If possible, do an initial telephone screening prior to an interview. Write your questions down on paper before speaking on the phone. Be sure the caregiver can perform the needed tasks at the rate or amount you are able to pay.
Make sure the caregiver is available on the days you want help. Do not give your address out unless you decide you want to conduct a personal interview with that person. Do not continue a conversation with a caller that makes you feel uncomfortable or is asking questions that are unrelated to the phone interview. Trust your instincts.
When interviewing a caregiver, it may be wise to include a friend or family member during the meeting. Have a brief employment application ready for the candidate to complete. It could include such items as name, address, phone, driver's license number, car license, car insurance, education, training and other care giving experiences.
Make sure they submit several references of individuals whom you can contact by phone. These need to be homes the caregiver has worked in… not employment agencies. You must be able to contact the person they cared for or a family member of that person. The references must never be the caregiver's family or friends.
Spend time explaining the job responsibilities. Ask pertinent questions:
Quality and quantity of work performed will improve if there is a strong partnership between the caregiver and the client. Try to take into consideration the personality and temperament of your loved one when matching a caregiver. Caregivers should be advised of individual needs. Some aspects to take into consideration include:
These questions should help you explore the needs of the client so you may find someone that matches the clients' preferences.
After the interview, evaluate the caregiver's qualifications and your feelings about them for the position. Ask yourself the following questions:
By developing a positive atmosphere of mutual respect and open communication, the caregiver will often experience greater job satisfaction and respond with responsible and enthusiastic caregiving. The caregiver wants and deserves to feel valued. He/she requires good working conditions and loyalty from the employer who in turn should treat him/her with fairness and respect. Caregivers should be given a written work plan and should not be asked to complete tasks that are out of the established work plan. This will make the duties more explicit and might indicate if the caregiver is lacking the proper training for certain tasks.
It is important to acknowledge that people of different cultural backgrounds may have different communication styles. Their culture may influence a person's idea of what is acceptable behavior. If this is the case, try to learn and understand as much as you can about the caregiver's culture. Other differences may arise such as dress code expectations, cleaning styles and food preparation and selection. Be open to the differences and communicate your needs to the caregiver in a kind and understanding manner.
Hiring a caregiver in your home is no different from hiring someone in your office. If the caregiver is full-time, there will be expectations regarding time off that will include sick time, holidays and vacation. Check with your local bank to find out what their benefits are regarding time off. This will give you some standard guidelines to discuss with your caregiver. Full-time caregivers will also need to have salary increase reviews on a six-month to one year basis. Once these details have been worked out, put your agreements in writing. This provides a clear understanding of both the client's and the caregiver's expectations.