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Four Home Care Recruiting Mistakes

Updated: Nov 16, 2022

Home care recruiting is a uniquely challenging field with high burnout. If your agency is struggling to meet your hiring goals, you might feel overwhelmed, overworked, and frustrated with your lack of success. It is common to try to remedy these frustrations with expensive new automation, higher budgets on ad platforms, and hoping for the best. The problem is that throwing your money at more applicants, interviews, and caregivers will not yield results until you understand and perfect your recruiting process.

At Carework, we work with homecare agencies like yours all over the country. We process hundreds of applicants daily for our clients. Here are some commonly seen recruiting errors and how you can work on fixing them today to improve your recruiting results.


Mistake #1: Not Having Enough Interview Availability

Not having enough interview availability is the first common problem we see in homecare agencies struggling to hire. It may seem simple, but depending on the size of your agency, you may not have the ability to offer more interview times yourself or have the resources to hire an in-house recruiter/HR representative who can conduct interviews. There are two problems with the lack of interview availability.

One, Caregivers will lose interest and take a job that interviews them sooner if they are scheduled a week or more out. Not having the calendar space to accommodate the number of interviews you are booking means that your availability is not adequate for the applicant volume your agency is getting. Two, Caregivers are less likely to attend an interview that is set at an inconvenient time simply because that is all that is available when they were scheduled.


Two ways that we at Carework have helped our clients remedy this issue is through scheduling group interviews and having a second (or more) in-office individual trained in the interviewing process for your agency.

Group interviews are not necessarily something to advertise to applicants, however, it can be a beneficial practice when calendar availability is low because it allows you to get more applicants booked for interviews. It is also more likely that one (or more) of the scheduled interviews attends if multiple people are booked at the same time. In the event that both interviewees attend the interview, have a plan in place for a group interview setting. Agencies have found it effective to have one applicant fill out paperwork while the other interviews with the interviewer before switching.

Having a second person trained in interviewing is also effective because you can schedule either group or closely spaced (15-minute intervals) interviews and there are multiple people in the office who can conduct the interview. When a caregiver attends an interview, it is vital that someone is ready and available to assist them.


Mistake #2: Lack of Organization

Lack of organization is another common error we see in the industry. Grey areas cause role confusion in the recruiting process. Having the entirety of recruitment fall on one person without clear processes in place will lead to chaos and panic if that individual is out, or if things are not going well.


Clear and defined roles and standards make assessing your recruiting process simple. Streamlining your recruiting process allows you to properly judge your recruiter’s performance and ensures that no caregiver or applicant is falling through the cracks.


Mistake #3: Blaming Others for Staffing Issues

Victim mentality is a toxic mindset that will not lead to growth in your agency. Smaller agencies fall prey to this more often since larger agencies have already had to break through to grow.

It is a common belief that it is a caregiver’s job to staff an agency. The reality is that this is not the case and as a homecare agency owner, it is in your control how and who you hire. We hear often that unemployment benefits, the idea that no one wants to work anymore, and that this current generation not having the same work ethic are at fault for the lack of hiring. This way of thinking is giving away control of a vitally important part of your business.


It is important to quickly address and dismiss this philosophical mindset if you have seen it infiltrate yourself or your office. It is your job as the agency to hire caregivers. Lack of hiring is not a purely external issue and although there is a national caregiver shortage, it is your responsibility to account for those numbers and adjust accordingly.

It is to be expected in the field of recruiting to have those who do not attend interviews, who do not answer their phones, or who you do not hear from post application. It is important to understand that not everyone who applies for your job will become a hire. Working backward to find out how many applicants it takes to get to your desired number of hires while accounting for those who fall out, will help you adjust your advertising and goals accordingly. Creating a plan rather than frustration will help your agency know where you are at and define how you want to grow.


Mistake #4: Not Tracking Recruiting KPIs

Not tracking KPI for applications and retention is another common error we see. Data-based recruiting is the best way to effectively recruit caregivers. Tracking metrics for your agency is important for the health and success of your business. Knowing your KPIs will help you set your advertising budget for job ads and allow you to clearly see where in your recruiting pipeline you are failing so that you can fix it there before moving on.


Tracking metrics and KPIs does not have to be as overwhelming as it feels. There are many ways to effectively track whether that be in a software system or even on paper. The most important part is that you are tracking. A single example of how tracking one of the metrics gives insight into the recruiting process is through tracking the percentage of applicants that book an interview with your agency. This percentage shows you two important metrics in your recruiting process. It shows you how effective your ads are at targeting qualified candidates and it also shows how effective your initial process is. If your recruiter is not booking interviews, this must be fixed before adding more money to your advertising budget.

Make sure that your recruiting process has a consistent and timely timeline for contacting applicants, a quality phone screen that sells your agency, and that you are offering a variety of interview times to meet the need of the applicant. If you are finding that too many of your applicants are not qualified for booking an interview, adjust your job ad or adjust the qualifications you need to have to simply book an interview.

Tracking KPIs weekly and comparing them to the national benchmarks is the best practice to see how your agency is comparing to other agencies at the national level.

Here at Carework, we hope that identifying these errors and reviewing the solutions will help you remedy the issues you find in your agency so that you can hire to thrive!

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