Wednesday, June 26, 2013

How Will You Meet The Future Demand For Home Care Workers?

Much attention is being focused on how home care companies will meet the growing demand for quality home care workers. The U.S. Dept. of Labor states the “employment of home health aides and personal care aides is expected to grow by 69%-70% from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations”. 

Deane Beebe, Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute Media Relations Director, writes “the demand for home care workers will grow from the 3.3 million employed in 2010 to 1.6 million new positions projected by 2020”. 

Where will you find these caregivers?  According to the 2013 Private Duty Benchmarking Study, published by Home Care Pulse, the Top Five Caregiver Recruitment Sources/Methods are:

·         Internet – Job Ads

·         Internet – Career Builder

·         Employees – Current Employees (Employee Referral Program)

·         Advertising – Daily Newspaper Classified Ads

·         Referral Sources – Word of Mouth (Reputation)

If you want to learn more about the Private Duty Home Care industry, order your copy of the 2013 Private Duty Benchmarking Study, published by Home Care Pulse, at

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

What's the Level of Employee Engagement in your Home Care Company?

In its ongoing survey of the American workplace, Gallup found that only 30 percent of workers "were engaged, or involved in, enthusiastic about, and committed to their workplace."

The poll, released last week, examined worker engagement beginning in 2010 and ending in 2012.

The survey classifies three types of employees among the 100 million people in America who hold full-time jobs.

The first is "actively engaged," which represents about 30 million workers.

The second type of worker is "not engaged," which accounts for 50 million. These employees are going through the motions at work.

The third type, labeled "actively disengaged," hates going to work. These workers -- about 20 million -- undermine their companies with their attitude, according to the report. 

The less employees are engaged with their work and their organization, the more likely they are to leave to an organization. Turnover can be costly, and turnover in professional roles, such as nurses or engineers, is more costly than turnover in entry-level or front-line roles.

Organizations can do several things to increase their employees' engagement. Gallup researchers found that identifying and hiring top management talent can influence workers' engagement and organizations' business performance.

What does this have to do with Home Care?

At Caregiver Quality Assurance,  we have taken this issue of employee engagement into account in the Leading Home Care Pre-employment Assessment.  The fourth part of this assessment measures employee engagement.  Asking a series of validated questions, the assessment will give you a graphic image of the level to which your prospective job candidates were engaged with their previous job and their previous employer.

The report then gives you a graph like the one on the right.  Top top bar shows the job candidates level of engagement with their previous job.  The lower bar shows the candidates engagement with their previous employer.  

Having this information about caregiver engagement will be one more tool in your toolbox to help you recruit, select, train and retain high quality caregivers, office staff, and sales professionals.  

There are four things you can learn about job candidates that will help you select the best:
  • attitudes, 
  • behavior, 
  • cognitive ability, 
  • engagement. 
By having this information about a candidate before the job interview, you will be able to ask behavioral interview questions that give you a clearer understanding of the person you are considering for the job.  When you have this information in advance, and do a better job of interviewing, you are going to hire the very best candidates, and you will increase the performance of the caregivers, the satisfaction of your clients, and the profitability of your company.

A recent study conducted by Caregiver Quality Assurance using our Bad Hire Calculator shows that the typical cost of making a bad hire of a caregiver will be just over $1,500.00 if they quit or are terminated.  What does it cost you if you made a bad hire, the caregiver is actively disengaged, but stays on the job?

What is your experience with job engagement?

What is the level of engagement of your employees?  Are they actively engaged, not engaged, or actively disengaged?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Background Checks – Six Common Mistakes and Misconceptions

By McKensie Piepho of National Crime Search

A successful home health care company prides itself in doing things right the first time. This includes doing background checks on all new-hires. So how did a well-known agency miss the fact that they hired someone with felony convictions? They performed the required state police check. What went wrong?

Unfortunately, this company made a common background screening mistake. They assumed that a state mandated background check showed all of the applicant’s criminal records. This is such a common mistake that we’ve included it in our list of six common mistakes and misconceptions.

1)     Individual states often require certain industries to perform certain types of background checks, often state police searches. State police searches can be a valuable part of the background screening process, but an employer should not assume that the search will show a criminal record from another state. Most of the time they won’t. It’s best to include a multi-state database scan as part of your search package. They’re fast, affordable, and will often uncover information about the applicant that you would not have discovered otherwise. Follow up county criminal searches can also be performed for verification.

2)   The second common oversight employers often make is that they fail to verify past employment, education, and references. Yes, it can be time consuming, but an employer should either take the time to do this or have a background screening company do the work. Often, outsourcing these functions can be more effective.

