Private Duty Conference Highlights: Recruitment, Retention, and Branding Session Overviews
February 25, 2016 03:09 PM
The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) held its 2016 Private Duty Home Care Conference in Charleston, South Carolina, on February 1-2, 2016, and NAHC Report will be providing coverage of some of the highlights from the conference.
Private duty home care agency leaders had two days of education sessions at the Private Duty Home Care Conference, hosted by the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) and the Private Duty Home Care Association (PDHCA) in Charleston, South Carolina on February 1-2. NAHC President Val J. Halamandaris led the opening general session sharing his views on “The Home Care Agency of the Future” and subsequent sessions covered marketing, compliance, conducting business with ACOs, accreditation, and a national legal update. Bob Roth, Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Cypress HomeCare Solutions in Phoenix, Arizona, and Georjean Sweis, Director of Operations for Visiting Angels got to the heart of what makes a home care agency superior with their sessions on branding and staffing.
Bob Roth’s diverse experience spanning the home care and marketing worlds gave him a unique perspective on the power of branding. He stressed that branding is no less important in home care than it is in any other industry – great branding can wield great power. “Branding is a promise and an experience,” he emphasized. Enhancing and shaping your brand means reexamining your heart, your image, your message, and your audience. “How do we get to the grassroots? How do we get to the kids who make decisions about mom?” It’s important to “define your spheres [of influence],” Mr. Roth said, as this will help you hone where your values are and determine where to send your message. Looking at entrepreneurship, religious communities, sports, and other activities can be helpful in identifying those spheres. Mr. Roth strongly encouraged keeping up with use of technology to enhance the work of caregivers and agency administrators, make processes easier for prospective and current clients, and incorporate those elements as factors of the brand. Efforts including sharing positive feedback and stories on social media can be a great image boost.
Holding on to and gaining more qualified caregivers is one of the industry’s biggest challenges because staff turnover can lead to higher costs and sub-optimal customer service. Georjean Sweis’s presentation on recruitment and retention addressed that very issue. She stressed that interview settings are a great opportunity; scrutinizing who moves forward in the recruitment process can save a lot of time down the road. Asking open-ended questions about what the agency is looking for in a caregiver gives insight into the applicant’s personality as well as his/her qualifications. Remember that the candidate is also interviewing the agency, Ms. Sweis encouraged, so think carefully about first impressions and communication and “consider the rookie versus the season player.” Smooth communication about the next steps in the interview process eliminates the “fear of the unknown” factor that could set a negative precedent. Ms. Sweis recommended agencies “optimize the follow-up interviews with caregiver assessment tools” – not to make a decision but to clarify skills on a spectrum. An essential component of retention best practices is agencies showing candidates they’ll take the time to learn what matters to them. Orientation and onboarding processes can shore up a caregiver’s confidence in agency operations.
If you have any questions about the conference or these education sessions, please contact Katharine Howard at NAHC: firstname.lastname@example.org