Beyond the Help Wanted Sign: 5 Myths about Hiring Part-time Employees

Beyond the Help Wanted Sign: 5 Myths about Hiring Part-time Employees

In a fairy tale world, hiring the right part-time employees would happen by waving a magic wand. In the real world, it’s not so simple, and yet there are a lot of myths and misconceptions about hiring part-time employees (check out 12 top misconceptions about part-time jobs). If you’re thinking about hanging the Help Wanted sign, here are a few things you need to know first.

Myth 1: Hang a Help Wanted Sign and They Will Come

First, a Help Wanted sign can send the wrong message. A Help Wanted sign may say that you are understaffed or a poor place to work (otherwise you wouldn’t need to hire, right?). Even if the help wanted sign in your window doesn’t get that response, it’s problematic in another way. It’s ineffective.

First you have to rely on heavy foot traffic to assume people will even see it. Then you have to hope that the right people see it and respond. Here’s a better way: post a virtual help wanted sign someplace quality candidates look, like HipHire. An online job posting with HipHire is a lot more effective than a help wanted sign in the window.

Myth 2: When Hiring, You Should Focus on Skills

Skills matter, but so do values and a good cultural fit. Too often people hire a candidate based on skills alone. You can train somebody to have the skills you are looking for, but training them to fit into your company culture or team is another story. The interview is a great place to probe a candidate’s values and assess cultural fit. Get interview questions to focus on these critical areas. In addition to skills, hire based on values and fit and then invest the time needed to train them. Training is critical to retention, which brings us to Myth #3.

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Myth 3: Part-time Employees Don’t Stay

Keeping part-time job employees can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be. If you want employees to stay, take these steps:

  • Set clear expectations about the job expectations (what the work is like, hours, opportunities for advancement) throughout the hiring process.
  • Take a pass on people who don’t feel like a good fit.
  • Welcome and train people once you’ve hired them.

When you hire the right people and have a great onboarding plan, you can cut out the revolving door syndrome people often associate with part-time work.

Myth 4: With Free Ads or a Help Wanted Sign, Hiring Doesn’t Cost Much

You can get a Help Wanted sign for less than four bucks or place a free ad on Indeed. But cheap methods don’t always pay off—that free ad is likely to get lost in the shuffle of other postings. Plus the job posting is only part of hiring costs. The hiring process takes up your time (too much of it!), which costs your business. Other costs include the time and materials for training a new employee, any equipment you may provide, overtime paid to other employees to cover for the open position, or costs associated with a decrease in production or service level. By using the right tools and hiring right, you save money by retaining great team members.

Myth 5: Part-time Employees Really Want to Work Full Time

There are people applying for part-time jobs who really want to work full time. But not all of them. Part-time jobs are ideal for

  • students
  • parents who want more time home with kids
  • people seeking to make more money with a side gig
  • people who need to make money while devoting time to a passion (think artist or musician)
  • retired people who don’t want out of the work world completely

Does your candidate really want a part-time job? Ask. Questions like Would you be interested in a full-time position if it came up? or Why do you want to work part-time? help assess what the candidate is really looking for.

Get past the myths about hiring part-time employees. The reality is that there are quality candidates out there, and with the right approach you can find and keep them.

Download our 50 free part-time job interview questions

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CareLinx, Inc.: Cracking the Homecare Code

CareLinx, Inc.: Cracking the Homecare Code

When an ALS patient spoke with the President and CEO of CareLinx, Sherwin Sheik, during a check-in call, he told Sheik that CareLinx and his dedicated team had made the last year of his life possible. Unfortunately, given the amount of care that ALS patient needed, he could not afford to receive care through a traditional agency.

