This month I will go into some depth regarding the caregiver vetting process. Besides the usual screening methods, Christel’s requires a face-to-face interview with all potential caregivers. During this process, we have the candidate fill out an application in front of us. This assures us they can read and write English. I never mail the applicant a form to fill out and return. There is no telling who actually filled it out unless it is done in front of us.
Another reason for the in-person interview is to get a sense of the caregiver’s personality, experience and motivation. If the first question they ask is, “How much do I make?”, that’s a “red flag”. While salary is certainly important and a legitimate question, I don’t like when they lead with it. One goal of the screening process is to offer the caregiver feedback that will best serve them when they interview for an actual caregiving job.
Sometimes caregivers have great references but do poorly in the interview. Perhaps they are nervous or their English is poor. It’s not necessarily a deal-breaker if I see potential and their references back up my assessment. In cases like this, we “prep” the caregiver and observe them on their first interview with a family and patient. We then provide more feedback and do everything in our power to help them succeed. If they get hired and do a good job, they usually return for another assignment when the job ends.
Conversely, we also see a number of candidates who interview very well but do poorly on the job site. They “talk a good game”, say all the right things, but don’t back it up when it comes to actually helping the client. Maybe they are lazy, addicted to their phones, or even poor cooks - things that can’t always be determined in an interview or reference check.
Although it is a good start, it takes more than an interview and reference check in our opinion to insure you have the best caregiver. Your best bet is to use an agency or registry that refers caregivers who have a good track record, a history, with that company.
See you next month
Chris Christel, Author
Chris Christel, a pioneer in geriatric care, founded Christel's Home Care Agency in 1985. Chris has a Master's degree in Counseling Psychology and a wealth of knowledge in the field of home care.
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