Six Ways to Improve Recruitment & Retention

With the average life expectancy continuing to climb, the demand for home health and hospice care continues to increase. This coupled with a national shortage of nurses, many home health and hospice agencies are hard-pressed to hire and keep qualified nursing staff. What can you do to meet the challenges presented by growing demand and a limited pool of candidates?

Recruitment & Retention Strategies

  1. Communicate your agency’s value and mission to prospective candidates. Given the highly competitive healthcare market, you need to stand out by effectively promoting your agency as a place that values the wants and needs of your staff. Examine how you compare to other providers and what sets you apart, including pay scale, benefits, scheduling flexibility, incentives, and work/life balance. Evaluate whether you should make changes in some of these areas and focus on emphasizing your advantages when promoting open positions.
  2. Maximize available resources for recruiting. Local home health or hospice associations and job boards promoted by nursing associations are great opportunities to advertise open positions to the right audience. Be proactive. Partnering with local colleges or universities with nursing programs is a great opportunity to connect with recent or future graduates. You can also search professional networking sites such as LinkedIn and reach out to those that may be a good fit for your agency. The right candidate may not be actively pursuing new opportunities but may be open to talking with you. Another great resource is your current staff. Incentivize staff to refer qualified candidates.
  3. Hire the right person from the start. One of the best ways to retain staff is to ensure that they are the right fit from the start. Prior to hiring, check references and if possible, speak with the candidate’s former patients and/or families. Be sure to verify any listed licensure or accreditations. Review the candidate’s social media profiles. Additionally, consider inviting him/her to your agency to meet with staff so that you can see how they interact.
  4. Provide continuous education. Provide staff with continuous training and education designed to help them stay on top of industry changes and remain informed about agency operations. This not only enables them to provide the best possible patient care, but it gives them greater insight into compliance and operational items so they fully understand why your agency makes certain decisions and operates the way that it does.
  5. Open up lines of communication. Allowing staff to freely relay feedback about clinical and administrative issues will help them become an integral part of your agency, and they will be motivated to stay and grow with you.
  6. Create, review, and modify. Remember that you may not get it right the first time. Regularly review your recruitment and retention strategies. If you are not seeing the results you had hoped for, take a look at what you are doing and make modifications. Is your pay rate competitive enough? Are there other things that can you offer to strengthen your benefit package? Are you adequately advertising open positions to attract qualified candidates?

The HEALTHCAREfirst Difference 

For more than 25 years, HEALTHCAREfirst has provided industry-leading home health analytics and hospice analytics nationwide. Backed by exceptional support, we allow agencies to excel by implementing data-driven management strategies, improving the quality of patient care, accelerating cash flow, and simplifying compliance requirements. Contact us today to learn more about how HEALTHCAREfirst can help your agency succeed.