After he passed, Sheik and the CareLinx team members that helped him and his family were invited by the family to his memorial at U.C. Berkeley where he was a professor in biology. Sheik held another memorial in the company conference room to remind staff that they are in the business of caring for people in what is probably the most vulnerable time in their entire life. This client’s picture remains on the CareLinx conference room wall, serving as a constant reminder of the real importance of what they all do on a day-to-day basis. They are dealing with families whose loved one has progressed to the point at which they needed to hire a stranger take care of them. “My job is to constantly instill that into my team, reminding them of what we are actually doing here.”

Seeing that purpose translated in feedback received from clients like this professor is when it is reinforced that CareLinx is not a tech company, they are a service company in the business of helping clients find the best level of care given their specific needs and budget. Moments such as those remind Sheik that in order to succeed, one must listen and pay attention to their clients and treat them like they are very close family friends.



Sherwin Sheik has worked in healthcare for about fifteen years, going from biotech, to healthcare investment banking, to working as a healthcare portfolio manager for a hedge fund. Because of his vast background within the field, he has a very strong understanding of both the mechanics and the demand.

Sheik attributes his primary motive for developing the company to deeply personal reasons. His sister has multiple sclerosis and had progressed to the point that she became quadriplegic and blind. Concurrently, his uncle, a father figure, mentor and role model, was diagnosed with ALS and required twenty-four hour care.

Observing what was happening on a macro basis was an eye opener, between being an investor in healthcare and watching what was unfolding within his family. He realized just how broken the traditional home care industry model was and assumed that it was only going to continue to get worse as baby boomers age and the need for care increases. The overwhelming amount of reasons to try and solve the problem was what set Sheik off on his mission.

When Sheik’s sister was diagnosed, she was in Los Angeles and their mother was in the San Francisco Bay area. After being discharged from the hospital, the options were to either put her in one of the only two local homecare agencies available or into a facility. “The amount of time my mom took off of work to deal with the transition into a home, the number of turnovers that we had with caregivers… it ultimately ended her career. She is a PhD molecular biologist, and she ended up becoming a caregiver for my sister.” When his uncle was diagnosed with ALS, his aunt essentially found herself running an ICU out of her home, as he required twenty-four hour care, seven days a week.

Sheik quickly realized that many families, including his own, end up resorting to hiring privately, instead of working with traditional agencies given that agencies charge double the rate they are paying the caregivers and many end up spending tens of thousands of dollars for care for just a couple months of service.

Like many families – after working with traditional agencies, his family looked to find a lower cost alternative. That solution was hiring a caregiver privately. They put ads out in classifieds, exposing themselves to a lot of risks. From caregivers that never showed up, to caregivers that stole, it proved to be a defeating and exhausting situation. “We just didn’t know how to properly screen caregivers, run comprehensive background checks and had no idea about all legal requirements that come with hiring a private caregiver. You do save money when hiring a caregiver privately, but families also expose themselves to a lot of risk if they don’t know what they are doing.”

Sheik was raised in an entrepreneurial family, growing up with the understanding that it was ok to try something new and fail. When he saw the pain that his family was going through, he made the decision to utilize his experience as a macro investor in healthcare and dedicate the next years of his life to finding a reasonable solution to the problem that was bound to get worse.

CareLinx, Inc. was born.


It has been about 3 years since CareLinx was launched in San Mateo, CA, and today, the company has over fifty thousand care providers on its online platform in the top fifty metropolitan areas, with CNAs, MAs, LVNs and RNs. The purpose is to help families find the right provider for their loved one. To do so, a family visits, they fill out an intake form that informs a Care Advisor of their needs, and then the family gets assigned to a dedicated Family Adviser whose sole objective is to find them the best possible caregiver match, with the goal of providing at least 4 qualified candidates for the family to select from within a week. “We are helping find better matches, and we are saving families thousands of dollars a month in the process.” Approximately five thousand caregivers register with the company online every month, and the company is hoping that several hundred families will be able to find care through the platform on a monthly basis.

