Home care and home healthcare providers are emerging from the long war against the COVID-19 virus, only to be confronted with a different battle: the one for talent. In this campaign, companies such as ConcertoCare and Seniors Helping Seniors are mapping out different strategies for success.

As part of its fight to secure talent, New York-based ConcertoCare has commissioned a new general. Last month, the tech-enabled home healthcare firm hired veteran human resources executive and talent recruiter Rachel Grace as its chief people officer. Grace’s overall mission is to ensure that ConcertoCare’s recruiting strategy aligns with the company’s culture as it looks to expand its footprint nationally.

Rachel Grace

“It’s about passion, it’s about potential and it’s about purpose,” Grace told McKnight’s Home Care Daily.

Although compensation is important to many of the professionals ConcertoCare is recruiting, Grace said it is often only one of many considerations of the company, which offers in-home care supported by a team of clinicians, including pharmacists, behaviorists and social workers. ConcertoCare also operates Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE). 

“People want to be in a place where they feel valued, they want to be empowered and they want to be recognized,” Grace explained. “I may find a person who says ‘you know what? I don’t need to be recognized, but I need to have autonomy.’ Somebody else may say ‘you can direct me where to go. That’s good. I just need you to recognize me.’ Each person is different. There is no one size fits all. That’s the dynamic component of hiring and staffing.”

The company is also refining the way it finds potential candidates. Grace said she is developing partnerships with search firms and recruiters who understand ConcertoCare’s culture and can connect the company to the right candidates.

Bonuses, anyone?

Home care firm Seniors Helping Seniors is also integrating culture into its latest recruitment effort, but in a more specific way. The Pennsylvania-based company, which hires mostly older caregivers, recently launched a new bonus program with its 110 franchise owners. The program offers signing bonuses to new recruits with a portion of the bonus going to local Alzheimer’s Association chapters as a donation.

Namrata Yocom-Jan

“We wanted to do something that was different from what our industry is doing, but at the same time giving back to the community for the greater good,” Seniors Helping Seniors President Namrata Yocum-Jan told McKnight’s Home Care Daily.

It’s estimated that approximately 4.6 million people work in the direct care sector at an average hourly wage of just under $13. Since the pandemic hit, the demand for in-home care has intensified as more seniors are choosing to live in their homes instead of congregate settings. At the same time, home care agencies are battling with other industries for the same workers.

Daniel Jan

“When you drive down the street and Petsmart is offering $17 to $25 now, plus a $1,000 signing bonus, that is going to attract some of the people who work for us. So we have to do something different to get in front of the right types of people,” Seniors Helping Seniors COO Daniel Jan told McKnight’s Home Care Daily.

About 80% of the company’s workers are retired and looking for meaningful part-time work with flexible hours. The remainder are younger, professional caregivers. Namrata and Daniel  say those younger workers are looking for opportunities to advance in their careers, so the company has partnered with online CareAcademy to help them get additional training. But as the company grows, Seniors Helping Seniors is thinking even bigger.

“We’ve talked about starting a caregiver training school, but this is not something that we’ve fleshed out just yet,” Daniel said.