How do you find great staff?
The key is not just getting a caregiver or a manager, but getting the best ones, the right ones, attracting them, training them, retaining them. You can even interview potential employees through a skype interview. When you ask them questions like, how would you handle this situation? What would you say to this? What do you see as your biggest strength and what do you see as your biggest weakness? What you are looking for is how they respond, as you are looking them in the eye and getting a feel for them, you don’t even need to be in the same room. Do they understand what I’m saying? Do they really have a response, are they just making it up?
What qualities should the staff have?
You are looking for somebody who’s in control, who can take a system and implement it. Somebody who is genuinely nice to their family, to their spouse, their coworkers. If they’re the manager, they need to be fair, but firm with their caregivers underneath them, the managers overseeing them, doing things like hiring and firing, scheduling, giving somebody a day off when they need it or requiring them to take a day off when they need it.
Those interpersonal relationships are the hardest thing of all to teach and train. We actually do a whole training on how to hire a manager, exactly what to look for and exactly what to avoid. The manager is overseeing the caregivers. There is also the human resource standpoint with those caregivers, finding them, training them or retaining them. But in addition to that there’s filling the home, attracting those new residents to come in, giving tours so that when people come in, they feel good about what they’re seeing and experiencing within the home, taking care of the relationships between the family and the caregivers. They have to keep the records, they have to make sure the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed, but they understand that the ability to communicate with somebody is more important than just dotting an I or crossing a T, because ultimately we’re dealing with people, and sometimes you can’t satisfy everybody and that’s part of that training as well.
So the caregiver, depending on the state, will have certain qualifications and training that they have to meet and so on. Some states it’s very minimal. In other states it’s much more lengthy. So regardless of what the state requires, we want to make sure that they’re the right person for us, how they treat the resident, how they look for solutions, how they work underneath a manager or if they are the manager, how they work with those caregivers that are underneath them. We need good independent contractors with the right attitude, making sure they understand how important it is, what we do and when they’re on the job and on our premise, whether dealing with our residents that they do it with respect, high quality, the best attitude possible. There’s a lot that goes into finding the right people, managers, caregivers. Focus on doing it right the first time.
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