The current industry structure consists of many mom-and-pop franchise agencies, typically launched by an entrepreneur who ultimately transforms it into a staffing company. “They have a brick and mortar presence, paying a royalty of ten percent gross receipts. As a result, there are a lot of baked in margins, and many families, like my family, have a hard time affording it.” On the other hand, the CareLinx team and model helps families easily manage all of the legal and financial risks and responsibilities as an employer of private caregivers. Based on the internet, the system is primarily intended for generations that have grown leveraging technology for their research. “I built this company for my generation; a lot younger and a little bit more tech savvy. I met my wife online. It’s what I am used to in this world.”

Once families narrow their interests to a few potential caregivers, CareLinx Family Advisors can help them schedule the interviews. When they make their final choices, the CareLinx platform manages all of the payroll and tax responsibilities for the family. Additionally, Lloyds of London underwrites the company, so the caregivers are all bonded and insured.

Sheik’s goal is to make the process as easy as possible for families in need. Whether they only have a few requirements of their caregiver, or they have a laundry list of needs; whether they live in the same city as their senior or on the other side of the country… CareLinx will be able to help. “That’s what I have set out to do; make it easy for a family to tell us, ‘I’m looking for a female caregiver, five years of experience, is CNA, has experience with dementia, resides in the Sacramento, CA area and is willing to work for fifteen dollars an hour.’ Then, get access to their comprehensive background checks, references, and reviews from prior employers.”

Preparedness is an active trait of the company, as they regularly run analytics on caregivers’ engagement backgrounds to do predictive modeling, used to determine who is going to be a good provider, and who is not. “We’re constantly curating, sorting and booting caregivers off the platform that don’t belong in order to really build this vibrant community.” Families are interviewed before and after their experiences with the caregivers and they are encouraged to send in reviews so that CareLinx can ultimately make the best offerings to future families.

“Caregivers are happy because they’re earning higher wages, and families are happy because they’re saving money.” The satisfaction of both parties all stems back to the ways in which the business leverages its technology-based company to make a very inefficient market a lot more transparent for both families and the caregivers.

Sheik works hard to always bear in mind the nature of CareLinx’s services. “We’re dealing with people’s lives, people’s loved ones. A lot of times they live long distance and need some assurance that there is someone that they can go to for help, not just a website. That’s something that I have had to embrace and build into the culture. I tell my team that we’re not a tech company, we’re a services company that is leveraged by technology to help make the market more efficient.”

Embracing the fact that they are in the business of customer service, staff and management also look beyond the technology aspect and make a point to treat their clients as if they were a close friend or family member who is in a bind and in need of a lifeline to help them navigate through the process. Still taking customer support calls himself, Sheik always tries to learn by talking directly with clients, fact-finding, and explaining that this company is his mission and passion.


The CareLinx goal is to make quality home care more affordable and accessible for everyone, operating on the “Customers always come first” model.

The business is in a constant state of testing, a factor that must be recognized by employees, new and old. “I always tell everyone that at CareLinx, we are running a massive experiment. We might fail every day, but we’re incrementally finding out what is working, and hopefully getting closer to cracking the code and building a sustainable model that’s really going to disrupt the industry, given our margins.”

Sheik recognizes that his business might not suit everyone. Rather than recognizing that and trying to sell it as the best fit anyway, he is honest with prospects. The company wants to help people, not misguide them. “It’s all about honesty, integrity, and perseverance. I tell families right off the bat that we’re not the best solution for everyone. ‘If you need immediate care, right now, CareLinx is not the option, but I would be happy to refer you to a traditional agency that has staff ready to be deployed immediately.’ It’s also about really understanding what the client’s needs are.” Sheik constantly tells his team that ultimately, more than anything else, their job is to make sure that the client gets the right level of care that they need, whether or not it is with their business.

“That’s my tenant and my core value, to do what is in the best interest of the family and the person needing care. To make sure that we give them the right resources needed to make decisions as soon as possible.”