3)   Employers’ not knowing their state laws takes third place on our list. Always pay close attention to your individual state laws. For example, there are currently a total of eight states that have restricted the use of credit reports for employment purposes. Additionally, some states are trying to ban the use of social media information when screening applicants. A few states have laws that prohibit employers from asking for social media site login credentials.

4)   This one usually occurs right out of the gate – Many employers often don’t realize they MUST first get a signed authorization form from the applicant BEFORE running a background check. It’s fast, it’s easy, and it’s required under the FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act). Make sure you keep these on file even if you don’t hire the applicant. Many background screening companies recommend keeping them on file for five years.

5)     The fifth common mistake occurs at the end of the background screening process. Many employers fail to provide the applicant with a pre-adverse and/or an adverse action letter. You might ask, “What’s that?” This is a letter that notifies an applicant when they might NOT be hired or WILL NOT be hired because of the results of the background check. Additionally, it includes a copy of A Summary of Consumer Rights (from the FCRA), and a copy of their background check results.

6)  Our sixth common misconception about background screening is that there is an all-encompassing nationwide search. Unfortunately, there is no publicly accessible central repository for all federal, state and county level felony and misdemeanor convictions. Even FBI searches have been known to miss important criminal records that county level searches located.

As you can see, there are many things to take into consideration when screening new caregivers/employees. The good news is that there are resources such as Leading Home Care to point you in the right direction.

For more information, join us for our webinar on June 13, 2013 hosted by Leading Home Care. Travis Fink and McKensie Piepho with National Crime Search will join Stephen Tweed to discuss these issues and more.

McKensie Piepho

National Crime Search, Inc.
Your Background Screening Partner

Monday, June 10, 2013

Video of the Week: Recruiting and Selecting Caregivers

This week's video is from the People Pillar and the Operating Level, and we look at the process of recruiting and selecting caregivers.  As the economy improves and your business takes off, staff shortages will become a major obstacle to growing your business.  When we started Caregiver Quality Assurance ® in 2006, the biggest challenge facing owners and CEOs of home care companies was finding enough caregivers to meet the growing demands of their clients.

The economic downturn in the fall of 2008 caused the growth of home care to slow, and staff shortages became less of an issue.  As we move into the 2nd quarter of 2013, the economy continues to grow, and the stock market is on a record run, high net worth individuals are again buying home care services and more and more companies are feeling the pinch of caregiver shortages.

Take a look at this week's video on caregiver recruiting and selection.  Then let us know what you think. 

Top Ten Techniques for Recruiting High Quality Caregivers

If your home care company generated more than $2 million in revenue, then you are among The Leaders in our industry. The median size of The Leaders is $3,343,000. One of the factors that makes The Leaders the leaders is their ability to recruit, select, train, and retain high quality caregivers. As your company gets bigger, finding and keeping caregivers becomes more and more important.

Here are the Top Techniques used by The Leaders

1. Internet - Craig's List
2. Internet - Career Builder
3. Employee Referral Program
4. Paid Ads Daily Newspaper
5. Word of Mouth - Referral Sources
6. Paid Ads Weekly Newspaper
7. Direct Mail Flyers
8. Internet -
9. Internet - local career web sites
10. Internet -

The top ten list for all other home care companies is different. If your company is smaller than $2 million in revenue, you will want to order your own copy of the 2013 Private Duty Benchmarking Report to see what is working for your peers and your competitors.

Leading Home Care and Caregiver Quality Assurance are proud to sponsor the recruiting and retention section of the benchmarking study. We will continue this research by exploring in more detail the key elements to successful recruiting using these top techniques. Stay tuned to Caregiver Quality Today for more information that will help you apply these top techniques. Also, stay tuned for future live web conferences on how to executive these ideas with excellence.

Appreciation and Recognition are Keys to Employee Retention

Turnover continues to rise in the home care industry.  In 2012, caregiver turnover reached an all time high of 52.6% according to the 2013 Private Duty Benchmarking Study. 

Research conducted by Leading Home Care and Caregiver Quality Assurance shows that it costs the typical home care company $1,506.96 for each caregiver who quits or is terminated.  If you have 100 caregivers and 52 of them leave, that's going to cost you $78,361.00

That's a lot of money.

What can you do to reduce turnover?

Our research shows that the single most important factor in caregiver retention is "appreciation and recognition".  Caregivers will stay when they feel valued and appreciated by their supervisors, by the company, and by their clients.

Data from the 2013 Private Duty Benchmarking Study show that top five ways that caregivers want to be recognized.  Home Care Pulse, the company the conducts the benchmarking study also conducts caregiver satisfaction surveys and client satisfaction surveys.  As a result of these telephone surveys, they have determined how caregivers want to be recognized.

