Homecare is one of the fastest growing areas in the health industry, opening up tremendous opportunities for businesses and agencies that provide personal care services.
However the nature of the work, along with the industry’s exponential growth, also provides significant challenges for the home health business owner/manager, particularly when it comes to finding and hiring qualified staff.
Your business’ reputation lies in the hands of every care worker you hire, as does the safety and security of your clients, often when they are at their most vulnerable.
Protect your company, your employees and your clients by following these 5 key steps when hiring Homecare workers:
1. Be Certain About Certifications
Depending on the type of caregiver you are hiring and the jurisdiction you are in, they may be registered and/or certified by an independent regulatory body.
Registered nurses (RN) and Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN), for example, are official designations which require graduation from an approved education program and registration with the appropriate provincial body.
When interviewing RNs and LPNs, always confirm with the provincial authority that they are registered and are in good standing.
Personal Support Worker (PSW), on the other hand, is an unregulated health profession in Canada and as such there is no officially recognized certification or registration.
When hiring PSWs for your business, it is essential to confirm their completion of a PSW program from a reputable educational institution, and to carefully check personal and professional references.
There are a number of certifications in the USA which can be verified, including Certified Personal Care Aide (CPCA), Home Health Aide (HHA), or Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA).
2. Ask the Right Questions
The utmost caution is required when sending employees to work in the homes of vulnerable clients. When screening candidates, begin with the “make or break” questions and always verify the information they provide.
- Are the applicants legally permitted to work in this country? Are they bondable and insurable?
- Can they provide a current, clean police records check and vulnerable sector screening?
- If driving a company vehicle is required, do they have a valid license and clean driving record?
Once you’ve asked the obligatory questions, it’s time to see if the candidate has the right attitude and core values that you’re looking for.
On other words, are they the right fit?
Ask them questions like:
What’s the best company you ever worked with? What made it such a great place for you?
What was the worst company you ever worked at? What made it such a bad place for you to be?
What things are important to you in any company you’d consider joining? Why?
For more check out these 10 interview questions to help you hire for fit.
3. Check References Carefully
Providing quality home health care requires more than training and experience; successful employees must be able to form close relationships with clients while still maintaining professional standards.
They must be completely dependable, trustworthy, discreet, patient and kind, even in the most trying of circumstances.
For those reasons, a thorough check of client and employer references is one of the most essential steps in the hiring process.
Speak to former managers, clients and client families if possible to determine the applicant’s strengths, weaknesses and reason for leaving.
Doing so will not only help identify any areas of concern, if will help you determine if the candidate is a good fit for your business and your clientele’s unique needs.
4. Set Clear Expectations
Happy employees become long-term employees. In order to maximize a candidate’s chances of success with your company, be crystal clear about your standards of performance and other expectations from the outset.
Establish firm guidelines around rates of pay, working hours, overtime, raises, holidays and benefits and disclose these details during the interview process.
Likewise provide written copies of your company’s Code of Conduct, dress code and other regulations, and be specific about what tasks employees may and may not provide to clients.
For example are they allowed to administer medication? Perform light housekeeping duties? Transport the client to medical appointments?
Tackling these questions up front will ensure you find and hire the candidates who are the best fit for the role, and will help reduce costly employee turnover, which often results in client turnover as well.
5. Try a Hiring Guru
When it comes to rigorous screening and hiring high-quality, well-qualified candidates, there really are no shortcuts. However there are ways to make the process easier.
Consider using a dedicated platform that specializes in home healthcare and understands the industry’s unique challenges and needs.
With the rise in web-based recruitment management services, these resources are more accessible and more affordable for small businesses than ever.
Homecare Hiring Guru, for example, offers a one-stop-shopping experience that posts your ad online for you, screens applicants for the traits and attitudes you are looking for, and ranks them according to the characteristics which determine the best fit for your position.
The platform even creates customized interview guides that allow you to relax into the interview by giving you exactly the right questions to ask each candidate.