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Strategic Focus for Caregiver Recruiting and Retention (Part 2)

By Stephen Tweed

As the leaves on the trees in Kentucky begin to change colors, it’s a sign that the time has come for thinking about next year.

Fall is the time when many organization leaders think about Strategic Planning for their businesses. What will you do to get ready for 2022 and beyond?

Many home care company owners and CEOS schedule a strategy retreat with their leadership teams to review their company performance for 2021 and develop goals and action plans for 2022. For a more meaningful discussion, here are Seven Strategic Questions you and your leadership team might want to discuss:

1. Where are we now?
2. Where do we aspire to be in five years?
3. What outside forces and trends in our industry will affect our journey?
4. What are our core values, and our company culture?
5. What do we need to do to get from where we are to where we want to be?
6. How do we create distinction in the marketplace?
7. How do we measure our success?

Strategic Planning for Caregiver Recruiting and Retention

In 2021, the Big Burning Issues for nearly every home care company we work with is caregiver recruiting and retention.  Most members of our Caregiver Quality Assurance Mastermind Group are saying they could grow their business if they could get the caregivers.  Some have said, “If I could just get caregivers, I could double my business.”

If that is your situation, why not hold a Strategy Retreat to focus on recruiting and retention?  Let’s look at some ideas you can use to develop a longer term strategy.  Improving recruiting is not about the next shiny object for online recruiting. Improving your recruiting process long-term is about applying the strategic planning process to your recruiting system.  Here are some examples of the questions you can ask your team.  Let’s start with the first question.

Where are we now?

Last week I was in South Bend, IN with our Top 5% CEO Mastermind Group.  These are the largest independent companies in our industry, and they have grown their business from 5% to 20% year over year in 2020.  How are they growing their businesses?  In short, they have figured out how to hire more caregivers than they lose.  That’s called “Net New Caregivers.”

In our discussion, several of our members talked about the analysis they have done to better understand their recruiting results.  They dug into their own data and looked at these data points:

  • Total Applicants
  • Total New Hires
  • Conversion Ratio – Applicants to New Hires
  • 90-day Retention – How many new hires were still working after 90 days
  • Applicants by source – where did our applicants come from?
  • 90-day Retention by source – where did the applicants come from who stayed 90 days?
  • Best Caregivers by Source – of those new hires we would consider best caregivers, where did they come from?  (We define best caregivers by two factors – reliability and client satisfaction)

By answering these questions, you can analyze your results of get a better understanding of what is working in your recruiting system, and what is not working.  For example, we know that 90-day turnover is highest for applicants coming from online job boards like and Craigs List.  We have seen better results from applicants that have connected with your company through Facebook.  A number of our mastermind members are having success using Facebook for recruiting.  We’ll talk more about how they do this in a future article.

We have also seen that for many agencies, their best source of new hires is their Employee Referral Program.  Agencies set up systems to encourage their current employees to refer friends, family, and acquaintances to apply for work. 

Our colleague, Neil Eastwood, in Cornwall England and founder of Care Friends there has some very interesting data about caregiver retention rates from employee referral programs compared to online job boards.  ERP referrals are dramatically more likely to stay for one year than applicants from online job boards.

What Gets Measured Gets Managed

You heard my Mantra: “What gets measured gets managed, what gets rewarded gets repeated.”  This is really true for caregiver recruiting.  When you track your data, and then analyze that data to create knowledge, you will make better decision about your recruiting processes.

We’ll dig into the rest of our Strategic Planning Questions in a future article. In the meantime, dig into your data to determine where we are now? If you would like to have more discussion with other company owners and HR leaders, you may want to consider becoming a member of our Caregiver Quality Mastermind Group.  This group of ten companies meets once a month by video conference to share ideas, solve problems, and support one another.  The group is open to independent agencies and franchises that generate more than 1,000 hours per week of home care, and who do not compete with anyone else in the group.  Check in out at

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