Recruiting and training quality staff are two of the biggest challenges facing the homecare industry today. HomeCare Magazine sat down with myCNAjobs.com CEO Brandi Kurtyka to discuss these challenges. myCNAjobs.com is an online caregiver recruiting and training company that allows users across the nation find a caregiver, home health agency (HHA), or certified nursing assistant (CNA) job, attend a CNA career fair, or connect with companies hiring caregivers. Read on to learn how Kurtyka and myCNAjobs.com are helping the industry find solutions for short-staffed agencies and professionals looking for their place in homecare.
HomeCare: What staffing challenges does the homecare industry face?
Kurtyka: Homecare recruitment is a growing challenge. Not only is there a labor shortage, but also, on average, caregivers receive more than three calls a week for work and agencies are competing for talent outside of the industry. The labor pool is fluid; shift preferences and availability change weekly, sometimes by the day, and caregivers will not travel far for work.
We learned in the “2019 Caregiver Trend Report” that 12 percent of caregivers have worked for or interviewed with Amazon. It’s tough for some agencies to compete if they are not aggressively adapting their practices when a caregiver can get a job just about anywhere in the country, working the hours they want at higher pay.
HomeCare: How can myCNAjobs.com help address these challenges?
Kurtyka: First, myCNAjobs.com is committed to creating caregivers inside the industry. It is connected to various local and national programs across the country to drive awareness and bring more talent into homecare. We are working hard to get a seat at the table.
Second, the company is one of the largest networks of professional caregivers, CNAs and home health aides in the nation. We have a pulse on where caregivers want to work, when they want to work, and what companies they are and are not interested in working for. Through our suite of recruitment tools and partnerships with large enterprises, we are able to deliver talent efficiently to reduce costs while helping companies reach candidates they’re not reaching today.
HomeCare: What do agency owners need to know about hiring and staffing?
Kurtyka: Less than half of agencies report the person(s) in charge of recruitment has been on board for more than a year. Individuals identifying as the “person in charge of recruitment” most often have no formal recruitment training. I want to share an “in-the-trenches” insight from working with thousands of agencies—it is difficult to get executives engaged in the recruitment process even though this is often the most limiting factor to agency growth.
Recruitment is often not managed or measured properly. In a market where only 22 percent of caregivers report actually wanting to work for a homecare agency, it takes a well-trained team to recruit and retain top talent. A good team includes the owner, the recruiter and your partners working together. Owners should get engaged in the recruitment process, develop deep and meaningful partnerships, and measure everything.
This year, 61 percent of homecare agency owners reported turning away cases due to lack of staff. An agency can overcome this statistic with an involved leadership team.
Know your cost per hire. This is a critical metric to scale recruitment, evaluate recruitment partners and drive smart spending habits. It’s alarming that 80 percent of agencies don’t know their cost per hire—if it’s not measured, it’s not managed. We help our clients measure their cost per hire so they can evaluate our services, and every other aspect of their recruitment process.
HomeCare: How can agency owners better engage their staff and increase retention?
Kurtyka: There are two strategies that immediately come to mind for engaging staff and increasing retention: mentor programs and frequent reviews. In a recent study, 43 percent of caregivers indicated they don’t have a mentor and would value one, while 22 percent indicated they already have a mentor. Caregivers often do not know many people within an organization outside of the scheduler who is the conduit helping them get the hours they want. By providing a mentor for your caregivers, you create deeper organizational relationships and the ability to have more in-depth knowledge of team dynamics.
Second, hold more frequent reviews. In evaluating thousands of caregivers and agencies in the “2019 Caregiver Trend Report,” it was clear that caregivers would value more frequent reviews than their employer currently provides. In fact, 22 percent of agencies lack a formal review schedule and hold reviews on an as needed basis.
HomeCare: Why is training important for new staff and experienced staff?
Kurtyka: Training is an important recruitment and retention tool. 72 percent of caregivers report they would attend free training monthly or even more frequently to learn new caregiving skills if held onsite at their current employer. Training is useful to not only elevate the knowledge of your team, but to engage employees and gauge their job satisfaction.
HomeCare: Is there anything else business owners should know about staffing, retention and training?
Kurtyka: It’s important for agencies to understand where they sit competitively in their local market. Agencies are losing talent to retail, fast food and the local assisted living or hospital down the road. Put yourselves in a caregiver’s shoes and evaluate all of the possible job options from their perspective. Teach your recruitment team how to sell around where your agency’s offering is strong and also how to sell around areas of weakness. We have a free tool available for agencies to analyze how their pay ranks against what caregivers and CNAs are requesting within 20 miles of their office. Agencies can access the pay portal at mycnajobs.com/pay.