Smart home care agencies know that optimal recruiting and hiring processes are crucial to ensuring a healthy pipeline of talented caregivers to deliver the best and most effective care for their clients.
This latest blog looks at how you can optimize your home care agency’s hiring process using the right technology and provide an outstanding candidate experience to secure those all-important talented caregivers.
What does the hiring process involve?
A hiring process is a step-by-step approach used by businesses to fill their job vacancies. While each home care agency will have its own specific processes and procedures, typical steps include:
- Identifying hiring needs
- Writing a great job posting and publishing it to start recruiting
- Reviewing and screening received applications
- Shortlisting qualified/suitable candidates
- Interviewing selected candidates
- Candidate assessments via tests or assignments
- Candidate screening and background checking (including references)
- Choosing a candidate to make a job offer
- Negotiating contract details and making the hire
- Onboarding the hired candidate.
To achieve hiring success in a highly competitive market, your agency needs to beat the competition in attracting, engaging, selecting, and hiring the best talent for any job vacancies – and then retain them.
Many factors can influence hiring success but, arguably, the two predominant factors are writing great job postings and providing an outstanding candidate experience throughout your hiring process.
What is an outstanding candidate experience?
A candidate’s experience includes all the interactions they will have with your home care agency before becoming an employee – from your job posting and interviewing techniques through to your hiring and onboarding processes.
Typically, a positive candidate experience comes from clear, timely, and consistent communication throughout each step of your hiring process – with applicants feeling respected and that their time is valued, regardless of the end outcome.
Research shows that caregiver candidates are looking for the following experience:
- clear and realistic expectations for the job and work environment (job posting)
- honest communication about workplace culture, career progression opportunities and agency benefits
- a straightforward and mobile-friendly application process – that requires the least amount of clicks for applying and submitting documents
- easy access to employer and employment details, and any additional resources needed
- speedy, consistent and respectful communication as they move through each stage of the hiring pipeline – including information about the next steps (via email, text, phone call)
- clarity on which documents need to be submitted at which step (and notification when they have been received)
- a professional, pleasant and seamless interview experience
- some room for negotiation at the hiring stage – tailored offers for benefits, training, etc.
- smooth transitions from hiring to onboarding
- a gentle, respectful process for rejecting applicants, keeping opportunities open to be considered for future positions
- being provided with everything they need to succeed in their new role (i.e. proper training, support through a mentorship program, etc.).
How can your home care agency provide an outstanding candidate experience?
Some of the most successful home care agencies approach hiring and customer/client marketing in the same way and consider finding the best employees is as important an investment as finding great clients.
They understand that, in today’s home care market, the most talented caregivers have the luxury of selecting from multiple competing offers – and that they need a great marketing strategy to promote their agency and all it has to offer.
They also know that they need to quickly engage prospective candidates through great job postings and inspire them to apply.
But this is just the start!
It is hugely important to pay attention to the whole candidate experience if you want to attract and engage top talent to your agency, as it shapes your brand reputation and affects your ability to build a robust talent pool. Any disappointing or unsatisfactory experiences will negatively impact your home care agency.
Guaranteeing a positive candidate experience should be a core focus of your recruiting and hiring strategy, establishing practices that keep all candidates interested, engaged, and informed at every touchpoint.
To achieve this, it is essential to be proactive in establishing a simple, fast, and efficient applicant process to streamline and support your hiring process.
Having a standardized hiring process in place will help. However, there will still be a considerable amount of administrative work involved in collecting, storing, and managing the information sent in by applicants and keeping track of where each applicant is in the process.
Using technology specifically designed for hiring caregivers will give you that all-important edge. It will equip you with the framework needed to optimize a standardized hiring process and ensure that all-important outstanding candidate experience.
Applicant tracking software
Home care agencies can save considerable time and money by investing in applicant tracking software, specifically designed for home care providers, like Smartcare’s Caregiver Application Tracking System.
An applicant tracking system (ATS) enables your home care agency to post job ads, manage applicants through the hiring pipeline, and oversee every part of the hiring process, all from one single platform. It optimizes your hiring process in numerous ways, improving not only the candidate experience but also that of your HR team, including:
- speeds up the hiring process, automatically moving applicants through the hiring pipeline
- facilitates quick, consistent communication with all applicants, keeping them informed and engaged (via email and text)
- collects and stores all documents applicants send in a centralized hub for easy filing and quick access (including cover letters, resumes, etc.)
- ensures speedy processing of all candidates – including assessments – to identify best-fit candidates in an organized workflow
- provides a hiring process rubric to assess and evaluate all candidates equally and fairly using the same measurable, objective criteria
- simplifies employment screening with integrated background checking (including references)
- allows you to see exactly where every candidate is in the hiring process
- strengthens your employment brand and helps you to build relationships with your talent community, which impacts caregiver retention
- assists with new hire paperwork so your HR team can focus on the more critical aspects of onboarding.
Home care agencies that embrace ATS technology see an immediate increase in quality, efficiency, and consistency across all stages of their hiring process, right through to onboarding and caregiver retention.
Mobile-friendly application process
A recent study conducted by Kelton Research revealed that 86% of people with a smartphone use it to search for jobs (Demographics). These same individuals are also expecting to apply for your caregiver positions from their phones.
Home care agencies that do not have a mobile-friendly app for prospective candidates may miss out on top-quality talent and are less likely to provide an outstanding candidate experience consistently.
A mobile-friendly application process, like Smartcare’s, serves as an easily accessible platform and self-service portal while also offering numerous add-on features. Features include applicant progress checks, integrated background checks, links to your website and timely reminders – all ideal for optimizing your hiring process, improving the candidate experience and saving your agency a great deal of time and money.
Tracking key hiring metrics
Using technology to optimize your hiring process also has the benefit of providing your home care agency with instant access to data.
Data is essential to understanding which elements of your hiring process are working well and which require some improvement. All successful business models rely on data metrics and analysis to improve existing processes.
Using Smartcare software, you can identify how effective and cost-efficient your hiring pipeline is by accessing a wide range of data, including:
- source of hire: which channels generate the most applications
- quality of hire: which channels attract the best-qualified applicants
- time-to-hire: the time involved in finding and hiring a new employee
- which job postings achieve the best ROI.
More sophisticated data collection and reporting software options are needed to optimize your hiring process and achieve that all-important edge as the home care industry grows.
Creating and building a strong caregiver team is an ever-evolving process. However, your home care agency can optimize its hiring process, strengthen its brand, guarantee outstanding candidate experiences, and secure a strong team with relative ease by utilizing the right technology.
It is these strong teams that will significantly outperform the rest in 2021.
Please get in touch with us today for more information on how Smartcare software can help you streamline your online hiring process.