Recruiting Caregivers will be the Biggest Barrier to Growing Your Business in 2015

Stephen Tweed | October 22, 2014 | News and Views
By Stephen Tweed What's the biggest barrier to growing your home care business in 2014? All the signs are clear. The single biggest barrier to growing your business in 2015 will be recruiting caregivers. The first sign came early in the year with the release of the 2014 Private Duty Benchmarking Study from Home Care…

By Stephen Tweed

What’s the biggest barrier to growing your home care business in 2014?Finding Top Talent - January 2013

All the signs are clear.

The single biggest barrier to growing your business in 2015 will be recruiting caregivers.

The first sign came early in the year with the release of the 2014 Private Duty Benchmarking Study from Home Care Pulse.  The number one concern of company owners for the coming year was recruiting caregivers.

Then as we moved through the summer of 2014, we heard participants at our Private Duty Field Trips and Private Duty Marketing Master Class talking about the trouble they are having finding caregivers.

And the third sign -remember me talking about the Rule of Threes? The third sign is the conversation in the breakout sessions and the hallways at the HCAOA annual Leadership Conference in Kansas City this week.

To begin with, the opening keynote presentation by my friend and professional speaking colleague Donald Cooper from Toronto was called “Winning the Talent Wars.”  Donald talked about the critical nature of finding and keeping top talent in growing your business.

In our pre-conference workshops on the Affordable Care Act Employer Mandate and the elimination of the federal overtime exemption, home care company owners and CEOs talked about the problems they face in finding new people to grow, plus the numbers of new caregivers they will need because their current caregivers will be limited to 40 hours.

Then there’s a brand new twist.  The US Department of Labor is requiring you to pay travel time of a caregiver works for two clients in the same day regardless of the amount of time between shifts.  If this travel time pay takes them over 40 hours you must pay overtime, and it will be difficult to charge that time and a half to any one client.  Go figure that one out.

(More on the travel time requirement in our next article.)

What’s Working in Recruiting?

We have some data about what has worked for other companies in recruiting new caregivers.

In the 2014 Private Duty Benchmarking Study, we learned that the most frequently used recruiting techniques are:

1  Craigslist2014 Benchmarking report cover

2 Employee Referrals

3  Your Web Site

4  Word of Mouth

5  Daily Newspaper Classified Ads


7. Career Builder

8. Community events and job fairs

9.  Referral Sources

However, this survey asked about which techniques companies are using.  It does not dig deeply into which techniques are most effective for finding high quality caregivers.

Back in early 2008 when recruiting was a huge issue – before the economic crash – we did a survey of our readers and the members of our Caregiver Quality Assurance program.  We asked which techniques agencies were using, which techniques were most effective for getting high quantity of applicants, and which techniques were most effective for getting high quality applicants.

At that time, the top techniques for getting high quality applicants were:Recruiting Methods 2008 graph

1. Four Year Scho0ls of Nursing

2. Faith Based Recruiting

3 .Employee Referral Program

4. CNA Training Program

5. Staffing Agency

6.  Networking in the community

7.  Clients and Family

8.  Craigslist

9.  Direct Mail

What we have learned by studying the results of these two studies is that the best quality caregivers are not found using newspaper ads, Craigslist, and other mass market communication vehicles.  The best caregivers come from developing personal relationships with referral sources, such as nursing schools, places of worship, and current employees.

We also know that the very best caregivers are already happily working for someone else.  If you want to hire them, you will have to attract them away by convincing them that your company is a better place to work than their current company.

We Need to Update that Study

To get a clear picture of the most effective techniques for recruiting high quality caregivers, we need your help. We have updated the questions from our 2008 survey to include internet and technology techniques.

Please pass this article on to your HR Director and \ or your recruiter.  Ask them to look at their statistics for recruiting caregivers so far in 2014.  Then take ten minutes to complete the survey.  We will compile this valuable information and prepare an executive summary of the report.  If you give us your data, we’ll give you a free copy of the executive summary.


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.

Related Posts

Extraordinary Transformation: A blueprint for leaders who want to Transform their Organization

June 5, 2024
By Stephen Tweed As a leader in Home Care, are you working on transforming your organization? Are you looking for strategies and insights to grow your business and get ready for the future? I've just finished reading an amazing book by my friend and professional speaking colleague, Dr. Nido Qubein. "Extraordinary Transformation: An Entrepreneurial Blueprint…

Stephen Tweed’s Podcast and Webinar Appearances

May 30, 2024
As a significant Thought Leader in the Home Care industry, Stephen Tweed is frequently invited to be a guest on industry podcasts and webinars. Here are links to some of Stephen's recent appearances. June 2024 - Lead Up Podcast with Mike Harbour - "Legacy Leadership" Stephen Tweed was interviewed by Mike Harbour for the Podcast,…

The Forces and Trends Shaping the Future of Home Care.

May 14, 2024
By Stephen Tweed What will the Home Care Industry look like in five years? Over the past two decades I've been actively engaged in the Home Care Industry, and monitoring the Forces and Trends that are shaping the future of our industry. While much of the growth of Home Care is driven my the entrepreneurial…