Attracting Quality Caregivers

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 also consider that 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!

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6 thoughts on “Attracting Quality Caregivers

  1. We just try to be as up front with our potential nannies as possible. Yes, there’s on the job driving but we’ll provide reimbursement and car maintenance. Sometimes we require weekends, but we’ll give you a day off during the week if that happens. Housekeeping is required, but only while the kids are in school. If you want to take on additional tasks such as grocery shopping, we’ll pay you extra. We do want you to come on vacation with us, but you’re off during the evenings, the trip is all paid in addition to your compensation and we will still give you vacation days to use at your discretion. It’s definitely about balance.

  2. Well, I’ve definitely made the mistake of only listing the responsibilties in our position, but after reading this post I’m going to go edit our listing to include some of the perks! Thanks for sharing!

  3. We always list that we are a very open, active, friendly family looking for a caregiver who wants to JOIN our family – not just provide care. We want to have a relationship with the people who watch our children, not just provide a paycheck. We also let them know that there are perks to working for us (i.e. free concert tickets, restaurant passes, etc – my husband is in marketing and gets all sorts of freebies), as well as x number of vacation days, a certain salary, etc. So far we’ve been successful in landing great nannies!

  4. As important as it is to list the benefits, it’s definitely equally as important not to overstate them. I worked for one family who – on paper – seemed like the perfect family, salary, benefits, etc. What they failed to mention is that their son had a LOT of behavioral issues that made the job MUCH more demanding than a typical nanny position – and nannying is already a demanding profession! There are nannies out there who excel in working with difficult children or children with special needs or any other niche, but you have to be up front that your position requires that sort of nanny to secure her!

  5. We try to include the paid vacation/sick days offered, the fact that we do offer a weekly salary and bonuses, and that we include free gym membership whenever we’re advertising our position. We have high expectations for our caregivers, but we also think that quality caregivers should be rewarded accordingly.

  6. i don’t think enough families highlight the benefits of their jobs – too many of them just list the job responsibilities (which we obviously want to know!!) but then they just leave it at that. i hope this post helps families realize the importance of sharing both the responsibilities and the benefits.

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