As the home care industry continues to grow, home care agencies are faced with more recruitment challenges than ever before.
Four out of five home care owners state that one of the top threats to their growth is a shortage of high-quality caregivers.
It’s easy to overlook something as obvious as your job postings, but how you write your caregiver job posts matters and will play a significant role in determining whether you can attract all-star applicants who will take action and apply for your positions. Avoid the serious mistake most make by knowing the difference between a caregiver job description and a job posting. Creating the right job postings will also help to make sure those applicants that are applying are qualified and meet your requirements.
Your caregiver job postings really are key to standing out from the crowd in your local home care market.
The good news is, it’s easy to learn strategies and best practices to create attractive job postings that will attract the best, high-quality caregivers to your home care agency.
Job Description vs Job Posting
The first step is to avoid a critical mistake made by many home care agencies – and consultants that advise them – in posting their caregiver job description and hoping for the best. Using a caregiver job description for your job posting can be a costly mistake in this highly competitive market. It is important to understand the difference between a job description and a job posting.
- A job description
While key points from the job description can be used in a job posting, to catch the eye of possible applicants, the full job description should be used for internal purposes only – given at a later point in the hiring process, such as during the first interview. It will also be used as a point of reference, when the time comes, for performance appraisals. The full job description should never be used to replace a job posting, as an external marketing tool to attract caregivers.
- A job posting
This is the marketing tool you should be using for external audiences, to attract new caregivers and get prospects interested in being part of your team. The goal of any home care job posting should be to get potential candidates excited about the opportunity of working specifically for your home care agency. Most caregivers know what to expect from the position they are applying for, but they do not know what to expect from your agency.
So, job postings are the fundamental tool you need to attract potential talent and spark initial conversations about your home care agency and position. You can then use your first conversations with potential employees as an opportunity to talk about the specifics of the position, using the detailed job description.
Your caregiver job postings give you an ideal opportunity to stand out from your competitors and demonstrate to the applicant what you have to offer. It starts the framing of ‘why us’ in the caregiver’s mind and potentially gets them excited enough to take action and apply for the position on offer.
We’ve put together a list of key aspects you need to include when writing an eye-catching caregiver job post, to help you attract those 5-star applicants.
8 Top Tips for Writing the Perfect Caregiver Job Posting
1 – Keep it clear and concise
Before most applicants go through the details of any job ad, they’re going to scan it. They don’t want to scroll through multiple paragraphs of a job posting in order to decide if it is a position, and company, they are interested in.
Save your prospective caregivers’ time by making your job post clear and concise, simple to navigate and easy to pinpoint exactly what they need and want to know. This will also save you time in return while increasing your agency’s chances of receiving high-quality applicants.
In general, it is also important to avoid home care agency acronyms, jargon, abbreviations, and slang as applicants may be intimidated by any terminology they are unfamiliar with, be confused or feel unqualified for the position due to lack of understanding. They may shy away from the position, and your agency will potentially lose a caregiver who could have been more than qualified for the position.
As well as choosing the right wording, it’s important to make sure your job posting is formatted in a clear, bold and concise way. This will ensure that, when scanning, potential candidates can see at a glance what you’re looking for. Grabbing and holding the readers’ attention will ultimately lead to more applicants taking action.
2 – Optimize your job post title
The job title is what most candidates will see first when looking at job boards to determine if they are going to read the full posting, so it is one of the most critical aspects of any job posting.
Write your job title, and whole job post, using keywords you know candidates will be searching. There are millions of people searching for millions of keywords every day – SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is key to your recruitment process. While standing out and being unique can be important, for SEO purposes it actually helps more to focus on basic, searchable phrases and titles.
It can be tempting to add hours, pay and benefits into your job post title, but try to avoid this and, instead, keep your title recognizable and keyword-friendly.
After creating the job post title, the next step is to include the exact title of the job position and two to three key aspects of the job that make it intriguing and unique, setting it apart from your main competitors.
3 – Provide a brief overview of the position and benefits
Providing an overview of the key duties, skills, experience, and expectations is important, and will serve two purposes:
- inform candidates of the prerequisites
- disengage unqualified people (if there are any).
For greatest impact, use bullet points as a quick checklist – and use strong action verbs to help the applicant envision themselves performing these duties, to excite them and create value that the applicant is looking for.
The key focus of this section is to intrigue the potential applicant to keep reading, and ultimately apply, by helping them to feel a part of something bigger and envisioning the impact their role could make. While you need to include some informative content detailing the logistics and requirements of the role, your main focus here should be on persuasive content that motivates and energizes likely applicants.
Using a summary, briefly describe how the caregiver will positively impact their clients and the agency, through their meaningful work, improving the lives of the clients and their families. Your overview needs to trigger an emotional response, that makes them feel as though they are already impacting lives as they are reading the job posting.
Thoroughly consider all the benefits of working for your agency as a caregiver, and describe them in this section too, rather than assuming that caregivers can automatically see the value of working for you. Adding the benefits of the position is another way you can excite and motivate potential candidates to apply, for example:
- education / training
- travel expenses.