1.  Verbal Recognition by Supervisor - 30.4%
2.  Pay raise - 29.0%
3.  Recognition by Client 15.9%
4.  Vacation, PTO, bonuses - 12.5%
5.  Company wide recognition - 12.2%

At Caregiver Quality Assurance,  we continue to study these techniques for showing appreciation and recognition.  We'll help you design and implement caregiver retention programs to reduce turnover, increase client satisfaction, and lower your costs.  That means you make more money.

For more specific information on caregiver retention, join us for a live web conference, or view the recorded version of our past web conferences at

CQA Pre-employment Assessment leads the market in Private Duty Home Care

CQA Pre-Employment Assessment Leads the Market

According to the 2013 Private Duty Benchmarking Study  just released this week by Home Care Pulse, the Caregiver Quality Assurance® pre-employment assessment is the market leader for home care companies using online assessments to help select caregivers.

This year, 617 home care companies completed the annual benchmarking survey, and 22% said they use an online pre-employment assessment tool to help in their selection.  CQA leads the market by a significant margin.

Here is a list of the top providers of online assessments and the percentage of survey respondents who use them:
  1. Caregiver Quality Assurance - 32.1%
  2. Care Profiler - 11.5%
  3. People Clues - 5.1%
  4. DISC from Inscape Publishing - 3.8%
  5. Profiles International - 2.6%
  6. Kolbe Index - 1.3%
What sets the CQA assessment apart from the others listed is the four dimensions of assessment - attitudes, behavior, cognitive ability, and engagement.  Most of the others only measure behavior.

Sources of Competitive Advantage

The 2013 Private Duty Benchmarking Study also shows the top 5 things that set a home care agency apart from their competitors:

1.  Caregiver Quality - 39.3%
2.  24/7 Availability - 36.1%
3.  Client Satisfaction - 27.3%
4.  Exceptional Customer Service - 24.6%
5.  Professionalism of the Agency - 15.7%

If you want to gain competitive advantage in your local marketplace, begin by using the best-selling pre-employment screening tool to assure caregiver quality.  Become a member of Caregiver Quality Assurance®

Get Your Copy of the Private Duty Benchmark Report

To learn more about the results of this industry leading report, order your copy of the 2013 Private Duty  Benchmarking Report.

Caregiver Turnover Hits All Time High

According to the 2013 Private Duty Benchmarking Study from Home Care Pulse,  the caregiver turnover rate for non-medical home care companies hit an all time high in 2012 at 52.6%.  The turnover rate has been growing steadily each year for the past four years. 

Turnover Rates:
  • 2012 - 52.9%
  • 2011 - 49.8%
  • 2010 - 46.2%
  • 2009 - 39.4%
What's the Cost of a Bad Hire?

If over half of all caregivers are leaving each year, what does that cost a home care company?  Research conducted by Leading Home Care and Caregiver Quality Assurance, using our "Bad Hire Calculator" shows that the typical cost of making a bad hiring decision is over $1,500.  If you have 100 caregivers and half of them leave, that will cost you over $75,000 per year.  You can do a lot to reduce turnover for $75,000 per year.

To learn more about the cost of a bad hire, check out the recording of a CQA web conference held on May 9, 2013 called "Calculating the Cost of a Bad Hire" which can be purchased for online viewing in our Store.  If you are a CQA member, then you can view the recording once you log-in to your account.

How Can I Reduce Turnover?  

While there are a number of factors that affect turnover, the two we have found to be most important are:

1.  Caregiver Selection
2.  Caregiver Appreciation and Recognition

To stem the tide of rising turnover, you need to do a better job of recruiting and selecting high quality caregivers.  All of our research shows that companies that use a focused system of caregiver selection and hold themselves to high standards have much better caregiver retention than the rest of the industry.

We also know that the number one factor in caregiver retention is employee appreciation and recognition.  When caregivers feel valued and appreciated, they stay longer.  The Benchmarking Study tapped into the database of Home Care Pulse to look at their caregiver satisfaction surveys to determine how caregivers want to be shown appreciation.  Here's what the data says:

1.  Verbal Recognition by Supervisor - 30.4%
2.  Pay Raise - 29.0%
3.  Recognition by Client - 15.9%
4.  Vacation time, Bonuses, Gift cards - 12.5%
5.  Company wide recognition - 12.2%

For more information on recruiting, selecting, training, and retaining your caregivers, office staff, and sales professionals, become an active member of Caregiver Quality Assurance.

Do You Know Who you are Hiring?

Your caregivers are pivotal to your company’s success as they represent your company in the community.  They are one of your most important marketing tools.  However, it just takes one unpleasant experience with a caregiver to financially hurt your company and damage your reputation and credibility within your community.  Both of which will cost you time and money to get your business back on the right track and rebuild your credibility.

Leading Home Care offers you an instant and affordable service to access the information you need to help you make an informed hiring decision.  Therefore, we are pleased to announce our affiliation with National Crime Search, Inc. (NCS) to help make background screening easy and affordable.

