By Rochelle Wodarz, RN, MA | PCA Program Director
Hiring a home care worker can be both exciting and anxiety-producing. Your future caregiver will be spending lots of time with you and your family in your home, providing personal care and more.
That’s why it’s essential to carefully consider your needs, what you qualify for and the qualifications that will make a candidate the best fit for you.
Keep reading to learn what you need to know before hiring a home care worker.
Where to Find a Home Care Worker
- Check with all of your personal connections. Many people have greater trust in their caregiver when they hire someone they find through a personal connection.
- Local colleges and universities can be a good source and may have bulletin boards where you can advertise.
- Local, neighborhood papers often offer free advertising opportunities.
- Accra provides home care service, so you can search our Accra Job Board
- You can search the DHS Job Board
- Visit paid Websites such as Care.com and Joshin.com
- Try free Websites such as the PCA Connections Minnesota group/page on Facebook
- Other places to advertise your need for a caregiver include: rehab clinics and hospitals, community centers, places of worship and neighborhood places (coffee shops, supermarkets, etc.)
Things to Think About When Hiring
Think about what you will need in an employee. What type of care are you assessed for and what cares are on your Care Plan? Will your caregiver need to know or learn how to do it? What personal qualities are important to you? What hours do you need them to work? Which qualifications are most important to you?
Are you looking for someone:
- With a nursing (or student nursing) background?
- Who can lift and transfer?
- Who understands a specific diagnosis?
- Who is punctual, reliable and dependable?
- With a valid driver’s license?
- Who shares your interests?
- With a good sense of humor?
- Who is positive and upbeat?
- Who is quiet?
- With good listening skills?
- With good communication skills?
- Who lives in your neighborhood?
- Who is well-connected to your community?
- Who honors the same rituals as you?
- Who has weekday, weekend, evening or overnight availability?
As it is important to meet candidates as soon as possible, you will need to consider how you will schedule and execute the interviews. Here are a few interviewing tips:
Screen your potential employees by phone before interviewing them in person to help avoid interviews with poor candidates. If you are not comfortable inviting someone to your home for a first interview, arrange to meet them at a public place such as a coffee shop, bookstore or library.
It’s often helpful to have a second opinion, so if possible, bring a friend or family member with you when conducting interviews.
Some possible interview questions:
- Why are you interested in this position?
- Have you ever done this kind of work before? If so, please explain.
- Have you been trained as a personal care assistant or direct support worker?
- What is your previous work experience?
- Why did you leave your previous employer?
- Do you have other jobs right now?
- What hours are you available to work?
- Are you comfortable with open communication?
- What are your thoughts about the job as I describe it?
- What was a job you liked and what did you like about it?
- What has been your biggest accomplishment in the past year?
- What support do you need to do this job well?
- Are you a good cook (if cooking is part of the job)?
- Do you have a valid driver’s license and clean driving record (if driving is required)?
- Do you have a criminal record? (Let them know that they will be required to pass a background study that includes fingerprinting.)
- Share the job description, so the person knows what will be required of them. Let them know your expectations of your employees. If you need a job description, your agency provider can help you with that.
- Ask the applicant for references. It is ideal to connect with at least two references for anyone you are interested in hiring.
Evaluating Candidates and Hiring Your Caregiver
Evaluate all of your candidates to see who best responded to your questions, who had the best references, and who has the characteristics most suited to your particular needs.
Once you have chosen an applicant, have them complete an employment application right away with your home care agency provider. Remember that a background study and other required paperwork must be completed before they can start.
Your provider will know when your employee is ready to work, and then you can arrange for the training process to begin.
Training may include: reviewing the schedule; discussing transfers that may be needed; understanding the Care Plan; aligning on the preferred communication system works; discussing the daily routine; and reviewing the agency provider’s policies and procedures.
How will you decide if your employees are doing a good job?
Within three months, you should meet with your employee to review their performance. If your employee’s job performance does not meet expectations, you should address that with them right away.
Make sure to review the job description, provide them with feedback and review expectations. If the employee’s performance does not improve, you may need to terminate their employment. Your provider’s human resources department can help you with this.
Hiring a home care worker may seem like a daunting process but it can ultimately be rewarding and worthwhile. Accra is here to help make your hiring experience as seamless as possible. Visit our page for more information about all aspects of home care.