In a recent survey conducted by Home Health Care News, 44% of home health care providers cited staffing as their greatest challenge heading into 2020. Historically low unemployment and high competition both in and outside the industry made it difficult for home care providers to not only hire the right people but keep them long term.
The emergence of COVID-19 only magnified many of the staffing issues plaguing the industry. At the start of the pandemic, PPE shortages left many caregivers nervous to come to work. In fact, a survey conducted by the Home Care Association of America (HCAOA) in April found that 60% of organizations experienced staff call-offs due to concerns around COVID-19.
At the same time, an ever-increasing number of workers has been displaced from their jobs due to the pandemic. Because of this, many home health providers have taken great strides to expand their hiring efforts to attract workers from this new pool of talent. However, without the right practices in place, providers could miss out on not only attracting but hiring top talent.
Here are four key ways that home care and home health providers can improve hiring during COVID-19 and beyond.
Focus On Quality, Not Just Quantity
Job boards are a great way to get your job postings in front of as many eyes as possible. In fact, it’s generally recommended that you post openings on several job boards at a time to ensure the right candidates can find you. While casting a wide net is important, HR and hiring managers don’t want to spend endless hours sorting through applicants that simply don’t meet the minimum qualifications.
Adding qualifying questions is a simple way to help automatically narrow down your pool. Be sure to screen candidates for minimum requirements such as certifications or licensure right at the start of the application. Doing so will allow HR and hiring managers the chance to focus their efforts on best-fit candidates.
Communicate Fast & Frequently
The days of allowing applications to pile up and sit untouched for days at a time before following up are long gone. And continuing to do so could result in missing out on top talent.
Particularly in today’s highly competitive job market, candidates often apply to several jobs at once. To avoid missing out on qualified candidates, it’s important to follow up as soon as their application has been received. Talent acquisition software (TAS) like OnShift Employ allows organizations to automate this and other key follow-up communications to ensure candidates know their application has been received and where they are in the hiring process.
OnShift Employ even uses automated "nudges" to ensure next steps are completed by the candidate and the recruiter. This constant communication is the best way to keep candidates engaged, create that positive candidate experience and speed up time to hire.
Establish A Structured Hiring Process
Hiring in home health can be a lengthy process. After all, to ensure quality care and service, providers need to make sure they’re making the right hire each and every time. However, a lack of structure can significantly stall the hiring process.
It’s important to map out a clear step-by-step hiring process for your entire organization. This could include where jobs are posted, how long managers have to follow up and schedule an interview, what questions are asked during the interview, and a streamlined onboarding process.
Once you have a clear process in place, look to key hiring metrics such as where new hires are applying from, overall time to hire and referral sources to refine your process over time.
Having a talent acquisition software in place can help automatically track these metrics. OnShift Employ comes standardized with 60+ hiring reports, as well as easy-view dashboards and weekly automated reports to keep optimization top of mind.
Keep A Pool Of Candidates At The Ready
Many home health providers rely on job boards to manage their candidates. However, it's a best practice to create a database of those candidates who, while they may not be a fit for the positions you currently have available, may be a fit in the future.
Talent acquisition software allows you to save this candidate data, providing you a pool of candidates to pull from whenever a new opening is available. This can greatly reduce time spent sourcing and evaluating a new set of applicants each time a position needs to be filled.