Case Study: How Kore Cares Hires Home Care Employees with CareerPlug

For home care business owners, making the right hires during a pandemic is no easy task. The labor market continues to shift, and attracting great candidates remains a key challenge. But having the right software could mean the difference between filling those open roles or continuing the uncertain search for job seekers.

CareerPlug sat down with Gabby Hoing, CEO and Co-Founder of Kore Cares and a member of the Home Care Association of America (HCAOA), to learn about her hiring challenges as well as how an applicant tracking system (ATS) helped her attract the right candidates.

Kore Cares is a home care agency located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, with a mission of helping individuals live their life to the fullest in the place they call home. Thanks to her incredible team of caregivers, Kore Cares’ clients are assisted with many aspects of life, from housekeeping, laundry, meal prep, transport, companionship, to personal care needs.

Hoing is proud to have her business ranked in the top 10% of agencies in the country, as well as a Home Care Pulse Employer of Choice, Provider of Choice, and Excellence in Home Care recipient. We sat down to talk with Hoing about what’s working in her hiring process.

Kore Cares’ Hiring Challenges

Based in a city with high demand, Hoing aims to make 50 new hires a year for Kore Cares’ one location, making recruitment a significant part of her small business. She discusses her goals for Kore Cares’ hiring process.

“We’re on a mission this year to make things a lot more efficient and streamlined, so I’ve been working a lot on our hiring process and making sure we have a good workflow and that we’re reducing administrative time if we can.”

Thanks to CareerPlug’s partner, The Home Care Association of America (HCAOA), Hoing discovered CareerPlug, and decided to try our ATS in an effort to boost Kore Cares’ recruitment. Seven months ago, she made her first hire with our software. 

Before CareerPlug, Hoing was using another ATS, in addition to manually posting her roles to local and online job boards herself.

She explained, “I was at a loss when we started with CareerPlug because we had been using a local job board and we were paying a significant amount of money for that job board. We just kept getting the same applicants, over and over again. We knew their names from memory, because we kept seeing those applicants, but there’s no way in that system to actually flag they’re a duplicate. It was a very basic system that we were paying a lot of money for. We weren’t getting a lot of good leads for it and so I was kind of pulling my hair out, thinking there’s got to be a better way. I’m like…‘well, I can’t go wrong, I might as well give CareerPlug a shot,’ and so we did.”

To save time, Hoing needed a platform that could automate the recruiting process. CareerPlug helped streamline many of the administrative tasks so that Hoing could focus on what really matters: running her business.. 

She recalls, “I was having to think about what job boards we posted to and make sure they were all updated. We were using Indeed, Facebook; we had a local job board that we were using. We’d post to colleges too. We did some flyers, things like that.”

“Now, we just use CareerPlug, because that feeds it to multiple different sources for us and then kind of pulls it all back into one system, which is really nice. I don’t have to go to multiple different job boards and make sure everything’s up to date or refresh the post, so it’s really helped bring some efficiency and time saving to what we were doing.”

Pandemic Effect on Hiring

Of course, running a small business in 2021 has its drawbacks. Like many others, Hoing has also faced low applicant volume as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

I think the challenge, right now, currently, which I’m not sure anyone can solve is that there’s just not enough employees. We have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country here in South Dakota. We have a lot of big businesses like Amazon coming into the market; we have big food manufacturers coming into the market, people that are going to hire thousands of employees in a market that’s pretty much already tapped for workforce.

We asked Hoing what she was doing to stand out from the rest of the competition to keep up with the demand of caregivers in Sioux Falls and any advice she may be able to share with other small business owners.

“We’ve seen a lot of other businesses move their starting wage to $15, and so we had to raise client rates to meet that; so, we’re at that minimum of $15. You might have to raise your rates and you might have to raise your pay a little bit to be competitive. We also make sure we offer the best benefits in town, so a lot of home care agencies don’t offer PTO, health insurance, supplemental policies; we offer all of that. I think the workforce wants that, demands that, expects it, so we want to make sure we’re competitive with our benefits, and then when they’re here we want to make sure that they feel welcome and a part of the team so that we can retain them.”

Increasing Caregiver Retention with Better Onboarding

At CareerPlug, we always say the number one recruiting strategy is retention. Hoing is a great example of this philosophy in action. 

She shared her strategy for a great start with her new hires: “In the beginning, you really need to focus on training, so that they really know and understand their job; that they feel comfortable and that they’re going to be successful, but then you need to keep checking in with them.” 

“One thing we do is every 90 days, we pull them in for reviews – so we do a supervisory visit, a review, and a bonus every 90 days. That gives us a chance to meet with them face-to-face and get their feedback, and give them timely feedback as well. And then, if they’re doing a great job, give them a little bonus. So, you might have to raise your rates, might have to raise your pay – really look at what you’re doing to retain and train employees.”

Getting Hiring Advice from the Experts

The Kore Cares hiring process is one that never stops, so Hoing makes it a priority to seek out the expert advice from her partners at CareerPlug to make sure she’s always putting her business at an advantage in this competitive job market. She credits much of her success to the CareerPlug team and the advice they’ve shared with her. 

She says: “We’ve met with a few CareerPlug people, and they’ve given us tips and hints along the way on how we make our job posts more attractive or how we communicate that. Every time I meet with someone from CareerPlug, I get another little tidbit. I think algorithms are always changing even in the job market space. […] I see something from a different perspective every time I get their advice or take on things, but it’s always helpful to stay in touch and get their feedback on our job posts and new ideas, too.”

Results with CareerPlug

Despite the current labor market, Hoing has seen major improvements in her recruitment since starting with CareerPlug. She was able to cut her recruiting costs by $3,000 and make 13 new hires for her small business. She was also able to stop using her local job board completely, saving hundreds of dollars each month. 

Get Started with CareerPlug

CareerPlug is a trusted hiring partner for many leading home health care franchises, as well as the Home Care Association of America. Try CareerPlug to learn how we can help your home care business make the right hires, faster.

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