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

Part 4 of 4: Speed wins

The hard truth about recruiting: if a care worker applies to your job posting, they are likely applying to your local competitors too. So, what’s the most effective way to win them over? Get to them first.

This is a matter of minutes - not days or weeks. Speed of contact is everything. The sooner you respond to applications, the better your rate of conversion.

Many agencies will move on from candidates because they are ‘unresponsive.’ The reality is that in many cases, these candidates are unresponsive because they moved on from you first. What does this mean for your organization? It means you need a system that enables you to make contact first.

Of all the recruiting best practices, this is the one that makes the most significant impact. The data is clear: the faster the average time to contact, the higher the conversion rate.

Tip 1: Expand beyond work hours

Many of the best care workers already have jobs. So, when applying to new jobs, they tend to do so outside of traditional work hours. If a candidate already has a job, they'll likely be applying before 9:00 am or after 5:00 pm (after is more likely as mornings are often spent getting ready for the day ahead). It should come as no surprise that when your recruiter tries to get a hold of these candidates during work hours, they are busy. Ironically, this is the sign of a good candidate. After all, you wouldn’t want a candidate who is taking phone calls and applying to other jobs while they’re “on the clock”!

With this in mind, many of the most successful agencies have recruiters working hours that start and end later than the typical workday. This allows recruiters to be online and active when applicants come in outside of traditional work hours. This enables candidates to make time for screeners and interviews without having to take time from their current job.

Tip 2: Automation is your friend

The best funnels have an automated process that triggers two notifications when a candidate applies: first, a message sent to a candidate (via SMS is best) that notifies them that their application has been received and advises on the next steps. Second, the recruiter is sent an email informing them that someone has applied and should be contacted ASAP. Curious how to set up a system like this? Send us a message at and we'd be happy to help.

Tip 3: Prioritize outreach

Not all hiring sources are created equal. Employee referrals are four times more likely to be hired than candidates from traditional channels. Even better, these referrals tend to be retained twice as long! So, when reaching out to candidates, contact the referrals first!


To summarize:

  1. Move fast. Candidates applying to your agency are applying to others. Sometimes even waiting an hour can mean losing out on talent.

  2. Be active and accessible outside work hours – that’s when the best talent usually applies.

  3. Lean on automation. Do not be afraid of implementing systems that provide automated alerts to candidates and recruiters.

  4. Prioritize referrals.


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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