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  • Writer's pictureCaribou

4 Practical Ways to Improve Your Hiring Funnel: Part 1 of 4

Part 1 of 4: Establishing your point of difference

Every home care agency across North America is engaged in the same daily battle to attract and retain quality care workers. With the demand for care steadily increasing and a shortage of caregivers across the continent, there is immense pressure on home care agencies to deliver care to those in their communities.

Unqualified applicants, interview no-shows, and great candidates who stop returning calls from your Recruiter are just a few of the daily challenges faced by those on the front lines of home care hiring. As they say, “if you know, you know,” and if you’re involved in home care recruiting, you certainly know what I’m talking about.

The never-ending battle to find great care workers can be discouraging – but trust me, hope is not lost, and our team at Caribou is here to help.

Although there is no silver bullet, there are established best practices that the most successful agencies are using to win the battle for talent. In this four-part series, I will share four practical tips that you can implement right away to elevate your recruitment efforts. There are many resources out there that talk about the theory around excellent recruitment. I aim to take real-world results backed by research and deliver them to you via practical tactics that you can implement right away. No fluff, just specific action and results.

So what are these companies doing that others are not? Let’s dive into part 1 of 4 Practical Ways to Improve Your Hiring Funnel.

The agencies with the most hiring success have a unique recruiting strategy that stands out in a meaningful way to candidates. If you don’t stand out from other care organizations in your community, you’ll fall into the ‘Sea of Same.’

So what’s the first step? It starts by establishing your point of difference: what makes you different from other care organizations in your community?

Why a Point of Difference Matters

The average time spent viewing a job ad is just 15 seconds, and job seekers are usually flipping through several jobs at a time. Think of this window as your sales pitch. You have 15 seconds to stand out from all the other jobs in your community. In that time, you need to capture attention by communicating what makes your agency unique. Take a moment to ponder this question: how is your agency different from the one down the street?

Seriously, take a moment to think about it. This article can wait a few seconds.

If you don’t have a clear answer right now, that’s okay; keep reading.

Most care organizations do not know the answer to this question. But if you don’t know how your agency is different, how are you supposed to stand out from the dreaded ‘Sea of Same’? It is unreasonable to expect a candidate to choose you over the other employers in your community if you do not give them a reason to.

Action to Take: Learn from your Staff

The best way to learn “how your organization is different from the one down the street” is to ask your team. Nobody knows better than your staff. After all, they are the ones who chose you to be their employer and have stuck around.

A quick and easy way to understand your strengths is to send a short survey to your staff. Ask them why they chose your agency, what they enjoy about it most, and why they have stuck around (We got your back: if you want a templated survey to send to your staff, shoot me an email, and I’ll provide you with one free of charge).

Suppose a survey isn’t appropriate for you, no problem! You can start more simply by checking in with a few of your longest-tenured staff. Give them a quick call or take them out for lunch and ask them why they joined your agency in the first place and, more importantly, why they have stuck around. You may be surprised by what you learn.

Putting it all Together

Once you understand what matters most to your staff and what you are doing well, you can focus on bringing this to life in your job ads. Remember, you only have 15 seconds to make an impression and sell this opportunity to a candidate. Open your job ads with what your staff have told you is most important. Maybe you have fantastic coordinators, an excellent management style, or a culture of recognition that makes staff feel appreciated. When you emphasize the qualities of your organization that your employees value, you are on your way to winning the battle for talent and standing out from the ‘Sea of Same.’


Key Takeaways

In an increasingly competitive market, the first step in improving your hiring process is understanding your Point of Difference:

  • You only have 15 seconds to get a candidate's attention - use it to stand out

  • Establish your point of difference by asking your staff about their experiences

  • Collect this feedback data through the use of a short pulse survey and/or directly from tenured employees

  • Elevate your job ads by leading with the key points of difference

  • Bonus tip: Stand out even further by including employee testimonials. You can host these on YouTube or your website and open your job ad with a link. Creating job ads with staff testimonials and images is an effective way of “showing” rather than “telling.”


Stay tuned for part 2 in this 4-part series, where I will share a proven way to elevate your job ads and win local talent.

At Caribou, we know these tactics work because we have seen them generate a real impact with our customers across the United States and Canada. We work with agencies to supercharge their recruitment and retention with a simple and powerful rewards program designed for home care. If you are looking to improve your recruitment and retention or have a question about these tips, we would love to hear from you. You can send us a note at or book a quick chat here: book a meeting.


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