When you’re scrolling through Netflix, looking for a new show to binge-watch, do you blindly click on the first thing you see without reading the description or watching the trailer?
You’re about to dedicate yourself to “one more episode,” which entails sleepless nights, lost Sundays, and half of your refrigerator. Don’t you want to choose a show that will be worth your time and (lack of) energy?
It’s no different when you’re looking for a job. You aren’t going to apply to the places with minimal descriptions that don’t even list the hourly wage. If the company doesn’t have a website, it’s going to deter you from applying, because it could be a scam.
A good job description helps the candidate envision what working for you will look like. Why would they want to work for you? How will this job benefit their lives? Is it worth their time?
We know that hiring is hard right now. But home health care agencies are having an even harder time hiring caregivers: there are nearly 599,800 job openings for home health care aides.
At Whirks, we’re passionate about helping home health care owners navigate through the difficulties of their industry – and running a successful agency starts and ends with hiring and retaining the best caregivers.
In this article, we’ll show you how to write strong job descriptions so you can attract and hire the perfect people to help your business blossom and grow.
Who is your ideal candidate?
Before you start writing your job descriptions, think through your ideal caregiver, what challenges they may face, and how you can create a healthy work environment for them.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of personal care aides is projected to grow 33 percent from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations.
On average, a family will pay $4,957 a month for home health services, but the average aide makes an hourly wage of $11.93 per hour. (Source) Home care aides endure long hours for low wages. They face difficult situations daily, risking their own mental and physical health.
If this profession was a Netflix series, how would you entice someone to click play?
According to the Casting Agencies Directory, there are five elements that make a great TV series:
1. A clear idea with a unique point of view
2. Interesting and believable characters
3. Storylines that involve meaningful conflict
4. Engaging dialogue that enhances the character’s development
5. A familiar structure to follow
Let’s follow these same steps to write a job description that will align with your values and attract the right people to work for you.
1. Tell your story.
Why did you start a home health care agency? What inspired you to do so? Why is caregiving important to you? Invite potential applicants into your story. You are the leader of your company, and your passion is contagious.
After my dad passed away in 2013, I realized there was a desperate need to put the care back into caregiving. I started [Company Name] later that year, with a special passion for listening to my patients and what they needed most: sometimes it's a clean kitchen, but other times it's offering your hand to hold. I'm dedicated to hiring a team of people who go beyond cleaning and comforting - people who actually care.
As an extra step, hire a videographer to create a culture video: introduce yourself, your business, and show what it’s like working there.
2. Cast the role.
You know you’ve picked the right Netflix series when you notice that you’re attached to the characters. It’s a well-written show because you feel like you’re living in it.
Create an aspirational role. How can future caregivers envision themselves in it? Show them why they will be valued at your company. Once you’ve established strong company culture, all the other pieces will fall into place.
Do you possess a servant's heart? Do you enjoy helping and encouraging people? Working at [Insert Company Name] may be the perfect opportunity for you to brighten the lives of others through caregiving. Bring joy to clients, their families, and us by assisting with daily tasks and developing meaningful relationships with our patients.
3. Write a compelling storyline.
Your candidate can envision themselves in the role, but what’s their storyline? What are the day-to-day tasks that shape their time at your company?
Instead of writing out a long list of job responsibilities, use empowering words that help your candidate envision themselves living in their new role.
- Serve the physically disabled, cognitively impaired, chronically ill, and elderly
- Help bathe and assist patients
- Provide cooking, cleaning, and transportation
- Encourage patients to take their medicine
- Engage in fun activities and social outings
“1 in 10 applicants are lost: they are never reviewed by a hiring manager or responded to. In a market where we’re desperate for talent, 10% of the jobs in the industry are never even looked at.”Adam Robinson, CEO of Hireology
4. Enhance their development.
“There’s always going to be people available, guys. It’s a matter of tweaking your business to adapt to the new norm.”Coach Michele
Hiring has changed since the pandemic – and for good reason. Workers know their worth. How can you change your business to benefit them better? This may look like raising your fees as a business so you can accommodate higher-quality caregivers.
Bonuses don’t have to be about money. Offer your employees a paid self-care day every 6-8 weeks, and schedule an hour a day that’s dedicated to your team’s wellness at work. Require them to take a walk, read a book, or sneak in a cat nap so they feel refreshed.
- Flexible hours (choose your own schedule: daytime, overnight, or weekends)
- Advancement opportunities (we’ll pay for your training and certifications)
- Mileage reimbursement (we pay for your gas)
- Bonus PTO (everyone deserves a self-care day!)
For more ideas on potential work perks, check out our article here.
5. Structure the role.
At this point in the job description, you want the applicant to be ready to move forward and work for you. But they need to know if they’re qualified for this role or not.
You don’t want to scare away a potentially great candidate, so don’t overwhelm them with a daunting list of requirements.
- Character – We hire trustworthy, self-motivated people who are passionate about serving others and growing in their roles.
- Skill – You have to enjoy caring for people. Cooking and cleaning skills are a plus.
- Experience – If you have a CNA or HHA certification or a nursing background – that’s a bonus!
When we’re helping our home health care clients write job ads, we know that there are four things that a home health aide is looking for:
- Company Culture: What type of company am I going to work for?
- Direct Reporting Manager: If I take this role, who will I be working with?
- Salary: What will I make annually and what are the benefits?
- Tasks: What does my day look like here?
Your job descriptions should be between 250-and 2,000 words so that you rank for higher SEO.
Next step: Auditions! (i.e., interviews)
“All you have to remember is ‘audition’ is synonymous with ‘opportunity. I mean, if you absolutely hate auditioning, do you also hate opportunities? That wouldn’t make much sense.”
Your potential caregivers aren’t just auditioning to see if they get the part. You’re auditioning, too. Do they want to be a part of your business and a part of your story? Do you want to help them develop their character and score a winning role?
People are your most valuable (and expensive) asset. Build a better back office by writing better job descriptions which will help you hire the best caregivers.
Check out our podcast episode with Effie Abghouti, founder and CEO of R2R Hospice Care. She discusses how company culture and compensation help her stay fully staffed – even with worker shortages in a high-turnover industry.