A home healthcare worker, a mature African-American woman in her 50s, visiting a patient on a back yard patio.

The profile of the home care caregiver is more diverse than many potential employers may think. That has major implications for recruitment efforts. This is a finding of a massive new study from MissionCare Collective and the National Association for Home Care & Hospice, which released some of the findings last week during a webinar.  

“It’s often a broad strategy in terms of how people think of solving the shortage,” Brandi Kurtyka, CEO of the MissionCare Collective, told McKnight’s Home Care Daily Pulse on Friday. “The reality is there are a lot of different faces of people delivering care today.”

The large-scale study boiled the profile down to seven personas, Kurtyka explained: Career Caregivers, Caring on the Siders, Young and on the Move, Oodles of Offspring, Single Moving Mommas, Empty Nesters and Still Going Strong Retirees.

Each persona carries various characteristics — both professional and personal. For example, Career Caregivers have the following traits, according to the study:

  • Varied ages
  • Worked as a caregiver for the past three-plus years
  • Not as open as other personas to jobs outside of care but may work outside of care to make ends meet as needed
  • More likely to want full-time and certified nurse aide certification
  • Care deeply about client match and gaining news skills within care

Meanwhile, Caring on the Siders are most likely to be the following:

  • Middle-aged women without children
  • Tend to work in hourly healthcare and side clerical/retail jobs
  • Transient in work
  • Find increased wages very attractive
  • Donate to liberal and cultural causes
  • Enjoy R and B music and fashion
  • Heavy internet users   

One of the key study takeaways is home care firms are targeting one persona: the Career Caregiver. But the reality is this type makes up a small segment of all the caregivers. Providers need to adjust their recruitment efforts accordingly, Kurtyka said.

“Go dust off your job ad,” Kurtyka said. “Think of the power of how to inspire each one of these groups. Where do you think your workforce is? Where do you want it to be?”

The study used a sample of 67,417 United States-based caregivers, CNAs and home health aides seeking working through mycnajobs.com between March 2022 and July 2022. The direct-care workers in the study encompassed home care, senior living and long-term care. For the study, the top five world’s largest data companies conducted across 90+ data sources. They looked at such characteristics as credit care history, rental records and online history and then created data profiles with trends including lifestyle, health religion and income.

MissionCare Collective, which includes myCNAjobs.com and other caregiver brands, and NAHC embarked on the study amid a historic workforce shortage. Kurtyka noted these stats: 57% of caregivers quit within the first 90 days, 85% of all home care providers are turning away cases due to lack of staff, and 80% of all home care providers report caregivers shortages as their No. 1 threat.

Full-study findings will be available at NAHC’s upcoming annual conference in St. Louis. The study is available to pre-order.