A family’s choice to hire a private caregiver or work with a home care agency has many serious implications. Caregiver abuse and neglect do happen, as do problems with finances, taxes and workers’ compensation.
Caregivers working for agencies must meet certain qualifications and are required to undergo a background check. There are several advantages to using an agency, including:
1. Background Checks
Home health aides often work with vulnerable populations, so thorough vetting is key. Caregiver background checks help uncover federal, state and county felony and misdemeanor convictions that disqualify applicants from the position. Some agencies also conduct education verifications, driving record searches and professional license checks.
It’s important to choose a reputable consumer reporting agency (CRA) that’s accredited by the Professional Background Screeners Association. This will simplify the process and ensure compliance with state laws that apply to HHAs. The CRA should search federal and state criminal records and state abuse and neglect registries as well as verify the status of any professional licenses held by caregivers.
While personal care aide certification credentials and criminal background checks are important, references also play an important role in caregiver agency hiring. They allow for a clear picture of an applicant’s history of caregiving experience. When interviewing a reference, ask questions about the specifics of their relationship with the senior cared for and what their duties were.
This information will help to determine if a caregiver is a good fit for your elderly patient. Vague answers or any mention of a poor caregiver-senior relationship are red flags. It is also a good idea to check multiple references. This way, you can compare their responses and get a full picture of an applicant’s work performance.
Caregivers want a job where they feel valued. Experts say that when caregivers leave their agency, they often cite pay and benefits as the reason why. During the interview process, agencies can set themselves apart by discussing a compensation model that includes raises based on performance and by offering training opportunities or tuition reimbursement.
During the interview, it is also important to ask caregiver candidates about their ideal management style. This allows the recruiter to see if there is a good fit between the candidate and agency culture.
Having a streamlined application and onboarding process is also essential. Research shows that new employees are more likely to stay at an agency for three years if they have a great onboarding experience. Streamlined applications and interviews help to keep the hiring process moving quickly.
Caregivers seek opportunities to work for agencies that are passionate about making a difference. Creating an effective employer brand will attract top talent caregivers to your agency. Showcase your agency’s diverse culture and mission to drive home the value your HHCA brings to clients, caregivers, and their families.
Streamline onboarding for new hires to minimize lost productivity. Pre-qualifying applicants during the application process with ATS technology will allow your agency to speed up hiring decisions and evaluate candidates on measurable, objective criteria.
Behavioral interview questions can provide insight into the applicant’s strengths and weaknesses, attitudes toward work, etc. This information is critical to ensuring a high-quality, supportive supervisory relationship. Agencies can deliver consistent supervision to their caregivers unlike Registry providers who employ independent contractors and do not offer direct oversight of their workers.
Caregiver agency business offers a variety of custodial and health services in the home for seniors. Clients receive personal care such as bathing, grooming and toileting and help with transferring. Other services include shopping, cooking, meal preparation and light housekeeping. Caregivers also provide companionship and transport to doctors, hair appointments, theaters, churches and social engagements.
Agencies hire caregivers as employees, so they are insured and covered by workers’ compensation. This is a big difference from hiring an independent caregiver as a 1099 contractor, which shifts the responsibility and burden for taxes like payroll, Medicare, Social Security and federal and state unemployment to the client. This can become a costly liability when a family is injured by their caregiver on the job. Insurance provides peace of mind that a licensed, bonded and insured caregiver is vetted, criminal background checked and trained.