Your Best Recruiter is Already on the Payroll

New Hampshire is home to 520,000 residents over the age of 60, and that number is expected to soar over the next decade.  Ok, so you already knew that. The cohort has been aging in place right ahead of me for— well— forever.  They clogged the hospitals when they were born, the schools and colleges as they grew, and caused everything from infrastructure to social change in their wake.

So, now they are old. The NEW old.

As an industry, health care is seeing the convergence of their retiring care providers walking out one door, and at the same moment the Boomers are entering through the consumer door. The need for health care providers, home health aides and personal care aides is projected to grow by almost 70% between 2010 and 2020. Where are these providers going to come from?

Recently HCANH asked Human Resource experts at our member agencies what they are doing to attract new employees, and retain skilled staff to meet the growing need. 

The answer was loud and clear;  the best source of the best employees is referrals from within.

“When you hire the friends of your friends, the original gets something. She gets to say ‘Yeah, I got my friend a job’ which is a pretty cool thing to say and a great feeling to have,” says Liz Ryan, HR specialist. “You build glue in a company that way.”

Traditional recruiting tools like job fairs, print advertising, and online tools like Monster, Indeed, and e-mail blasts to employees and volunteers are certainly on the weekly task list of Brenda Rugg, at Home Health and Hospice Care in Merrimack, but  “the best recruitment tool is the employee referral.”

“The new employee is already connected. It’s not like they’re walking into a strange place,” says Ryan.  “They may have met some of the employees before. The energy is great around the new hire.”

The best source of new, quality employees, by far, is word of mouth from current staff, agrees Chris Long at Central NH VNA in Laconia. “One of my employees has recruited 5 new staff.”  At Central NH VNA there is a corporate culture where staff take responsibility for recruitment and furthering that positive culture.

Employees who feel good about the place they work are going to tell their friends. Those who don’t, won’t.  If you haven’t gotten an employee referral in awhile, maybe it’s time for some agency self reflection.

An added benefit: Friends won’t let you down. By using your staffs’ referrals and honest feedback, you can garner more than you could possibly hope for in an interview.   No one wants to be responsible for  all have that one lazy friend. Already you have hurdled part of the vetting process because your current satisfied employees do not want to be responsible for bringing in the lazy guy to the environment.

Other suggestions from our members:

  • Core Medical – permanent or temporary placements
  • Post with New Hampshire colleges and universities  schools you have relationship with, for instance: Rivier University, the community colleges,  and SNHU
  • and

An agency could easily spend $15-$20K on a television spot, which will cast a wide net over the community in hopes that one person is watching just then.  Even with directed social media and industry specific advertising, there’s simply too much noise that competes for the potential candidate’s attention.  Stick with who you know.

So, who do YOU know?


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