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Caregiver job description: What to write to attract strong candidates

Powerful words can help to attract top candidates for your caregiver job. Here's how to make sure you set yourself up for success.

Caregiver job description: What to write to attract strong candidates

Whether you’re hiring a home health aide to care for your elderly mother in her apartment or you’re looking to hire a caregiver to work for your small senior care business, the way that you phrase your job posting can affect how successful you’ll be at finding the right person for the position.

People who respond to your job posting will decide whether or not they’re a good fit for the position based on the way that you’ve described the job. The more details that you can provide about what you’re seeking in a caregiver, the more likely you’ll be to find someone who has all of the qualities that are important to you.

“Being specific enhances the likelihood that you’ll find employees that are a good match,” says Lorraine Rise, a certified professional resume writer and career coach based in the Washington, D.C. area, who is a member of the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches. “If it scares anyone off, then it means they probably weren’t a good match for the job.”

Before you submit your senior care job posting, make sure that it includes all of these details.

A descriptive caregiver job title

The job title stands out in a job posting, and it quickly summarizes exactly what you’re looking for. To weed out candidates who wouldn’t be right for the job, be as specific as possible when you give the job a name.

Say things like “part-time” or “full-time” in your job title, so that someone who’s only seeking full-time work won’t bother applying for your part-time position.

You should also include requirements that would limit the pool of applicants, if you absolutely need someone who is bilingual or who can provide live-in care to your mother.

Even if your job posting is intended to attract a wide range of caregivers, saying something like “at-home care” can let applicants know more about the job before they apply, to ensure a good fit.

A thorough caregiver job summary

Within a short paragraph, you should sum up exactly what you’re seeking in a caregiver. This is the portion of the job posting where you can be more conversational and descriptive, rather than stiff and technical. If you’re seeking someone who’s compassionate or who enjoys engaging seniors in conversation, you can mention that here. You should also give a broad description of the job itself, but you don’t need to include all of the day-to-day duties here. If you work with a company, use this section to inform applicants about your business.

“The best job descriptions are the ones that give insights into the company culture,” Rise says. “This helps the employer to attract employees who would fit in well with the culture.”

A list of the caregiver’s responsibilities

This section of the job description is most important, because it will spell out exactly what you’re looking for in a candidate. List the different tasks that a caregiver will need to perform while on the job to ensure that the people who apply for the job are qualified for the position.

“You need to ask for the things that you need,” says Sharon Stern, an ACC-certified career coach based in the New York metropolitan area. “If you need someone to be in your house four days a week who knows CPR and can make a sandwich for your elderly mother, say that.”

The more specific you are, the better. If you need someone to help your relative bathe, use the bathroom or get dressed, say so. If you need someone to provide transportation to doctor appointments, cook simple meals or dispense medication at set hours, this is important to mention. If you’re seeking care for a social senior citizen and companionship is an important aspect of the job, you should include that here, too.

If you’re eager to get frequent reports about the health and progress of the elderly person who will be cared for, specify that you would like to communicate at set intervals with the caregiver.

Required skills and qualifications

If you want job candidates to possess certain qualifications to get the job, list them out in their own section. For example, if you’re seeking a high school graduate who is certified in CPR and first aid with a current driver’s license, you’ll want to say so here.

“If someone wants someone that’s a nurse, they have to put that in there,” Stern says. “Or if you want someone who can cook and knows CPR, you have to put it in there, or else it’s a waste of time for both people.”

If you have different tiers of requirements, meaning that some skills and qualifications are negotiable while others are not, you can list them separately within the job posting.

“First, list the required qualifications of the job,” Rise says. “Then in a separate section, list the preferred qualifications.”

If you choose to make certain qualifications preferred or optional – like light housework, for example – it can help you widen your search. You may end up with a standout caregiver whom you might have missed if you’d made your job description too narrow.

“I always tell people, ‘As long as you have the first two things on the list, go for the job,’” Stern says. “I’d rather have someone nice and kind taking care of a family member than somebody who has all of the things on a list.”

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