Along with the ICD-10 laws of October 2015 that have affected healthcare organizations in general, 2015 adjustments surrounding Companionship Exemption and New Department of Labor Overtime Laws have affected home health organizations in particular. The changes have impacted how companies like Community Care Home Health Services, located in Long Island, New York, handle their workforce.
We had the opportunity to interview Brittany Winter, recruiter for Community Care Home Health Services. They offer in-home care for elderly clients, and she shared how they are handling the recent law changes.
I asked her, "What changes are going on right now that affect the home health workforce?”
She said, “There’s been a lot of changes in the overtime. I know that a lot of agencies have to cut down on overtime hours for their caregivers, because of the increases in requirements."
How Community Care is Dealing with Recent The New Dept. of Labor OT Laws
When I asked her what she proposes about the solution, she offered a general call to collaborate, instead of compete with other home health services. This collaboration is something Community Care already does. Winter said,
"Instead of being competitive, I think the industry as a whole should work on being more collaborative and working with each other, rather than against each other. More and more people are seeing that's what we have to do."
Community Care provides in home services from a nurse, aide, or “companion” to assist with basic medical needs. Their main clientele is the elderly, who are not staying in assisted living facilities as often as they once did, she said from her experience.
They're hiring for New York home health, which is a booming metropolis, so they all the time. In fact, with 505 caregivers already in the system, they add 10-20 new employees a week, which adds up to hundreds of new employees every year.
How to hire for that many employees
They focus on quality, over quantity, she says, and their primary source of quality hires comes from referrals, which is what our research has found for industries across industries.
So how do they incentivize their employee referral program? It depends, but here’s what they’ve done in the past:
- Offered a $.50 per hour salary raise
- A bonus check of $25 for two successful home health aide referrals
- Quarterly parties for all their employees!
I asked her, "Do you have any tips for other HR professionals specifically in home health?"
Winter said, “To constantly stay in touch with the potential employee, the caregiver. Following up is huge; you don’t want to just kind of wait until you hear and get everything back, because they could be working somewhere else."
Relode: "Do you have any advice for others in home health recruiting?
BW: "Be patient and watch your tone of voice. It can be very frustrating at times, and I know that by the end of the day—sometimes you’re getting call after call—and you can sound drained and tired. But you have to keep up a good attitude, because no one’s going to want to work for you if you get on the phone and you sound miserable!”
In summary, she advises others in her position to:
- Be patient
- Be consistent with follow up
- Watch your tone of voice
- Listen to music to keep it on the up
Perhaps the most interesting thing from the whole interview was how Community Care is responding to the Companion Care changes from this year. The new laws restrict overtime hours for Community Care Home Health Services caregivers.
Community Care’s response? They’re now collaborating with other home health companies to help each other out when clients need care, practicing what they're preaching!
R: "What does it look like to become more collaborative?"
BW: “If your caregivers need more work than you have to offer, you can work with another agency to get them more cases. That way if your agency is overwhelmed with cases at any point, you can also ask the other agency (or agencies) if they have any extra workers to help out. That kind of collaboration can not only benefit your agency and your clients, but it also benefits your caregivers and your staff. You don’t want to hold onto that home health aide and keep them on the back burner waiting for a case to come up for them. Why not put them to work and work with another agency to get the proper hours."
Collaboration vs. Competition
That is, Community Care Home Health Services really does care (excuse the pun) about their clients. They care to the point that they’re willing to focus not on competition, but on collaboration to bring Long Island the best care available. They’ll do whatever it takes to make their goal a reality.
Brittany Winter is HR Director for Community Care Home Health Services, which is offering quality care throughout Long Island. You can connect with her here.
Chad Harrington is the Content Director at Relode, the modern way to find great candidates. He writes on all things hiring. Contact him through email or follow him on Twitter. Follow Relode on Twitter for all blogs and company updates.