Having your applicants complete a caregiver employment application form is an important first step in the hiring process. In this article I will share with you why the application is so important and how to best use it to find the perfect caregiver. You can also find an application form at the bottom of this article that you can download.
Why an Employment Application is so Important
Whenever I’m hiring someone to be a caregiver, I look at the application form as more than just a list of their previous jobs and some demographic information. While that information is important it doesn’t tell the whole story.
The application form is used to gather a lot of information including contact information, employment history, educational background, and references. You can also gather information such as job-related skills, languages spoken, certifications, salary requirements, and work availability.
Even more important, this is the candidate’s first attempt at making a good first impression. So, you want to look closely at how the application was filled out. There are many things to consider when reviewing the application.
What to Look for When Reviewing the Application
Having spent most of my career in HR/Recruiting and then owning my own caregiving agency, I can’t tell you the number of applications I’ve reviewed. Each one is different and each one tells a story. The application is one of the best tools for assessing a candidate’s fit for the role.
It’s important to review the application for accuracy and completeness. Here’s what I ask myself when reviewing an application.
1. Did the applicant complete the entire application?
2. Is the handwriting legible?
3. Do all the dates on the application make chronological sense?
4. Are there long periods of time unaccounted for in the work history?
5. Do the applicant’s answers to the questions about seniors suggest patience and compassion for seniors?
6. Did they include at least 3-4 reference contacts?
7. Is the application signed?
If the application didn’t answer all those questions or if it was messy with lots of typo’s, take a pause. Remember, this is them putting their best foot forward. You are asking them to follow instructions by completing the application.
If they only give you scant information or there are a gazillion typo’s, that is a red flag for me. If this is them putting their best foot forward, imagine what their work product will look like if you hire them.
If the application is acceptable, contact the applicant and schedule an interview. You can fill in any gaps or get clarity during the interview.
Refer to the Application During the Interview
If you think the applicant has potential but there are answers that are unclear or items left blank, be sure to ask the applicant to clarify or fill in such items at the time of interview. If there are any gaps in employment make sure to ask about those.
Review the applicant’s daily and hourly availability and determine if it’s workable for your purposes.
For more information on conducting the interview you can refer to this article.
Don’t underestimate the Value of the Employment Application
The employment application has always been a great tool for me when screening candidates. Not only does it tell me what skills and experience they have, it also gives me an indication of how thoughtful, accurate and detailed they may be on the job.
The application is one tool in your toolbox when it comes to finding the right caregiver.