Sales expert, Brian Tracy, famously described sales as ‘the transfer of enthusiasm’. This section is where you can really use your job posting to transfer enthusiasm about your agency to your future caregivers.
4 – Introduce your home care agency
One section of your job post should always include an introduction to your home care agency, including:
- a brief history of the company
- its mission and value statements
- the core competencies on which it is founded.
Avoid simply pasting in your company’s ‘About Us’ page content here. It’s really important that you understand who your target audience is and write specifically to them. Write a summary about your agency that speaks clearly to your likely applicants and provides them with context to your agency and the position.
This gives potential candidates an idea of the home care agency’s morals and beliefs to see if they align with their own. Caregivers who are motivated by your company’s values will provide a higher quality of work and be more likely to be committed to your company long-term.
Lastly, include clear links to your home care agency website for the applicant to explore further, and to your home care software’s applicant intake to make it easy for them to apply electronically into your software platform.
5 – Introduce the team
Home care is all about people and relationships. We are all social creatures, designed to communicate and crave social acceptance and human interaction. Every prospective caregiver wants to feel valued and a part of the team at their chosen agency.
It’s important to paint an accurate picture of the dynamic between your agency’s staff, co-workers and supervisors. When a caregiver has a better understanding of a company’s culture, they will know exactly what environment to expect the first day of onboarding and on the job.
After the company culture is described, a short paragraph can be added in that emphasizes the personality and character traits a candidate should have for them to be the most successful and productive caregiver they can be. This should also tie into the energy and attitude of your agency’s team as a whole.
6 – Provide one call to action
Filling out job applications can be daunting, so you must make it easy for the caregiver applicant to apply. Offering too many channels through which to apply can cause confusion and inconsistencies in your application process – both for the applicant and your agency.
Ideally, provide one call to action – keeping it clear and simple. Even if you’re posting jobs on multiple channels – for example, Facebook, Indeed, LinkedIn or myCNAjobs – make sure you drive all applicants to the same source (landing page, website link, job post hosting site) to fill out their application.
Typically, an ‘Apply Now’ button, directly through your website, is the best method to use. If linked to a home care software platform, this will help walk applicants through a step-by-step process, making it easy for them and preventing people from having different experiences depending on which channel they apply through.
If they connect with the home care agency and the application process seems simple enough, the highest-quality caregivers will not be able to send in their applications fast enough.
7 – Include testimonials and awards
Don’t just hope that potential applicants will take your word for it that your agency is a quality employer! It can be highly beneficial to include links to employee or client testimonials, as simple written testimonials or even short video clips.
Testimonials and awards are a great way to add credibility, set you apart from the competition and give applicants extra confidence in you.
Including any badges or award recognitions at the end of your job post can also help to increase the credibility and success of your agency. Make it known that you stand out from your competitors and take pride in the service your team provides.
8 – Proofread for grammatical errors and unintentional bias
This is the final step to creating the best job postings to attract high-quality caregivers. You are almost done!
No caregiver searching for a position wants to encounter spelling or grammatical errors from a home care agency trying to recruit them. Errors in your post will immediately turn away quality caregivers, as it shows a lack of professionalism, diligence and care.
It is essential to also be aware of the language used in your job postings, to avoid any bias or offence. You should not assume abilities, gender, race, etc. By avoiding bias, your agency shows it is inclusive and open to people from all backgrounds.
Ideally, have your job posts checked by a professional proofreader – but if this isn’t possible, ensure at least two or three people read it before it goes live on any job search engines.
While there is no magical solution to attracting and recruiting more caregivers, there are many ways you can increase the number of caregivers applying to your agency. Writing better job postings is one fundamental but critical method you can employ to take your recruitment efforts to the next level.
It cannot be stressed enough how important it is to know your target audience and speak directly to them, so do spend time researching your audience so you can understand their goals and aspirations, what makes them tick, or what they might feel is missing from their life.
It’s well known that people buy into emotion before they rationalize with logic, so be mindful of writing job postings that tap into those emotions. You want to not only make potential candidates feel something as they read your job ads, but also motivate them to apply.
Many of you will already be incorporating a lot of these ideas and best practices when writing your job posts, but we hope we have signposted some new ways you can tweak certain areas and make improvements – to stand out from the crowd and attract more, high-quality caregivers than ever.
SMARTcare is a Complete Home Care Platform with Just the Right Amount of Everything Designed by Caregivers for Caregivers. With SMARTcare, you can manage, schedule, and operate everything you need for your home care business. Achieve better outcomes, higher satisfaction, and increase caregiver retention with a system that supports your business and its goals.
SMARTcare is currently offering our COVID-19 Toolset at no charge to all home care agencies. The Toolset App includes reminders, agency notices, symptom checks, contact tracing and other important virus risk mitigation tools to help you manage your response to the pandemic.
We are in this together.
To find out more about SMARTcare Software, email firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know how we can help.
To find out how SmartCare™ software and support can help you differentiate your service and strategy, please contact us at 1+ (800) 450-9104 or via email: email@example.com