hand holding money

Stephanie Johnston, president and CEO of Transcend Strategy, said bonuses fail when organizations don’t understand why they are offering them and when they alienate existing employees.

“When dollars trump purpose, that is when you get into some pretty big trouble culturally,” Johnston advised listeners during a National Association for Home Care & Hospice webinar on Thursday.

An aging nation and the global pandemic is igniting demand for home care and home healthcare workers. According to eldercare research firm PHI international, there are currently about 4.5 million direct care workers in the U.S.; roughly half are home care workers. PHI estimates the care economy will add another 1.3 million jobs between 2018 and 2028.

Competition for workers has become increasingly stiff with larger national home care companies offering signing bonuses, tuition reimbursement and other enhanced benefits to attract new recruits. But Johnston said smaller agencies can go head to head with them for talent if they focus on their brand, culture and systems.

“All of these are the reasons people stay or leave an organization.” Johnston said.

When advertising for talent, Johnston advised agencies to be clear about the types of individuals they are seeking and make sure those candidates align with the employer’s mission. She said bonuses should ideally be prioritized for team members who refer good job candidates.

“Make it valuable to your team to refer to like-minded people because you are going to get higher-quality referrals from people who have already bought into your mission,” Johnston said.