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The Caregiver Crunch

Everyone we talked with…was concerned about finding enough caregivers to meet the needs of their growing companies.

Stephen Tweed
CEO, Leading Home Care

Home Care is the cornerstone of 21st century eldercare. It provides affordable healthcare that allows the elderly greater independence than available with alternatives solutions. Home Care will play a larger role in eldercare as our society places a greater priority on affordability and preventative care. The industry will fully meet this challenge if enough quality caregivers can be found to serve our elderly and disabled populations. However, macro societal and economic forces are creating a recruiting crisis in Home Care. Home Care agencies must get better at recognizing and retaining quality caregivers if they wish to survive in this environment.

Elder Demographics

Demand for eldercare is increasing immensely. Every day 10,000 Americans turn 65. By 2030 the entire Baby Boomer generation will be over the age of 65. In 2010 1/6 of U.S. adults were over 65 and by 2030 1/4 of U.S. adults will be over 65.

Elderly Adults as a Share of the U.S. Population, 2000 to 2050

Fierce Competition

Competition is incredibly fierce for caregiver talent. Not only can caregivers work in Home Care but they can also work in Hospitals, Assisted Living Communities, Nursing Homes, Rehab Centers, and in Hospice. These other healthcare opportunities can often offer better pay and benefits too.

Nowhere is [our ability to see the industry trends] more evident than in the areas of recruitment and retention, causing we here at Home Care Pulse to unofficially label 2015 as ‘The Year of the Caregiver.’

Aaron Marcum
Founder, Home Care Pulse®
The 2015 Annual Private Duty Benchmarking Study by Home Care Pulse

Strenuous Search

Today, finding quality talent is time-consuming, expensive, and difficult. There are sources for higher quality talent but individually none have enough volume to meet the needs of a growing home care agency. As a result agencies are required to manage 4, 5, or more recruiting channels and wade through a sea of unqualified applicants. In speaking with numerous Home Care agencies, our company found that on average it costs over $600 to hire a new caregiver. Unfortunately even if the phone screen, interview, background check, and drug screen are all passed some candidates won't show up to orientation which can be frustrating and demoralizing for caregiver recruiters.

Recruiting Pipeline

How to Survive?

The dearth of quality caregivers poses great existential risks to home care agencies. The knee-jerk reaction to the problem is to lower the bar when recruiting and get a warm body in with the client. Inevitably the client will have a bad experience damaging your agency's reputation and the long term health of your business. Furthermore with the entrance of digital home care agencies like Honor, Hometeam, and HomeHero there will be a greater need for the regional agency to provide a top of market customer experience to distinguish themselves in the marketplace.

The Home Care agencies best positioned to not only survive but thrive will be those that have strong caregiver referral programs in place. This recruiting channel is the #2 source of candidate volume and #3 best source for candidate quality according to Home Care Pulse and Leading Home Care respectively.

If you are interested in learning about Caregiver Referral best practices and more ways to effectively recruit quality caregivers please email me at harry@chirpyhire.com.

The Caregiver Crunch
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