With the continued caregiver workforce shortage and turnover rates remaining sky-high at 64%, the competition for top caregiver talent in the home care industry is proving an ongoing challenge for providers.
The home care providers winning the uphill battle in attracting, hiring, and retaining the best caregiver candidates know that implementing key strategies has played a significant role in their success. These include:
- Writing effective job descriptions
- Having consistent recruitment, hiring, and onboarding processes
- Offering a competitive salary with added benefits
- Providing plenty of training and development opportunities
- Consistently recognizing and rewarding employees
- Prioritizing and promoting a positive company culture
- Measuring and monitoring employee engagement
- Training management and office staff, including schedulers
Getting these strategies right is crucial to being recognized as an employer of choice and securing caregivers in a highly competitive home care market.
For some, this will mean a slight tweak to their current processes – for others, it might require a complete overhaul.
In this blog, we’ll look at writing effective job descriptions and share best practices to help your team nail this first step to reaching the caregiver talent you’re searching for.
If you’d like to learn more about the other crucial strategies listed, please use the links above to visit our informative articles for further guidance and support.
Let’s get started.
Why are job descriptions important?
Job descriptions are an essential tool in any recruitment process, designed to give job seekers a clear idea of what an employer is looking for. In addition to setting clear expectations for potential candidates, they can also be used as a valuable point of reference during interviews and, when the time comes, for performance reviews.
Job descriptions should provide an accurate and concise outline of the responsibilities, qualifications, and necessary skills required for the position on offer – answering the question, ‘What does a person in this role need to be able to do?’.
In today’s highly competitive job market, well-written job descriptions are more important than ever for employers looking to reach and attract the right talent. As a result, they’ve evolved to be more like a hard sales pitch for open positions, to grab potential employees’ attention, pique their interest, create excitement, and sell the company as a fantastic place to work.
A job description is usually the first introduction any potential candidate will have to your company. As such, it’s the ideal tool to make sure you stand out from the crowd in your local home care market, make an impactful impression, demonstrate what you have to offer, and attract the best, high-quality caregivers to your door.
So, how do you do that?
What should a compelling job description include?
Writing compelling, effective job descriptions is essential to attracting best-fit caregiver candidates from both inside and outside the home care space.
Creating your own standard job description template is the easiest way to do this. It helps employment platforms index your jobs so that they appear in searches and allows potential candidates to quickly scan and assess whether your open position is a good fit for them.
Typically, your template should include the following:
1. Job title
The job title is the first thing any job seeker will see as they are scrolling and should capture potential candidates’ attention and trigger engagement.
- Avoid creating confusion or uncertainty with overly wordy, long titles – or anything too vague. Instead, stick with specific and concise job titles that are searchable on multiple hiring platforms.
- Use industry-standard language (but not jargon or slang) to improve your chances of reaching the most suitable candidates. Choose relevant keywords.
- Research job titles currently being used successfully in the home care job market for similar roles – to avoid reinventing the wheel.
- Remember, search engine algorithms do not favor spammy language, special characters, or emojis. So don’t waste your creativity trying to write an eye-catching job title!
- Maintain consistency in your job titles, like you do your branding – so the same positions don’t look like different positions across multiple channels.
2. Job summary
The job summary should be an ‘at a glance’ section that provides a high-level overview of your company and the responsibilities required for the position available. This is the time to activate your creativity!
- Ideally, your summary should be no more than 1–3 concise paragraphs so job seekers aren’t overwhelmed. You want them to be engaged and continue reading.
- Provide a brief company description highlighting the most attractive aspects of your company culture and how the role fits into your organization.
- Use invitational language, such as ‘Be part of our dedicated caregiver team …’.
- Include the job location to optimize your posting and discourage any candidates that are out of range.
- Cover work hours/shifts/schedules, which will help potential candidates determine at a glance if the position is a good fit for them.
3. Duties and responsibilities
This section is the foundation of your job description, where you can more clearly define the duties and responsibilities the role carries. The best way to tackle this is to use a concise bullet point list – which interested candidates can scan quickly and easily.
Begin with key accountabilities or primary responsibilities. Typically, this will include 2–5 bullet points.
You should then list specific job duties that the successful applicant will be expected to perform in the role (on a daily/weekly/monthly basis), beginning each statement with an action verb. This will help potential candidates to envision themselves performing these duties and generate some excitement, for example:
- Assist clients with personal care and hygiene, including bathing, dressing, grooming, and toileting.
