Are there secrets to attracting the best caregivers? Not really. In a nutshell, quality positions attract quality caregivers. To attract, hire, and RETAIN top-notch caregivers, offer a quality position and more importantly COMMUNICATE those offerings! Here are some guidelines for presenting your position:
- Fringe Benefits. Identify any large or small perks of your position. Whether it’s access to use a club membership, extra vacation time, travelling with the family, or even free access to sweet goodies baked by a gourmet family member, make sure your prime candidates know the full scope of the benefits you’re offering.
Full picture. It’s fair game (and encouraged) to let a candidate know about your super well-behaved children (or whatever their special characteristics may be), your fair and easy-going family, and whatever other family or home characteristics will help give her a good idea of the overall working environment.
- Compensation. Don’t miss the opportunity to present your FULL compensation package. Base wages are a given, but you can also consider annual bonuses (if more than a token amount), any mileage reimbursement (if applicable and offered), and even a signing bonus (with contingencies) can help sweeten a pot for someone you think may be in high demand. Also be sure to communicate your schedule for merit reviews and possible wage increases.
- Accommodations. If your position is live-in, share as many features of your accommodations as you can think of. These accommodations will be the home of your caregiver, so comfort and conveniences are key. Consider making small investments that can have a large impact (e.g., a flat screen TV, an elegant bed linen set, or luxurious bathroom toiletries and dispensers).
- Avoid overstating the benefits. The purpose of finding your ideal caregiver is not to hire her, but to keep her! Overstating the benefits and attractiveness of a position will almost certainly lead to dissatisfaction down the road. Be as clear about the job responsibilities and expectations as you are about the benefits to the candidate. Setting the precedent for clearly stating what’s needed is absolutely essential at this stage and will set you on the right track going forward.
- Riding the fine line. It’s important that your caregiver be confident that she will be comfortable in a position, but ultimately, it’s the actual care she’ll provide that she must be MOST comfortable with. So balance stating the responsibilities of the position along with the benefits and watch for signs that the responsibilities are equally as attractive to a candidate as the benefits!
Do you have any effective techniques for landing quality caregivers? Feel free to share!