Today we are pleased to share a guest post by Kevin Hansen, Digital Communications Manager of Home Care Pulse, a leading satisfaction research firm. Kevin is discussing key insights and data from Home Care Pulse’s new 2017 Home Care Benchmarking Study and we are pleased to share this valuable information with our readers.

At Home Care Pulse, we love gathering data and feedback to help home care businesses grow, and we do this through our Annual Home Care Benchmarking Study. Each year, we work to gather data points from home care businesses across the nation to provide the most up-to-date industry benchmarks. Analysis of the results is published in the Home Care Association of America endorsed Annual Home Care Benchmarking Study. With help from our partners and nationwide participants, the Study has helped thousands of home care providers to improve their business by providing detailed data on finance, sales, marketing, recruitment, retention, client satisfaction, operations, and more.

This year, attention was drawn to a particular set of pain points in the industry: caregiver recruitment and retention. According to the 2017 Home Care Benchmarking Study, caregiver recruitment and retention is one of the biggest threats to the growth of individual home care agencies. As more and more baby boomers turn 65 every day, the need for caregivers is growing. According to the Study, 77% of providers stated that the caregiver shortage is one of the top three threats their home care agencies face.

With this increase in concern, home care providers are looking for solutions to help decrease caregiver turnover that any home care business owner can implement, and it addresses both recruitment and retention.

Caregiver Recruitment

When providers feel the pain of caregiver shortages, their first reaction is to hire as many caregivers as possible to fill the positions. Although this can get you the numbers you need, does it provie you with quality caregivers? While recruitment is the first step in combatting shortages, the answer doesn’t lie in quantity, rather in quality. How you recruit your caregivers will determine how well you retain them.

The 2017 Study provides many data points on how to market your business to attract quality caregivers. From your social media accounts to, more importantly, employee referrals, how the community views your home care agency is critical to the type of caregivers you will recruit.

How Do You Recruit Quality Caregivers?

Recruiting quality caregivers is all about patience. What caliber of caregiver are you willing to wait for? Do you want to fill positions for the short term, or do you want caregivers to stay for the long term? What questions you ask in your caregiver interviews will help determine the type of caregivers you hire. To sort out the unqualified caregivers, you need to ask strong and informative questions. Ask questions that devle into a caregiver’s past and experience. Ask them how they would handle specific situations, and what they are qualified to handle. Asking proper interview questions is just one of many ways to reach and recruit quality caregivers. For more material on how to improve your recruitment strategies, the 2017 Study has multiple articles and data insights on this topic.

Caregiver Retention

On the flipside of recruitment, there is caregiver retention. In 2016, median caregiver turnover was 65.7% for the industry. That’s a 7% increase from 2015. Per the 2017 Study, 32% of providers indicate that caregiver turnover is one of their top three biggest threats. Retaining caregivers is all about caregiver satisfaction. Are your caregivers happy working for your home care agency? How are you recognizing their hard work?

Caregiver recognition is one of the major players in caregiver satisfaction. Caregivers want to be recognized for their efforts and hard work. Many home care business owners feel like increasing pay rate is the only way to make caregivers happy, but pay rate is only one factor impacting employee satisfaction. According to the data gathered, only 11.4% of caregivers report preferring a pay raise as a ‘thank you’ for doing a good job, while 48.5% would prefer verbal or written recognition. Recognize their sacrifices and their abilities, and they will be happy to continue working for your home care agency. The 2017 Home Care Benchmarking Study includes many other ways caregivers prefer to be recognized, and how you can keep them happy.

Other Findings in the Study

Along with caregiver retention and recruitment, you will find data on all topics pertaining to home care, including:

  • Increasing Client Satisfaction
  • Increasing Client Referrals
  • Professional Referral Sources
  • Finance Benchmarks and Trends
  • Operational Data
  • Sales and Marketing Analysis

Concerning the newest Home Care Benchmarking Study, Aaron Marcum, CEO and Founder of Home Care Pulse, said, ‘This year’s Home Care Benchmarking Study is the most comprehensive study yet. With eight years of data gathered, we’re seeing trends in the industry concerning where providers may excel or struggle. Whether you’re new to home care or a seasoned expert, the study is an invaluable resource for making well-informed decisions and, ultimately, improving you quality of care.’

To gain more insights into the latest industry threats and trends, order your copy of the recently published 2017 Home Care Benchmarking Study.