Clint Smith

Hiring caregivers can be stressful and frustrating … and time-consuming! But it takes time for a reason. It’s one of the most important things that you do for your home care business. 

In my new book, How to Hire, I teach business owners how to improve their hiring process, and I share that there are only three things that matter when evaluating a candidate. These things ring true for the unique hiring challenges of the home care industry.

  1. Ability: Can they do it?
  2. Motivation: Will they do it? 
  3. Culture fit: Will others do it with them? 

Let’s go over each of these in detail, so you can apply them to your next candidate evaluation, and make better hires for your home care team. 

1. Ability: Can they do it? 

The first, and most basic, question in hiring. Yet many hiring managers are often fooled by this step for a few key reasons. 

It’s easy to produce a laundry list of everything you want in a candidate. But when you work from a laundry list you focus on everything … which is to say you focus on nothing. Instead, document three to five competencies or traits that are critical to success in the role.

Remember not to confuse “Can they do it?” with “Have they done it?”. Just because someone doesn’t have direct experience in home care, doesn’t mean they don’t have the skills to be successful in your role. 

When you evaluate someone on a certain competency, ask yourself “Am I requiring this experience because it’s essential from Day One? Or am I requiring this because I don’t want to go to the trouble of training them?” 

This clarity is particularly important for entry-level roles. These positions, by definition, are starting points in someone’s career. If you limit yourself to candidates who have done the job previously, you are limiting your potential for a truly successful hire.

2. Motivation: Will they do it? 

“Can they do it?” does not mean much if they are not willing to do it. 

The home care industry faces high levels of turnover, which is incredibly challenging for any business. You need people who are going to be with you for the long haul, and you need to invest in them and make them an integral part of your team. To achieve this, you need to hire people who are motivated to succeed with you.

The best way to evaluate people’s motivation is to look at where they’ve been and where they’re headed.

You can learn a lot by listening to someone’s life story. Don’t just rely on the resume for this. Have them walk you through their professional life. Ask them about the highs and lows in each chapter and what drove them toward the next chapter. Look for insights and patterns. Why did they leave? How do they talk about their past? 

Can you see what is motivating this person? If you can’t, then how can you know they have the motivation to be successful at your company?

Once you understand where they have been, shift your focus to where they are headed. What do they want to accomplish in the next five years of their life? Of course, you want to know about their career goals — but you really want to know about their other goals in life too. Don’t take the goals at face value. Dig a little deeper to find out why this is important to them and how it would make them feel. Here’s where you’ll find their true motivation.

3. Culture fit: Will others do it with them? 

Hiring for culture fit isn’t about hiring people that all look alike, have the same background, or share the same interests. Your culture is about what your company values. Culture fit means that someone is aligned with those values. 

The first thing to do when hiring is make sure that you are sharing your company culture online. Talk about your core values, how you define your culture, and the characteristics you value in all employees on your careers page and in your job postings. This will help you attract the right people that are aligned with your company. 

To sum it all up 

Take the first step by committing the time and energy to improve your hiring process.

  • Review your current process and make sure that you are evaluating Ability to the best of your ability.
  • Add an interview to assess Motivation (Where they’ve been and where they’re headed).
  • Make evaluating Culture Fit an objective, values-based process – not just a gut feeling.

Clint Smith is the founder and CEO of CareerPlug, whose hiring software powers the growth for over 17,000 companies. His new book is “How to Hire.”