Growing and Amplifying Your Team in the Times of COVID-19
Adapt your approach to attracting talent, hiring, training and delivering care to differentiate your employee value proposition
Senior care already had a serious recruitment and retention challenge. What better way to exacerbate it than to throw a global pandemic into the mix? Even before COVID-19, turnover in senior care – home care in particular – exceeded 80%. The expanding number of providers has increased employer competition. What’s more, providers are also contending with the Amazons and other major employers of the world, too – some of whom are offering extremely competitive wages and benefits.
COVID-19 is not only making it harder to recruit, it’s also in some cases discouraging current employees – especially lower paid – from staying in a position they may perceive as now being more uncertain and unsafe. All in a time that senior care patients may need their care and support more than ever.
Despite the constraints COVID-19 places on recruitment, it’s clear no one should be letting up. It’s time to double down – seeking innovative ways to adapt and maximize recruitment efforts for the current reality while also looking at other ways you can reduce the strain on your current staff.
Leverage your digital channels to strengthen your employer of choice reputation
With many traditional recruitment channels cut off, make sure you’re maximizing all the digital channels available to you. This not only includes posting positions on your website, using various job boards and recruitment services (such as myCNAjobs), but also including recruitment friendly messaging across your digital properties.
While your website’s top priority may be to speak to patients, families and referral sources, remember it’s just as critical to entice future employees with compelling messaging on why you’re the best place to work. In a market that may have many employment options, are you making it clear why they’d want to choose you? What’s unique about your culture and brand? Make sure you have a well-defined employee value proposition, and then leverage that position and messaging throughout your digital presence. Don’t limit it to your actual job listings. Consider having a landing or portal page dedicated to potential hires, and even possibly featuring it on the home page.
Your social media channels also provide a great opportunity to further extend that messaging. It gives you a chance to not only share what you’re about overall, but to showcase the personal daily experiences your team has – giving prospects an even more insightful look at why they may want to work for you.
Apply a customer service mentality to your hiring process
In an interview with Home Health Care News, Pennsylvania-based Griswold Home Care CEO Michael Slupecki suggests providers must seek an “Amazon Prime” mentality to caregiving recruitment.
They didn’t come to our website and apply for a job to get hired six weeks from now. They want a job tomorrow, just like you want that package tomorrow. We’re hyper-focused on condensing the time frame, condensing the number of touches and making us the easiest employer to join.”
You might be the one conducting the interview, but they’re evaluating you as well. Will you come off as listless and bureaucratic? Or as a lithe, efficient, passionate organization that’s easy to work with and focused on innovative care?
If your hiring market is as competitive as most, you can’t afford to not use the entire hiring process as an opportunity to sell yourself as a desirable employer. Finding the right approach and tools – including an easy online application process, as well as virtual job fairs and interviews – and thoughtfully integrating them into an evolved overall hiring process can set your organization apart to applicants.
Guide your team toward building the discipline and procedures to make the process of applying and interviewing as seamless, streamlined and safe as possible – and then leverage it as a competitive differentiator.
Utilize online training to expand, onboard and “upskill”
Training and “upskilling” clinical care teams have been essential elements to improving retention for years, offering employees a career ladder and thus helping reduce their likelihood to look for opportunity elsewhere.
While not impossible, the public health crisis has certainly made in-person training far more cumbersome. Creating, augmenting or temporarily substituting your training program with online resources and virtual sessions allows your team to get the educational benefits without the risk. It is a great way to not only encourage current employees with growth potential, but also to bring new hires up to speed faster and broaden the your pool of viable applicants – especially if you can offer “no experience required” for some positions.
When you consider how rapidly protocols changed and evolved at the outset of COVID-19, virtual course material provides an excellent way to efficiently get your team up to speed on new topics – like proper use of additional personal protective equipment (PPE) and comorbidities related to the disease. Speaking of which, check out the free COVID-19 Certificate Class offered by CareAcademy.
Maximize your current team’s time with telehealth
It’s also a good time to look at ways you can help your team meet demand more efficiently. Telehealth is a great way to help with that, and the good news is it’s something patients and families want more of. Transcend’s recent survey of family healthcare decision makers revealed 62% of them are now more likely to embrace telehealth.
Allowing virtual remote visits, supporting quick internal and patient communication, helping eliminate or reduce the tedium of form filling and information gathering are just a few of the ways a good telehealth platform can help your team work more efficiently. Additionally, they are increasingly capable of supporting real-time monitoring and alerts for patient vitals, further allowing your team to reduce the number of in-home visits necessary while helping them deliver better care.
Better hiring for today and tomorrow
In the end, nothing completely substitutes meeting, speaking, teaching and caring in person. However, combining the right digital platforms with a forward-looking process offers a great way to both compensate for current restrictions and risks while also helping you position yourself as a flexible, accommodating and innovative employer even after the pandemic ends. It will not only pay off in the race to find good caregivers now, but can also play a role in setting you up for long-term recruitment success.