports by agencies around the country. Regardless of the challenges, home health managers can still optimize their recruitment strategy and keep their agencies staffed with the most qualified caregivers available.

Below are a few strategies you can employ for an effective recruitment process. These strategies will give you an insight into hiring quality candidates and reducing turnover rates in your establishment.

Create an appealing job post

If you’re looking to attract quality applicants, you must make a strong first impression with your ad. A great ad is sure to attract the most qualified job seekers.

Don’t be that agency owner who outlines requirements and responsibilities. Instead, spell out your agency’s mission, vision, and goals. You must specify the caliber of people that you desire to come onboard. This goes a long way in attracting like-minded applicants who share your agency’s beliefs and are committed to actualizing your goals.

As an employer, it is also essential to connect with your prospective employees. Try to understand and key into the motivating factors that make an individual want to take up such a job. Caregivers want flexibility, comfort, and safety in their workplaces, so you must present your agency as one that offers these to attract the best hands in the business.

Never compromise on quality

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a surge in the number of dependent people, and unfortunately, there aren’t enough quality caregivers available to fill in the needed positions. With so few qualified applicants turning up, a good number of home health managers can be tempted to fill in positions with any Tom, Dick, and Harry that can pass a background check. This is a decision that can have dire consequences in the long run.

Ensure that you take your time to access the qualifications of each applicant. Anyone you wouldn’t feel comfortable taking care of your loved one, don’t hire that person to cater to another person’s loved one.

Word-of-Mouth Marketing (WOM Marketing)

Every home care owner should seek to create a positive awareness of his/her agency, as this is key to attracting the best candidates. This can be achieved when good experiences in your establishment trigger regular dialogues between consumers or staff.

Remember, earlier I said that caregivers are attracted to an environment that motivates them, with some of these motivating factors being flexibility, safety, comfort, etc. Caregivers are human and need to feel cared for by the company; they want to be treated kindly, warmly and prefer bosses who are understanding. As an agency owner, when you make your establishment a pleasant place to work and treat your workers with respect, they are sure to spread the word and draw talented people to your agency.

When your workers are happy, it impacts positively on their productivity and how they cater to your clients. As you know, a satisfied client can be your biggest marketer.

Make use of professional referral sources

Professional referral sources can be a great way to get the best hands for the job. These professional sources can include hospitals in your locale, senior centers, assisted living facilities, among others. Take out time to identify as many potential referrals as possible.

Another smart move can be to encourage your best staff to bring other quality individuals onboard. You can motivate them by offering bonuses to staff who refer qualified or experienced people to the organization. These bonuses can then be activated when the referred staff completes a certain number of work hours or hits other specific work targets.

Carefully prepare your interview questions

Basic questions about their background are good, but that’s not enough if you’re serious about recruiting quality caregivers.

When interviewing candidates, you must use questions that create possible scenarios/situations, explore past experiences and test their ability to take proper charge of situations.

Questions like the ones below can form part of your interview:

  • “Let’s say your patient suddenly gets aggressive and starts using derogatory words on you; how would you react?”
  • “In a scenario where your patient rejects his/her medication, what would you do?”
  • “Have you ever been corrected at work?… Tell me about it.”
  • “How knowledgeable are you when it comes to caring for diabetic patients?”
  • “A lot of our clients are suffering from heart disease. What are those signs you would say are key to identifying an impending heart attack?”

In addition, discuss questions that shed light on the needs of your prospective employees. This creates a good impression that your staff’s welfare is paramount, and it can be a good step towards employee retention. For example:

  • “I’ll love to know some things that act as motivating factors to you in your place of work?”
  • “Are there things you feel your past employer should have done better to make your job more fulfilling?”

Make use of Internet lead sites

A lot of people underestimate the power of lead sites. They are a fabulous way to get quality workers out there, and you need to take advantage of this mega recruitment source. There are a good number of sites available that put your agency in the spotlight for available caregivers.

For home care, you can make use of top sites like,, and These sites accounted for a large part of caregiver recruitment in 2017. As much as 50% of recruitment came through these sources.

You can explore other relevant lead sites like,,,,, among others.


The importance of having a standardized recruitment process can never be overemphasized. It is key to accelerating recruitment decisions while consistently selecting the best candidates. With these strategies, you now have the tools to make optimal decisions in your hiring process for quality care services at your home care agency.