Serving the home health, home care and hospice industry since 1999.
by Tim Rowan
The ongoing shortage of willing, capable, and committed caregivers lays two challenges at the feet of home care agency owners and recruiters. One is finding and hiring the right people. The other is keeping them.
Many recruiting and retention strategies have been published by consultants and offered in webinars. Some of them have been described and evaluated in these pages.* "Innovative Service Offers Solution to Staffing Shortage" While there are many theories about which is the best one to deploy, "all of the above" may well be the best choice.
This week's product review adds to our list of strategies to try. It is a technology solution with a direct employee benefit that has improved satisfaction and retention for many agencies that have deployed it.
Ron Gaver, CEO, and his wife Kayling, COO, are co-founders of "Tapcheck," the second system we have reviewed that helps hourly staff cope with temporary cash flow squeezes in their personal finances. At no cost to their employer, and for a small transaction fee, Tapcheck subscribers can request an immediate direct deposit to their bank account at any time before payday. The only limitation is that funds are only available for hours already worked. The advance can be delivered by a paycard when direct deposit is not available. The employee has to sign up, sign an agreement, and provide their bank information.
"We saw the need and found a way to meet it," Mr. Gaver told us. "Payday does not always align with the due dates of bills. While waiting for their paycheck, hourly employees sometimes incur late fees for rent, utilities, car loans, and other bills. What's worse, sometimes they resort to Payday Loan services, with those usurious interest rates and fees. We charge $3.50 for a next day deposit and $4.95 if they need an instant transfer."
He went on to explain that Tapcheck has been found to be beneficial in many industries in addition to home care, and that it works for salaried staff as well as hourly employees. Through interfaces with the agency's payroll and scheduling software, the system can calculate the dollar amount of earnings available for the advance on a given day.
"We regard each employer as a partner," Gaver continued. "Our interface with a company's payroll and scheduling software is read-only and unobtrusive, and there are no costs to the employer. Once we receive their permission, set up can be accomplished in a couple of weeks. Employers tell us they appreciate being relieved of requests for advances and loans."
The system is currently active in about 500 home care agencies, most of them national franchises, Gaver said. "But we can work with companies of all sizes." So far, he has seen between 30 and 50 percent of a company's employees signing up for the service, and they use it on average about once a week.
In addition to reducing turnover -- as much as a 48 percent reduction has been reported by some Tapcheck customers -- by saving employees money, Gaver has added another service to increase worker satisfaction. "We started offering online courses to participating employees," he explained. "We teach them basic money management and personal budgeting so they will be better able to handle the advances they get from Tapcheck."
Gaver has noticed an impact on recruiting as well. "As word gets around, applicants have started to ask if a potential employer offers this kind of service," he told us. "These caregivers have options and will gravitate toward the employer that does offer it."About Tapcheck
©2021 by Rowan Consulting Associates, Inc., Colorado Springs, CO. All rights reserved. This article originally appeared in Home Care Technology: The Rowan Report. homecaretechreport.com One copy may be printed for personal use; further reproduction by permission only. firstname.lastname@example.org