Hiring skilled, professional, and passionate caregivers in the home care industry is a challenge in its own right. However, the continued impact of the pandemic has only added to the hiring woes, creating such a shortage of employees that companies have to fight to fill these positions like never before.
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the average growth rate for home health and personal care aids will grow 25% before 2031. Compare that to the average growth rate for all occupations, which is only 5%.
That need for home health and personal care aids translates to an average of 711,700 openings each year, including replacing workers who retire or leave the industry.
Making matters even worse, a 2021 Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation survey concluded that pandemic burnout is making 3 in 10 healthcare workers consider leaving the profession.
What these market trends mean is that healthcare companies must update or try new recruitment strategies, one of which is to review and refresh their employer branding.
What is Employer Branding?
Employer branding refers to creating an identity and reputation of a company as an employer. In the simplest terms, it’s what employees of the company and people outside of the company think about it.
According to LinkedIn, 75% of job seekers consider an employer’s brand before applying for a job. What’s more, a survey by CR Magazine and Cielo Talent found that 86% of women in the U.S. and 67% of men in the U.S. would not work for a company with a bad reputation, even if they were unemployed.
The same LinkedIn report also claims that effective employer branding halves costs per hire, attracts 50% more qualified applicants, speeds up the hiring process, and reduces turnover by 28%.
So, what are the things that go into creating an employer brand?
Employee benefits and compensation
Presence on job boards
Company values and how they affect the employees
How employees feel and talk about the company
How company contributes to the greater good
Why Is Employer Branding Important?
In an industry that is as heavily competitive as the home care industry, it’s an absolute necessity for an agency to stand out from the competition. Employer branding helps attract new caregivers, retain current ones, manage the agency’s reputation, and market it to the clients.
Social media, company profiles, and career sites allow caregivers to research a prospective job to learn about an agency’s values, mission, and culture. This is why homecare agencies have to ensure that their online presence provides an accurate and up-to-date representation of their brand.
Retaining current employees is particularly crucial in health care where turnover rates are exceptionally high. Employer branding can help energize the staff by providing them with a supportive environment and giving them a meaningful and motivating workplace experience.
An agency’s reputation is built not only on the ways it presents itself to the public, but even more so on how its employees and potential employees talk about it. When caregivers have a positive experience working at an agency, they are likely to recommend it to their friends. And according to Forbes, 88% of companies get their best candidates through referrals.
Employer branding also matters when it comes to attracting clients. A 2020 Edelman report found that reputation of a brand was second to price when it comes to buying a new brand or becoming a loyal customer. Additionally, 29% of respondents named the way a company treats its employees as the most important factor in deciding whether to become a loyal customer.
Therefore, effective employer branding can help home care agencies attract higher-quality candidates, as well as boost its credibility and trust with potential clients.
How to Improve Employment Branding?
Here are some strategies every home care business can take to improve its employment branding:
Manage the Caregiver Experience - Find out how satisfied caregivers are with your agency. You can track their satisfaction through anonymous surveys, then use their feedback to learn about your strengths and weaknesses as an employer and what you can do to improve their experience. That may include providing opportunities for further learning and training, offering flexibility, more recognition, etc.
Assess Your Agency - We already mentioned how important employee referrals are, so ask your employees how likely they are to recommend your home care agency to their friends on a scale of 1 to 10. This is called a Net Promoter Score, a metric used to measure a company’s ability to grow and what kind of growth to expect in the future. Find out if you are gaining employee referrals and exactly how many. Analyze your caregiver turnout rates and ways in which you can decrease them.
Improve Your Online Presence - Analyze your entire online presence, meaning your website, career pages, social media/employer profiles, job listings, etc. Make sure that the information is correct and updated, and that the culture and values of your home care agency are communicated effectively and consistently across all platforms. Are job descriptions clear and optimized? Do they help job seekers understand what to expect while working at the agency and what it takes to be successful in the role.
Strengthen Your Employer Value Proposition (EVP) - An EVP defines the values employees can expect to receive from your home care agency, and those they are expected to contribute. This statement clearly communicates why someone should want to work at your home care agency. Here you have to use values that are unique to your company, go beyond blanket statements, and tailor your content to specific audiences.
Demonstrate Your Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging Practices - Candidates want to work at organizations whose views and values align with their own. Prioritizing diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging practices creates a welcoming environment where every individual is respected, comfortable, supported, and has equal opportunities to grow and advance.
Note that all these strategies to improve employing branding are ongoing processes that take time and effort, and should be reassessed and updated over time to keep up with changes in your organization and the industry.
The rewards of nurturing an employment brand are numerous, including attracting and retaining top talent by allowing them to feel safe, respected, valued, and a good fit for the agency. If your staff feels fulfilled and enjoys working for your company, their clients will certainly see the benefits as well, leading to greater satisfaction all around.