Hiring Caregivers Guide: Steps to Hire Senior Caregivers
1.) Get Qualified Applicants.
- Care.com can be used to find local senior caregivers online, interview them in person and check all references. We can also provide options through our approved network of agencies through our senior care planning services.
- Post a detailed job description and a summary of your loved one's condition, including any emotional/mental/cognitive issues and special needs. Use this How-To guide on Posting a job on Care.com.
- View profiles for the caregivers who apply for your job.
- Request FREE standard background checks for your top candidates.
- Conduct phone screens for the caregivers who fit your desired profile.
- For the top 2-4 who pass the phone screen stage, arrange to meet them for an in-person interview with your loved one.
- Go ahead and let the candidates know that you will call former employers and references before you come together for the interview.
2.) Conduct in-person interviews. (See our Caregiver Interview Tips)
During the interview process, involve your loved one as much as possible. Their input is important, but don't bombard them with too many questions - try to make the meeting feel natural. After you introduce the candidate and your loved one, allow them to interact without your interference. Offer light snacks, something to do or enjoy (puzzle, television program, sitting outside, etc.,) and see if they can strike up a natural conversation. Observe how the candidate assists your loved one when sitting up, putting on a jacket, or taking a sip of tea. See if your loved one is talking, looks them in the eye, feels valued. If you are curious about some of the traits to look for in a caregiver, read our article Seniors: 6 Traits Every Caregiver Should Have
3.) Gather documentation & run enhanced background checks.
If the person is a good fit, ask them to send you a photocopy of their driver's license, car registration, insurance card, and any documentation around care certifications they have for your files. Let the candidate know that you will contact former employers for references. You can even request that Care.com conduct reference checks for you and record them so all you have to is return to the provider's profile, select the reference tab and click to listen. Some providers may already have recorded references on file so be sure to check.
Then return to Care.com and request an enhanced background check to ensure you have all of the information you need to make the best decision for your family.
4.) Write a contract.
Once you select a candidate, get it in writing. The job contract is based on the job description and should include:
- Wages: when and how payment will be made
- Hours of work
- Employee's Social Security number (because you must report wages paid to the caregiver to the Internal Revenue Service)
- Job description
- Unacceptable behavior (such as smoking, abusive language, tardiness, etc.)
- Termination (how much notice, reasons for termination without notice, etc.)
- Vacation policy
- Dated signatures of employee and employer
Do I Need to Pay for a Background Check?
Yes, if someone is caring for your family member and is left alone, then take this precaution. Premium Members can run free, unlimited standard background checks on Care.com caregivers. You can also request enhanced background checks. These more thorough background checks cost $59 but are well worth the small price as they include in-person or online searches of records that may not show up in standard background checks. If you elect to hire someone completely independently you can run a background check for about $150 on your own.
Seniors can fall victim to being abused, neglected, and having their finances ransacked by individuals who know they're vulnerable. Unscrupulous people bank on you being too busy and too trusting to keep a close eye on what's really going on. Check with your local police department, legal aid service or attorney for referrals to reputable investigators or search for "background checks plus your city/area" online.
Ask any home health agency, non-profit, or care facility what type of background checks they do. Hiring practices vary widely. You want to know if they do criminal background checks as well as driving background checks. A person with a string of DUIs and a suspended license isn't who you want driving your mom around on her weekly errands. Many places allow minor offenses, so don't let that surprise you-but you need to know who has access to your loved one and their belongings.
Don't Forget the Paperwork!
- Hiring an individual caregiver means you will treat them either as an employee or as a contractor.
- If you choose to hire them as an employee that means you'll pay their taxes, Social Security, and Medicare, as well as withhold income tax and unemployment tax. There are several great sites and programs to help you manage this such as PayCycle and SurePayroll.
- If you choose to hire your care provider as a contractor then you will need to file a 1099 form with the IRS for any income you pay over $600 per year. The aide would be responsible for their own taxes.
- Consider hiring an accountant to oversee that you're meeting your legal and financial obligations to the care aide as well as to your state and federal governments.
More Senior Care Services
- Call a Care.com Senior Care Advisor for more assistance: 855-490-8679
- Join in on Senior Care Conversations now! Read our informative Senior Care Blog.
- Caring for your kids AND an aging parent? Join our Sandwhich Generation Group.
- Are you caring for your parent from a distance? Have discussions with other Long Distance Senior Caregivers.
- Join our Senior Care Questions Group to get more of your questions answered and find caregivers similar to you
>>Review the Senior Care Index for all senior care options.
|Previous: Learn About Hiring Senior Caregivers «||Next: Cost of Caregivers »|
Find the senior care your loved one deserves
Get a FREE security system when you order an award-winning monitoring service from Protect America.
Over 900,000 Procedures Performed. Get 20% off LASIK today! Locations Nationwide.
Get a Cash Offer Good for 30 Days! Free Shipping + Fast Payment. Lock in a Risk-Free Offer Today!
Care.com HomePaySM handles your household payroll and taxes without work, worry or risk.