One of the constant worries with which I live is our inability to fully staff all of our patient’s needs. Every Home Care CEO wrestles with this problem. I take seriously our need to staff the needs of every family we serve: staffing is something I face into nearly every day. In this post, I want to describe what we’re doing to try to fully staff each patient’s needs.
First, our hiring process is divided into three distinct phases:
- Recruiting: goal is to find new care providers and work with them to sign employment agreements
- Onboarding: goal is to get them through orientation with all the proper forms filled out and compliance requirements fulfilled
- Placement: goalls is to place them in one or more homes where their is a good fit between the client and the care provider
To start, we have built a first-class recruiting team that is full-time dedicated to finding nurses and PCAs. We have four full-time Recruiters who engage nursing and PCA care providers with a view to recruiting them to join Accurate Home Care. In addition, we have one full-time Sourcer who spends her day mining sites like Indeed, Career Builder, Zip Recruiter and specific nursing sites, like Nurse Recruiter or Doctor Database for new resumes from nurses who have just posted their resumes because they are looking for new work. She places those resumes into our applicant tracking system after reading through them to ensure the care provider has the basic qualifications for which we’re looking. She then assigns each resume to a recruiter for a phone call.
We normally need to call a nurse 3x before we catch them for a conversation. We walk them through a phone screening and interview process to determine if they are a good fit for AHC and if we are a good fit for them as an employer. Ultimately, on average, for every 100 resumes which we source, we’ll have between 4-8 nurses who sign employment agreements with us (numbers are similar for PCAs). In addition, for every 10 new employment agreements we have with nurses, four of them will end up working in a home either part-time or full-time. So, on those weeks when we’re able to source 250+ new resumes, we are finding that eight to twelve of them will find themselves working in a home for one of our EHN patients at some point in the future.
Our recruiting team tries to attend every job fair at every nursing school across the state – 87 schools to be exact – as well as some community-based job fairs. Over the course of a year, we’ll exhibit at nearly 100 job fairs. We talk with nurses who are graduating and talk about why home care is such a high and noble calling along with the benefits of working in home care. For those who are graduating with an Associate’s degree and wish to further their education by enrolling in a BSN program, we have a tuition assistance program for them – something which many find attractive.
The onboarding phase is all about compliance and orientation. We have two full-time people who shepard each nurse and PCA through (what we call) the “onboarding” process.
Overall, because of the significant regulations imposed on this industry by various governmental agencies, the nurse (PCAs too) will need to gather ~26 different pieces of information for us during their application and onboarding process. In addition, we’ll need:
- to have his/her blood drawn and tested for TB
- the new employee will spend one day in AHC orientation
- the new employee will need to attend one or two shifts of in-home orientation
- watch several online videos
- have his/her background checked by the State of Minnesota.
This process normally takes 2-8 weeks, depending on the scheduling issues involved with each new employee, their current employment situation and the speed with which the State of Minnesota completes their background check.. Many new employees find it difficult wait weeks to start a new job, so we often lose new employees during this onboarding phase.
After a new nurse or PCA is “onboarded”, they are declared “Ready to Start” by the Onboarding team. At this point, they are passed to two more full-time people who “place” our new care providers in patient homes by working with our Clinical Managers to assess the right home where the schedule, chemistry, skills, patient needs and geographic location align for both the nurse/PCA and the family. At any given time, we’ll have 30-50 nurses and PCAs in the onboarding process and another 20+ in the Placement process.
The nursing shortage is real. The crisis in health care that we are facing as a nation is real. While we might not be able to fully staff each of our patients’ needs, please know that no one will work harder than Accurate Home Care to do so.
What we do not do – which an increasing number of home care companies do – is cause disruption in the patient’s home by having our recruiting team directly recruit nurses from other home care companies when we share the care of a patient with another home care company. We feel this is ultimately deliterious for the patient and his/her family.
However, we are working hard to become the employer-of-choice for nurses who want a career in home care. We want our nurses to be so positive about their experience working with Accurate Home Care that when they tell another nurse about our pay, benefits and culture, the other nurse naturally wants to come work at AHC. We’re not there yet – but this is what we are striving to achieve.
If you would like to dialog with me about our efforts to find nurses and PCAs or if you have ideas which we can implement that will help nurses and PCAs accept employment with us, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me directly at 763-795-3794.
Bill English, CEO
Accurate Home Care