If you were asked what the top concern is in the home care industry, what would your response be? Years ago, hands down, the answer would have been, “Finding clients!” Yet in today’s climate, the landscape has shifted. Older adults and their families are overwhelmingly seeking care at home, making recruiting and retaining caregivers the main focus.
In fact, many home care agencies are having to turn away clients due to unprecedented turnover of quality care staff. Caregivers are in such high demand that they have the ability to pick and choose which agency they work for. As a result, it’s increasingly important for agencies to offer benefits and perks that stand out.
One key way to both draw in more new talent and retain your existing staff is through a robust employee referral program. Even if you already reward your caregivers for referring new hires, the following tips can help you give your referral program a boost.
Clarify your needs.
For starters, make sure that your staff know exactly what you’re looking for in new employees. Think through the following and then share with employees:
- Do you require any particular qualifications – i.e., CNAs, HHAs, at least a year of experience, someone willing to work weekends, etc.?
- What personality traits are important – i.e. compassion, flexibility, integrity, reliability, etc.?
- What shifts do you most need to cover?
Determine the incentive you want to offer.
You’ll want to spell out exactly what the reward for referring caregivers will be; in particular:
- What is required to receive a referral bonus?
- Does the person they refer need to be hired and remain on staff for a certain length of time?
- Are there staggered bonuses – i.e., a bonus given as soon as the new hire starts work, another after reaching 90 days of employment, etc.?
Make the process as simple as possible.
A complex procedure will dissuade your caregivers from referring. Decide:
- How employees can submit a referral. Is there a simple form (both in paper and online format) available that they can complete? If so, make sure it’s as basic as possible. The referring employee’s name and the referred person’s name and contact info should be all that’s needed.
- Whether you want referrals to contact you, or if someone in your office will contact them.
- How to track referrals, with some way to trigger the referring caregiver to receive the correct incentives at the proper times.
Monitor your progress over time to see how effective your caregiver referral program is. If referrals seem to be slowing down, think of creative ways to motivate your staff:
- Have a drawing for a gift card or other desirable prize, entering the names of any staff members who refer a new caregiver in a particular month.
- Have a contest to see who can make the most referrals in a given timeframe, with a significant prize for the top referrer.
- Host a free catered lunch or a fun group outing for everyone who provides referrals.
Publicize these incentives clearly and often to build excitement within your team and to boost participation.
Let Rosemark Help!
Our customized software solutions are easily adaptable to meet your agency’s specific needs, including help with recruiting and screening qualified applicants, increasing employee retention and job satisfaction, electronic visit verification in Indiana and throughout the US, and deploying seamless and timely communications in a variety of formats.