- Coordinate medication management.
- Complete agreed-upon household chores, including laundry, dishes, and light cleaning.
- Provide weekly companionship care, initiating appropriate leisure activities.
- Maintain detailed client records in accordance with company procedure.
- Communicate with the client’s family to keep them informed of progress.
It’s essential to accurately and concisely list all the duties and responsibilities of any job in this section to give a realistic view of what the job entails. Setting clear expectations now will help to avoid any issues further along the hiring process.
4. Required/preferred skills, qualifications, and experience
Again, using bullet points for easy scanning, this section should list the required skills, proficiency, qualifications, and experience for the role – including hard and soft skills, certifications, and education level.
Be sure to separate your list into ‘required’ and ‘preferred,’ which will prevent you from ruling out any caregiver candidates that may be a perfect fit for your company but just need a little additional training to level up during their first 30–90 days.
5. Salary and any additional benefits
Including this section isn’t mandatory, but candidates typically prefer to know the salary range and details about any additional benefits before applying for a job. Including this information not only helps job seekers decide if the position is right for them but will also save you time and money in the long run.
Make sure the salary you’re offering is competitive!
It’s worth taking the time to consider all the benefits working for your company offers a caregiver and describing them in this section. Don’t assume that caregivers will automatically see the value of working for you.
Listing the benefits available is a great way to excite and motivate potential candidates to read on and (hopefully) apply. Benefits that are seen as high value by caregivers typically include:
- Flexible scheduling
- Training and development opportunities, including career paths
- Paid vacation time and sick leave
- Health insurance plans (dental, medical, vision)
- The best tools to perform the role efficiently and effectively, like Smartcare Software’s mobile app
- Reimbursements for mileage and travel expenses
- Access to on-demand pay/early paycheck access
- A reward program, like Smartcare Software’s Caregiver Rewards
6. Company overview, conveying company culture
A great job description needs to go deeper than a standard list of duties, qualifications, and salary. To attract the very best caregiver candidates, you need to give a feel for your company culture and demonstrate why your home care business is such a great place to work.
Avoid simply pasting in your company’s ‘About Us’ page content here. It’s important to tailor this section to engage your target audience – giving potential candidates an idea of your values and beliefs to see if they align with their own. Caregivers who are motivated by your home care company’s culture are more likely to deliver higher quality work and be committed to your company for the long term.
To keep this section brief, you can include a clear link to your company website for the applicant to explore further.
7. Equal opportunities statement
Including this statement at the end of your job description (and on your career site) will help improve your search results so more top-talented caregiver candidates will see it.
Here’s an example:
“We are an equal opportunity employer. We do not discriminate based on religion, race, national origin, color, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, or disability status. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for the benefit of all our employees.”
8. Call to action (CTA)
This final section is where you should be turning potential applicants into actual applicants – and you need a strong CTA that lets interested job seekers know precisely how and when to apply.
Offering too many channels through which to apply can cause confusion and inconsistencies in your application process for both the applicant and your HR team.
Aim to have one call to action and keep it clear and straightforward. If you’re posting jobs across multiple sites – for example, Indeed, LinkedIn, Facebook, or myCNAjobs – be sure to drive all applicants to the same source to fill out the application (for example, website link, landing page, job post hosting site).
An ‘Apply Now’ button directly through to your website is typically the best method. If linked to an applicant tracking system (ATS) – like Smartcare Software’s ENGAGE Hiring Hub – even better. This will help walk applicants through a step-by-step process and ensure every applicant has the same, consistent experience regardless of which channel they apply through.
If they connect with your home care company and the application process is quick and simple, the highest-quality caregivers will not be able to submit their applications fast enough!
A well-written job description is a critical piece of the jigsaw for any effective hiring strategy and can really set you apart in the race for top caregiver talent. It can mean the difference between a steady trickle or a full-on flood of qualified applicants.
It’s important to find the perfect balance between keeping your description concise and providing enough detail for caregiver candidates to clearly understand the position – and your company – to determine whether to take the next step and apply.
Once you have the basic template in place, you can, of course, start to zhuzh it up to reflect your home care business’s unique personality and style!
If you’d like to learn more about the Smartcare Software tools mentioned in this article – and how we can support your home care business’s hiring and retention strategies – please contact us today or request a free demo.