Tips for Competing with Walmart and Others During the Hiring Process

Walmart and other retailers or fast food outlets use aggressive marketing tactics to attract, hire, and retain employees. Agencies must compete with these industries in order to build and retain the best workforce they can.

One way to make your organization stand out among competing employers is to compile a checklist of advantages your agency offers. Communicate these benefits to all prospective new hires through your job listings, and feel free to share with existing employees as well!

Here is a sample list you can use to market your agency for new hires and existing employees:

  • We have a mission to help others
  • The average weekly pay for a direct support professional is ____
  • Minimum 40-hours a week
  • Overtime available
  • Any qualified employee can request extra hours from our website
  • Never miss a shift! We remind you by text of your next shift
  • 150% to 200% extra pay for working on any of the ___ holidays per year
  • Fixed schedule with the option to pick up more hours
  • View your schedule anytime, anywhere
  • See who you are working with
  • Earn paid time off
  • Receive unpaid time off with no penalties
  • Get 6-month reviews
  • Structured career path

The labor shortage is having a dramatic effect on human service agencies. Higher turnover and extra overtime make things even harder. We know that applicant tracking and onboarding are more important than ever, and that’s why MITC is pleased to announce the addition of myApplicants to Agency Workforce Management!

myApplicants is a robust web-based, end-to-end hiring solution complete with applicant tracking, pre-employment assessments, background checks, drug screens, and even the ability to push your new hire data right into MITC Time & Attendance with just a click.

Contact [email protected] or read this free fact sheet for more detailed information on myApplicants. Just fill out the following information to receive the download link.


Payroll Costs Rising from the Labor Shortage

Services are increasingly getting more expensive to provide thanks in part to ongoing labor woes, according to the latest Cost of Care Survey from insurer Genworth Financial.

The national median cost of home care pay shot up 6.17% to $21.50 per hour, or $4,099 per month, from 2016 to 2017—the most pronounced increase among other care settings, according to the survey. The cost of home care services, including household tasks such as cooking and cleaning, reached a median of $21 per hour, or $3,994 per month, a 4.75% increase from last year.

Over five years, the median cost growth rate was 2.50% for home health aide services and 3.08% for homemaker services.

This year’s cost increase was particularly notable, according to Gordon Saunders, senior brand marketing manager for Genworth’s U.S. Life Insurance division. Overall, the annual median cost of long-term care services climbed an average of 4.5% from 2016 to 2017, marking the second-highest year-over-year increase for nursing homes and home care since the study began in 2004.

“We have become accustomed to seeing steady increases in the cost of long-term care services, but this year, we saw a marked acceleration in the cost of home care over previous years,” Saunders told Home Health Care News. “This is based on external factors in the marketplace related to supply and demand: increasing demand for long term care services as our population ages versus shortage of workers and rising labor costs.”

By comparison, the national median cost for a one-bedroom unit in a private-pay assisted living community reached $3,750 per month, or $45,000 a year, according to the survey. That’s an increase of 3.36% from 2016 to 2017.

National median rates for semi-private room nursing home care increased 4.44% and hit $7,148 per month, and private room nursing home care reached $8,121 per month, a 5.50% increase.

Labor Woes Crank Up Costs

Though the labor shortage  isn’t the only factor driving up the cost of care, it has impacted all care settings, according to Saunders.

“[U.S. Dept. of Labor] changes have resulted in minimum wage and overtime protections to more domestic service workers who enable individuals with disabilities and the elderly to continue to live independently in their homes,” Saunders said. “Also contributing to the increase in labor costs is the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which requires employers of a certain size to offer some type of health insurance, or pay a penalty.”

For nursing homes, higher labor expenses and tightening Medicare rules have resulted in shorter hospital stays and sicker patients being sent to rehab nursing homes for shorter stays, driving up costs, Genworth noted in the survey.

Room and board for assisted living communities has gone up to accommodate residents who are sick, but not sick enough to require nursing home care, according to the survey. Luxurious amenities commonly found in private pay communities also increased costs of care.

What Agencies Can Do About It

This eBook explains the reasons driving the labor shortage, and how a two-pronged approach can minimize the disruption and extra costs being caused by the labor shortage for agencies.

Download the new eBook and check out the complete library of ebooks for agencies here.

Ending DACA Could Make Labor Shortage Worse

Surveys of DACA beneficiaries reveal that roughly one-fifth of them work in the health care and educational sector, suggesting a potential loss of tens of thousands of workers from in-demand job categories like DSP’s, home aides, and nursing assistants.

Projections by the government and advocacy groups show that the economy will need to add hundreds of thousands of workers in these fields over the next five to 10 years to keep up with escalating demand, caused primarily by a rapidly aging population.

“It’s going to have a real impact on consumers,” Paul Osterman, a professor at the Sloan School at MIT and author of a new book on long-term care workers, said of the DACA move.

Mr. Sheik is the chief executive and founder of CareLinx, which matches home care workers with patients and their families. The company relies heavily on authorized immigrant labor, making the looming demise of the program a decidedly unwelcome development. The move, Mr. Sheik said, would compound an already “disastrous situation in terms of shortages of supply.” He added, “This is a big issue we’re focusing on.”

According to census data Mr. Osterman analyzed, more than one-quarter of home health aides in 2015 were immigrants. The proportion in certain states is far higher, reaching nearly one-half in California and nearly two-thirds in New York.

As a basic matter of economics, removing tens of thousands of workers from occupations that already suffer from a serious labor shortage — the Labor Department predicts the country will need more than 1.25 million home health aides by 2024, up from about 900,000 in 2014 — generally has one unambiguous effect: driving up costs.

The economic problem is twofold. First, state governments, through Medicaid, often pays the salaries of DSP’s, meaning that escalating wages could blow a hole in state budgets (assuming the State increased funding!). If the states refuse or are unable to increase funding, then the labor shortage will get worse as for-profit organizations such as fast-food and Amazon warehouses raise wages.

Second, an acute shortage of DSP’s could force many older and disabled Americans out of their homes and into care facilities, where costs are roughly two-to-three times the cost of home care for a full year. The government typically picks up that tab as well.

For clients who rely on immigrant workers, “if that person is gone, can’t get renewed, it’s not a cute thing,” Professor Osterman said. “A home health aide is what lets you stay at home.”