Attracting and retaining good employees to work for your home care organization has always been challenging.  Then add the disruption of a pandemic and the subsequent “Great Resignation”, and home care organizations are now faced with severe staffing shortages and fierce talent wars.

While there isn’t a quick fix or a single solution, job candidates tell us they’re attracted to organizations with great cultures, stellar reputations, concern for their safety and well-being, and offer fresh new employee-centric ideas and programs. In other words, they want to join an “employer of choice.”

What will it take to be an employer of choice in 2022? Here are a number of suggestions and some out of the ordinary:

  • Daily pay. Struggling to attract workers as the virus drags on, some home care organizations are offering an uncommon benefit to attract job seekers … daily access to their pay. Nursing homes have been among the first to adopt this practice.  The new perk of offering employees the option to withdraw money from their paychecks after finishing their shift using smartphone apps such as DailyPay or Dayforce Wallet has been quite a hit. According to CBS News, nurses have given positive feedback. Of 30,000 nurses, about 21,000 use the paid daily option.
  • Weekly paychecks. In a very competitive industry such as Home Care, weekly paychecks may help you compete with other staffing agencies in your area.  For most home care hourly workers, the more frequently they get paid, the better.  Employees like the cash in hand when needed and the consistency.  Weekly pay shows employers care about the financial well-being of their employees.
  • Flexibility. Some home care agencies are now offering shorter and flexible shifts. Today’s candidates are seeking a work schedule that fits with their lifestyle. Employers have found that by advertising their job opportunities with “flexible hours” right in the headline receive twice as many inquiries and applicants.
  • Uninterrupted time off. Getting some physical and psychological space from the demands of work brings many rewards including reduced stress, clear thinking, physical and mental restoration, increased energy and productivity.
  • Creative benefits. Some home care organizations are expanding their benefits package to include wellness incentives like gym memberships, company fitness courses, and a spa day. Many are offering a day off on birthdays and career growth potential.
  • Supportive supervisors. Supportive leaders are needed now more than ever. Home care professionals want to be heard and understood. They want leaders to know them both personally and professionally. They look to their supervisors for encouragement, kindness and empathy.
  • Employee recognition. Give credit where credit is due. Employee recognition is essential to company culture and employee morale. There are many ways to recognize employees including giving a reward for accomplishments or time spent with the organization. Make sure to recognize individuals, teams, and on a companywide basis.
  • Growth opportunities. Give your employees opportunities to learn, grow, and cross train.  It doesn’t matter if they’re a new employee or someone who has been with you awhile. Creating a culture of learning and training is an important part of becoming an employer of choice.
  • Proper and thorough onboarding.  Immerse your new hires in the culture of your company and provide them with the tools necessary to succeed. Whether you use face-to-face, e-learning, mentoring, coaching, etc., if you want to be an employer of choice, make sure you commit 100% to each person you hire and properly onboard them.
  • A mission that’s more than mere words. Mission statements should not be just hung on the wall or slapped on a website. Your leaders should be living it daily by modeling behaviors expected of their employees and teams. Missions should be integrated into the culture, operations and employee experiences.

Katie Piperata is interim solutions and leadership development trainer for MedBest, an executive search firm for the senior living and care industry.