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Onboarding a Home Care Employee

09-01-2021
Nadia Hercules

Hint Hint – Onboarding Begins the Minute You Make an Offer! 

According to Glassdoor, the average company in the United States spends around $4,000 to hire a new employee and takes up to 52 days to fill a position, with the obvious caveat that it all depends on the industry. To say the least, if you’re in the home care industry, which is known for having a particularly high turnover rate, recruiting and hiring a new caregiver is not only more complex but also requires a lot of time and work – and it can cost you a lot of money.  

Once you’ve gone through the process of creating the job posting, advertised it across multiple platforms, interviewed your top candidates, and found the perfect caregiver who will be a great addition to your agency’s culture and mission, here lies the question: What does your onboarding process look like? Are you making the best first impression?  

If your onboarding process resembles an expository writing professor’s desk, topped sky high with paperwork, then the answer may be no. Making your new hire fill out a gazillion documents on their first day instead of focusing on training and development can give a bad impression. On top of that, if everything is done manually or through a generic software vendor, you are also making it more time consuming for yourself and may be spending a lot of your hard-earned greens.   

The more manual the process, the more room for errors – errors that can be costly in the world of compliance. Then, of course, there is also the challenge of getting these forms into an electronic filing system so that they’re stored safely and can be easily found and accessed in the future.  

In order to make life easier for you and everyone else involved, make sure to work with an industry-specific software provider that will help you and your new hires go through the onboarding process before their first day. Otherwise, delays throughout the whole process may be common, such as with running payroll and not being able to pay your new caregivers properly and on time. 

Making a great first impression is key, especially now, as health care recruiting is becoming even more challenging with increasing demand, so we’ve outlined an effective process below. 

Before Day 1
Get the Paperwork Out of the Way Early
Once you have the right software that can help with hiring and onboarding, you and your new hires will be able to complete all the necessary forms before day 1. Rather than making them complete their paperwork in the office, documents such  W-4s, I-9s, direct deposit information, and even agency specific forms can be sent to any new hires to be filled out and returned, all via the onboarding platform.  

Instead of rewriting their name in every single place it’s required, a good system will auto-populate the forms with this information, allowing them to move faster and less tediously. In the same way, the system will also help you avoid user errors that are common when rekeying information.   

You’ll no longer have to wait to receive your caregiver’s information until the end of their first day of orientation nor manually create their profile in your system and add their information in yourself.   

Day 1 On – It’s All About Them
Schedule Orientation and Training!
With all the paperwork taken care of before day 1, you’re on your way to making a good first impression and have more time to focus on them. Make sure your orientation provides any new caregivers with both an overview of your agency’s policies and values and also useful tools to navigate their new workplace.  

Enculturation
Day 1 is the time to introduce your culture and all the opportunities available to them and how they can make a difference in your agency. For example, if you have a mentorship program, introduce them to their new mentor; if you don’t, consider adopting one. Based on a Home Care Benchmark survey, caregivers wish that they had more mentoring opportunities. Take advantage of this by connecting your new caregiver with a seasoned one. This will create an open dialogue, impress your new hire, and help them navigate their new workplace with more confidence. It’s also a great opportunity for your seasoned caregiver, enabling them to level up professionally and become a better leader, employee, and team member. In the long run, mentorship programs have been demonstrated to lower turnover and increase employee engagement, including motivating and encouraging others among your staff.  

Transparency
Besides introducing them to opportunities and your culture, make sure you allow for questions and transparency. Everyone wants to feel that their thoughts and concerns are respected and that it’s safe to ask questions, and this is also especially helpful for reinforcing your culture and promoting a positive learning environment.  

After Day 1
Ongoing Training
Impressing your new caregiver on their first day is a start, but in order to reduce turnover, you want to make sure you’re keeping them engaged. As we all know, home care requires ongoing training to stay in compliance, but take the opportunity to also offer ongoing training and continuing education that will give them what they need to do their job effectively. Well-trained caregivers will stay with your agency longer and also keep your clients and patients happy with higher-quality service and care.   

Schedule Regular Check Ins 
The first 90 days of employment are crucial for building engagement. Make sure to schedule regular one-on-one check-in meetings, as this will give you the opportunity to supply new hires with important feedback as well as recognition that can motivate and engage. Such meetings can also provide important support for your caregivers and demonstrate your investment in them.  

By following the guidelines above, you’ll be well on your way to having a more effective onboarding process, helping you to impress, engage, and retain all your new caregivers.  

Find out more about the solutions we provide for onboarding with our Talent Acquisition Software, and check out our Home Care page if you’d like to learn more about our full software suite for in-home care including Viventium Learning and Viventium Benefits Administration 

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