Review the documents you’ve asked them to bring in. Most caregivers will not have followed your instructions photocopy their documents you’ll need to do this for them.
Provide them with an application to fill out, including permission to perform a background check on them. Each state’s requirements will vary. California regulations will only allow for agency’s to do a 7 year lookback, beginning from when the last misdemeanor/felony sentence was completed
Check that they have provided 2 professional or 2 personal references, phone numbers essential, letters are a bonus. If they cannot provide any, do not pass GO. Professional caregivers working at least 2 years will always have references. The good ones will.
If caregivers lack: references, proof they can work in the us (ie SS card, passport), ID, CPR card, references, or any of the requirements stated in previous posts, don’t proceed with the interview. You will waste your time.
Check their references. if you have 3 candidates, this will mean at least 12-16 phone calls to references. Create a separate page to keep track of your outbound/inbound calls. People will often return phone calls and have no idea why you called. It may require several attempts to get a reference. If you can’t get one, pass on the caregiver.
Run a nationwide criminal background check. I’m not sure what the cost to run a nationwide criminal background check is since we get volume discounts, but it is worth every penny. If you plan on the caregiver driving, run a DMV report as well.
Here are a few recommendations:
Formalize your offer once you have identified the caregiver(s) with the hours of the job, expectations of work and wages. Do not lie about the requirements, your loved one’s demeanor, or job difficulty. Telling the caregiver that mom or dad is easy to get along with and 10 caregivers have been scared off will only waste your time. Be honest. If the caregiver declines the job, move on to the next.
I strongly encourage you check with your state’s labor board laws and/or attorney specializing in domestic worker labor laws to ensure you follow regulations mandating rest periods, overtime, percentages of personal attendant vs housekeeping, etc.
I’d also advise that it is never a good idea to evade payroll/IRS/state taxes. if you control the hours, job location, how to perform the job, this makes you the caregiver’s employer. It isn’t worth the risk to not pay the payroll taxes and should the caregiver want need to file for medicare benefits, unemployment, etc. in the future. If you are in California, the state board is pro-employee, anti-employer…penalties are severe for avoiding paying taxes.
If you are not sure how to go about calculating payroll taxes, there are companies who specialize in nanny/domestic help payroll that set up your caregiver quickly and easily.
Here are a couple of options below.
Use Dignity Grace Homecare Agency as the referral source to get a discount on sign up fees.
Treat the caregiver with respect. I have seen many lose a wonderful caregiver because the children of the clients are intentionally verbally abusive and are downright nasty to them. Yelling, screaming, and calling them names (stupid, dumb, moron, etc. I’ve heard it all) when many are trying their best to help is a good way to send you back to Step 1 of finding another caregiver. Clients suffering from a cognitive impairment do get a hall pass. If the caregiver isn’t cutting it, fire them and move on.
If your loved one is extremely difficult to get along with and caregivers don’t seem to last with them, be prepared to continually interview candidates or have a good agency on standby to cover you until a replacement is found.
#12 (Bonus Tip)
It isn’t a good idea to allow the caregiver to move in lieu of paying them, or paying them an amount lower than minimum wage because you are providing room and board. Once you have established a tenant/landlord relationship, it can be extremely difficult to get rid of an unwanted tenant who now has access to all sorts of private information.
If hiring a caregiver on your own is ultimately too overwhelming or you just don’t have the time, you can call us. We got you covered, 24×7.