Are home care providers getting it wrong? That seemed to be the message of a recent study of the long-term care frontline workforce from MissionCare Collective and the National Association for Home Care & Hospice.

The study dissected the more than 67,000 people seeking work as certified nurse aides and home health aides on from March 2022 to July 2022. It developed seven personas — with catchy monikers — based on the online data: Career Caregivers, Caring on the Siders, Young and on the Move, Oodles of Offspring, Single Moving Mommas, Empty Nesters and Still Going Strong Retirees.

The upshot of these findings? When recruiting workers, home care agencies need to get out of the mindset that they are just catering to Career Caregivers. This group makes up just a fraction of the people looking for work.

Whoa! Hold up. Stop right there. You mean not everyone wants to make home care a profession and rise in the ranks? That almost sounds like heresy.

Just think about how often we hear (including from yours truly) about the importance of career ladders, professional education and upward mobility in home care. While there certainly are people like this, the study rightly notes that there are other people — many people — who are just looking for good-paying gigs that allow them a measure of flexibility so they can pursue OTHER passions or simply tend to their families.

The field has been trying to figure out how to crack this workforce shortage. This study offers a helpful tool, offering  insight into who truly may be out there looking for work. The answer? Many different people with many different motivations. It’s up to each and every agency to attract them.

Liza Berger is editor of McKnight’s Home Care. Email her at [email protected].