Conquering the Caregiver Recruiting Crisis

Stephen Tweed | April 20, 2016 | News and Views
By Stephen Tweed It's official.  We are experiencing a crisis in the home care industry.  There are not nearly enough caregivers available to meet the growing needs of an aging population. Today, Jill Scott and I were on a Join.Me conference with our long time friend, Kate Pancero. Kate is the daughter of our professional…

By Stephen Tweed

It’s official.  We are experiencing a crisis in the home care industry.  There are not nearly enough caregivers available to meet the growing needs of an aging population.

Today, Jill Scott and I were on a Join.Me conference with our long time friend, Kate Pancero. Kate is the daughter of our professional speaking colleague, Jim Pancero, and she works as a Senior Account Executive for Career Builder.  We were talking with Kate about joining us as an expert panel member for an upcoming Virtual CEO Round Table for the Home Care CEO Forum.   We are starting a series of round table conversations about how to deal with this crisis of caregiver shortages.

Kate opened up her data dashboard and showed us some examples around the country of the number of job postings compared to the number of candidates applying for those jobs.  In most areas of the country we looked at, there were 50% more jobs than there were candidates.

Now this is one set of data points, but as I talk with home care CEOs around the country, their number one business challenge is recruiting caregivers.

19142054_sThe Crisis

We first recognized the beginning of the industry crisis in November of 2014 at the Home Care Association of America meeting in Kansas City.  I was presenting a workshop and leading a panel discussion of CEOs from our $5 Million Mastermind Group.  During that conference, the hot topic of discussion was caregiver recruiting. I came back from the meeting and immediately launched the 2015 Caregiver Recruiting Study to find out what recruiting techniques are being used by successful home care companies, and which of these techniques are most important for finding high quality caregivers.

(You can get a copy of the Research Report, The 2015 Caregiver Recruiting Study from the web site at  The report is brought to you free of charge by HomeTrak. Download a copy right now.)

We have continued to watch this trend, and all of the data supports our proclamation that this is really an industry crisis.  The 2016 Home Care Benchmarking Study from Home Care Pulse which will be out in the next week or so shows that the number one threat to home care agencies is the caregiver shortage.  And again in 2015, caregiver turnover is huge. While the number came down this past year from 61.6% to 59.7%, this still indicates a major challenge in growing your business.

Last week I was in Clearwater, Florida with our Strategic Growth Mastermind Group.  Next week we are in St. Louis with the $5 Million Mastermind.  Both of these groups of top tier CEOs identified caregiver recruiting as the major issue they want to work on with their colleagues.

The Solution

There is no quick fix to the Caregiver Recruiting Crisis.  The pure demographics and economics suggest that this industry trend is here to stay.  Home Care company CEOs who are serious about growing their business over the next three to five years will have to take a long-range approach to the solution.

Our research at Leading Home Care suggests that the best long-term solution is to create a “Culture of Attraction”, where every member of your team is focused on working and living by core values that put caregivers first.  A “Culture of Attraction” is a way of life in an agency that is serious about creating a great place to work for caregivers and the office staff who support them.  It’s all about finding and keeping the very best caregivers, and making feel valued and appreciated.

We define “Culture” as “The way we do things around here.”  Your company culture is defined by four factors:

  1. The leadership style of the CEO
  2. The core values of the company
  3. The behavior we expect
  4. The behavior we permit

Last month in our Virtual CEO Round Table, Scott Spangler, former COO of Cypress Home Care Solutions in Phoenix and the CEO of One-on-One Home Care Consulting, talked with our members about how CEOs need to think and act differently in order to find and keep the very best caregivers.

Changing the culture of a company is not easy. It takes a long term commitment from the CEO and every member of the team. But it can be done.  Are you willing to make a long-term commitment to create the kind of company where caregivers really want to work?

The System

To make your culture work,  you will need to have a system.  The system involves people and processes that are focused on building the team of caregivers you need.  Through our research and experience, we have developed a seven step system for putting caregivers first and creating a “Culture of Attraction.”  Here are the steps:

  1. Define your Best caregivers
  2. Attract the Best
  3. Screen and Select the Best
  4. Hire and on-board the Best
  5. Train and develop the Best
  6. Recognize and Reward the Best
  7. Retain the Best

Over the next few months, we will roll out more detailed strategies and insights on how you can apply the solution and the system to conquering the caregiver recruiting crisis in your agency.  If you want to be part of a growing number of CEOs who are connecting with one another through our Virutal CEO Round Tables. These are monthly web-based meetings where we will explore the elements of this system.

You can begin by joining us on Thursday, April 28, 2016 when we will explore how to put in place an effective system to recruit high quality caregivers.  Our special guest panelists will be Andy Tysinger, COO, and Tamara Rice, HR Director, for SeniorCorp in Virginia Beach, VA.  SeniorCorp is one of the ten companies in our $5 Million Mastermind Group, and they host our Home Care Field Trip several times a year.

Don’t miss this opportunity to get first hand, practical ideas about how to put a highly effective recruiting system in place in your home care agency.

Join the Home Care CEO Round Table

There are two ways you can join this virtual round table. If you are a Member of the Home Care CEO Forum, you will receive an invitation to attend the Round Table at no additional charge.

If you are not yet a member of the Forum, you can attend the round table on a Pay-per-view basis to check it out.

Register Now




Stephen Tweed
Stephen Tweed, CSP, began his journey as a business strategist in home health care in 1982. Today, Stephen is among the top thought leaders in Home Care strategy and management. He has worked with top 5% companies from across the US. He is a sought after speaker at from national and state association events.

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