The home care industry is entering a new post-pandemic era, one where senior citizens and patients struggling with chronic illnesses are increasingly opting for home care.
With more people requiring care in their homes, the demand for in-home caregivers is rising too. Yet, with more home care agencies competing for caregivers, existing staff shortages, and current turnover rates, finding and retaining caregivers is one of the industry’s most significant challenges.
Where there is a challenge, there is also an opportunity. As a software provider specifically for the home care industry, Smartcare Software was developed to help agencies overcome such challenges and capitalize on the opportunities available.
After reviewing Home Care Pulse’s 2022 Benchmarking Report, we identified three pillars for every home care agency that wants to grow and be successful post-pandemic.
This article will look at these three pillars and why they are so important.
1. Caregiver hiring: Finding talented caregivers
Caregivers are home care agencies’ most valuable assets. However, finding good caregivers is among the biggest challenges in the home care industry.
Hiring the right caregivers can increase client/patient satisfaction and bring you more clients. It’s also evident that the high turnover rate makes it necessary for home care agencies to always be ready to hire and onboard new caregivers.
Since many agencies compete for the same talent, making your hiring process quick, simple, and engaging is essential.
Use the following tactics to attract and engage the best caregiver candidates:
- Make sure that the content of your job posting matches your ideal candidate
- Help candidates understand the benefits of working for your home care agency
- Provide an easy application process
- Build a good relationship with your potential caregivers by engaging them throughout the hiring process.
Home care agencies should ideally invest in an applicant tracking system (ATS). An ATS is designed to help with posting jobs, managing and organizing a large number of job applications, and automating communications with candidates, including scheduling interviews.
2. Caregiver engagement and retention: Rewarding your caregivers and retaining them
Home care agencies must invest time, money, and effort in retaining their caregivers to avoid turnover costs, losing clients who trust their caregivers, and damaging their reputation.
According to Home Care Pulse, ‘a shocking 57% of caregiver turnover occurs in the crucial first three months of employment.’ Their reasons are easy to understand: caregivers leave when they don’t feel appreciated, heard, or supported.
Caregivers take care of clients, so home care agencies need to take excellent care of their caregivers by:
- delivering a smooth onboarding process
- building good relationships, where they listen to and address caregivers’ problems
- providing caregivers with a flexible schedule, benefits, and training to support their growth
- maximizing caregiver-client matching to help create lasting bonds
- ensuring caregivers have all the tools they need to be successful in their jobs
- keeping caregivers connected, motivated, and engaged through regular recognition and reward, which can include gamification tools.
On top of these, home care agencies can build a positive company culture where company values align with how the agency operates, people feel like a part of the team, and where good communication comes first.
Cultivating a company culture of care, value, trust, and loyalty will increase caregiver engagement and retention.
3. Growing your agency: Expanding services, using sales & marketing strategies, and establishing partnerships
Once these two pillars of a successful home care agency are established, home care agencies should focus their energy on growing.
Growing a home care agency may involve diversifying and adding specialized home care services, building new partnerships, or using sales and marketing strategies to attract more clients.
Data shows that a home care agency’s reputation is the primary source of client acquisition. When a home care agency values customer satisfaction above all, it pays. Clients refer other clients, which is why building a referral program can accelerate an agency’s growth.
However, agencies increasingly use online marketing tools to reach out to new customers. No matter where agencies find their new clients, it’s important for them to establish a good online reputation. The latter can also support other growth opportunities by attracting new partners.
To build confidence and trust in your home care agency, demonstrating tangible results is key. Home care agencies should pay close attention to the emerging trends to know what matters in the industry, as well as the key metrics they are tracking.
Utilizing the right technology to automate data gathering can help agencies translate such information into bite-sized marketing materials, increasing trust in their services both for their existing and new clients, as well as within the home health care industry.
Smartcare Software is a holistic solution for home care agencies to support all pillars we mentioned with tech tools. The home care industry is changing rapidly, and home care agencies need a technology partner that keeps up with developments in the industry.
Smartcare Software responds to hiring challenges with the ENGAGE Hiring Hub, supports caregiver retention with the Caregiver Rewards System, makes gathering and analyzing KPI data easy, optimizes your sales & marketing efforts with built-in CRM tools, and much more.