If you’re short on caregivers, you are not alone. The shortage is very real, and home care businesses are finding it increasingly difficult to fill their job openings. So what can you do?

Go back to the 4 R’s of recruiting:

  • Recruiting new talent
  • Reactivation of former candidates
  • Referrals
  • Retention of current caregivers

Recruiting – get more response to your jobs

Understand that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to recruiting that magically makes more qualified candidates appear. It a tight labor market, you have to get your jobs in front of more people—and you have to make people want to work for you more than they want to work for someone else. Here are few ideas to help you boost recruiting response:

  • Write more compelling job descriptions.
  • Rethink your approach to job titles – think of them as headlines – make your job titles stand out.
  • Optimize every job for search engines.
  • Push your jobs to job aggregators.
  • Sponsor jobs on aggregator sites.
  • Push your jobs to social media.
  • Market your jobs more effectively throughout your website.
  • Manually share jobs on Facebook and LinkedIn groups and other places where “caregivers” hang out.
  • Build a stronger employer brand in your local market through community involvement, advertising and PR.


In the old days (pre-internet) for staffing and recruiting firms, reactivation meant getting every recruiter into the office for an evening call blitz—literally calling every candidate in every filing cabinet to see who was available. Today, reactivation can be done more easily. Home care companies can use the same tools and methods that staffing firms use:

  • Email
    • Job alerts when you post new positions to your website.
    • Candidate newsletters.
  • Social media
    • Start a caregiver community on LinkedIn or Facebook.
    • Create an alumni group for people you previously employed.
  • Marketing automation
    • Create automated campaigns to nurture candidate relationships – from remembering work anniversaries to promoting hot job openings, automation is an easy way to keep in touch with every caregiver in a more personal manner (without having to make thousands of phone calls).
  • Texting
    • Get candidates to opt-in to “hot job” alerts.


Almost every staffing firm has some sort of referral incentive program. If you want to get more referrals for your home care business, try some of these tips:

  • Ask more often – incorporate asking for referrals into more places in your service process
    • On your website
    • On your application
    • During and after interviews
    • Immediately after you place a candidate
    • On check-in calls
    • At least once per month via email communications
    • In every email and text job alert
    • Each time a recruiter follows up
  • Offer better incentives – think bigger rewards, even if there is a smaller chance of winning
  • Email
    • Job alerts when you post new positions to your website
    • Candidate / caregiver newsletters


In a tight labor market, your home health aides and caregivers have lots of options. To fill more client needs, keep your best people working for your firm. Retention is mainly about being more proactive to determine when assignments are ending, and then getting your associates to agree to their next assignment before the current one is even done. Some recruiting companies are getting more aggressive about retention by skill marketing candidates before they come off of assignment – via calls, emails and even a Talent Showcase on their company website. Could you employ these same, or similar, techniques at your private duty agency?