You will have access to a web-based national criminal and sex offender directory that includes over 507 million criminal records.  It also allows you access to motor vehicle reports, credit reports, county criminal records and much more.

Why should you perform background checks?
  • 34% of all job applications contain lies (Wall Street Journal)
  • 6% of annual revenue is lost due to employee fraud
  • $15-25 billion is lost each year due to employee theft (Bureau of National Affairs)
Below are just a few examples of the services provided by NCS:
  • Multi-State Criminal Searches
  • Multi-State Sex & Violent Offenders Search
  • County Criminal History
  • Motor Vehicle Records
  • Employment Credit Reports
  • Social Security Verification & Address Tracker
  • Healthcare Industry Search Services
    • OIG (Office of Inspector General)
    • GSA (General Services Administration)
    • FDA (Federal Drug Administration)
    • DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration)
    • Tri-Care (Formally Champus)
Because of our relationship with NCS you will receive top-notch customer service, discounted pricing, and customized packages to fit your needs.  NCS is committed to providing a quality and affordable background screening solution tailored to meet your criminal background search needs.

Take this important step today … click HERE to register.

Video of the Week: Selection

One of the most important elements of growing your private duty home care business is recruiting, selecting, training, and retaining caregivers, office staff, and sales professionals.  While all of those elements are important, perhaps selection is the most critical.

Those companies that have put in place a systematic process for selecting high quality caregivers have lower turnover, higher client satisfaction, better margins, and more profits.  Perhaps more important, their owners have fewer headaches and less stress.

To get some insights into how selection can help you grow your business, make more money, and reduce your stress, take a look at this short video by Stephen Tweed.

If you are serious about growing your private duty home care business, and you want to compete based on caregiver quality, then you will want to explore becoming a member of Caregiver Quality Assurance®. 

Get the Best: Nine Steps to Hiring Quality Caregivers and Improving Your Bottom Line in Private Duty Home Care

How much of your stress and headaches are caused by caregiver issues? 

How does your turnover compare to the national averages?

Would having better quality caregivers make your life easier and your business more profitable?

If so, then you'll want to look at this eBook from Leading Home Care called Get the Best: 9 Steps to Hiring Quality Caregivers and Improving your Bottom Line in Private Duty Home Care, by Leigh Davis and Stephen Tweed.  This powerful information from two nationally known leaders in the home care industry will give you the latest insights and research into the most effective ways to recruit, select, and retain caregivers who are reliable, trustworthy, and committed to serving your clients.

For more insights into the contents of this eBook, watch this short video from Stephen Tweed.

Now that you have seen the video, order your copy today. 

Ohio to Increase Funding for Background Checks on Caregivers

By Jill Scott

This week I came across the article Ohio to bolster checks on home health care workers on  Not only has the state of Ohio received $2.1 million in federal grant money to use towards background checks for home health caregivers, but the state has said that it will also pitch in $700,000 to help boost access to background information on caregivers to direct-care providers.  This funding means more access to the AG’s fingerprint database.  The electronic system will allow for faster background checks and immediate notifications of a caregiver’s arrest or conviction.
Upon further research, a press release from the Governor’s Office of Health Transformation dated May 15, 2013, stated the following:
Ohio will use the funds to extend use of the Ohio Attorney General’s Retained Applicant Fingerprint Database Information Exchange (RAPBACK) system to individuals who are working as direct-care providers.  The electronic system will make post-hiring background checks timelier and less burdensome, saving time and money for taxpayers and home-health provider agencies and improving safety for individuals who receive Medicaid services in their own home or other community-based setting.
The RAPBACK system monitors and reports post-hiring convictions in real time, allowing offenders with disqualifying convictions to be removed from their jobs immediately. The three-year demonstration for home-care workers who are required to obtain background checks will begin July 1 and will also include:
· Implementation of recently enacted statutory requirements for uniformity and consistency in background checks;
·   training and technical support for appropriate use of RAPBACK technology;
·   the creation of a web-based avenue to access national and state registries; and
·  an ongoing dialogue and partnership between key state agencies, providers and stakeholder groups regarding additional ways to ensure consumer safety.
You can read the entire press release here.
Obviously this is great news for direct-care providers in Ohio and we can only hope that other states will follow suit, if they haven’t already.
Providers in Ohio, can you tell us what you have heard about this funding?
Providers in other states, what are your states doing, if anything, to help the background check process in your state?
To help providers in all states learn about the importance of background checks, Caregiver Quality Assurance is sponsoring a live web conference on June 13th at 4:00 eastern when Travis Fink and McKinsie Piepho of National Crime Search will join us and discuss “The Six Things You Need to Know About Criminal Background Checks”.  We hope you’ll join us on June 13th!