According to Sheik, caregiving is an unfortunate event that occurs unexpectedly. No one plans for it or sees it coming until it’s directly in front of them. Often, people don’t even want to share the struggle that their families go through. Rather, they just pray that the journey won’t be difficult and that their loved one will be ok. When the event does happen, they have to scramble to find the resources available. It’s CareLinx job to help them through that time of desperation and accommodate them with the necessary resources, regardless of if it is with their company or another.


Sheik’s current group of employees is very small as compared to the size of the company, and is characterized as being very dedicated and hard working. “We are literally a family.” He admits that when he started CareLinx, he was coming off of extensive experience working primarily as an independent, “living and dying” off of his own investment decisions. Because of this, he is still learning the mechanics of hiring and terminating employees.

Admittedly overly cautious when hiring, his current team is much smaller than one would think, dipping into his “capital efficiency mindset.” Working with a carefully selected group of just twelve individuals, Sheik is aware that he has set the bar really high and that hiring the wrong people can be disastrous at the stage the company is in.

Sheik’s philosophy when hiring is that his candidates must first truly feel and understand the problem that the company is working to solve. Next, they have to have the mental stamina to work through this problem and not give up when the answers are not presented. “We have yet to crack the code. We’re helping hundreds of families a month find care, but, are we building a sustainable business yet?” Answering his own question, Sheik said that they are not because they haven’t yet reached the point that they are profitable.

“In ensuring company success, I always look for people who understand and have personally experienced the pains of finding a caregiver for a loved one.” Sheik described how it is much easier to maintain the right mindset in building a business like this when you have dealt with the trials and tribulations yourself. For example, a recent hire’s mother was diagnosed with M.S. 25 years ago. Having dealt with it for a great portion of his life, he gets the motive behind the work. “He is the consumer, still to this day. He doesn’t need to understand the consumer mindset because we get to build this for ourselves. We already know what the families and the providers are going through.”

Sheik looks for people that are adaptive, experienced, quick-thinking, and confident enough to challenge the system, raise questions and offer suggestions. “I will be the first to admit, I have no idea what CareLinx will eventually become.” Sheik describes the company and its staff as constantly iterating, working on the whiteboard, reevaluating the model, the acquisition funnel, the process the families undergo to find the right caregivers, and the algorithms used to rate the caregivers. “I am looking for people to join the team and be able to admit that we don’t have the answer. We constantly have to be questioning what we have to do to make it better and improve.”

When hiring new staff, Sheik takes a long time to make the final decisions, but when he sees that someone won’t be a good fit, it is usually a pretty quick decision that it would be in both of their best interests to part. “I have had to get rid of some people who did not perform up to my expectations. If it’s not going to work, you’re going to know within the first three months.” All new staff members are told from the first day on the job that they are on a team and that the effort goes both ways. However, if they at any point feel that that is too much, they are told that they can leave without any hard feelings.

“That is probably some of the best advice that I have gotten from a successful entrepreneur and mentor that I have worked with. He told me that on the day you hire them, you should let them know that the door is always open for them to leave and for you to let them go. As long as you’re both committed to the cause, you’re a partner in this business and there is always a spot for you. If at any point in time you feel like it isn’t working out, I don’t want there to be any hard feelings because in the end, we’re all doing this to serve. If it’s not working, there is probably something better for you out there anyway.”

Sheik also needs to see passion. The people that he brings into his company are all passionate about the cause and are not motivated by the money. He is confident that they’re not looking at this as a gig. Approaching them as upfront as he can be, Sheik tells prospective employees that if they think working for CareLinx is a nine to five job, then CareLinx is not the place for them. They have to be always ready and willing to serve the families that are coming to CareLinx for help.

He reminds his staff that they are dealing with people’s lives and does his best to lead by example. He makes a point to inform his staff that he is available twenty-four seven, at any point in time, and that they will never hear him complain if they ever have a question or an idea. “We don’t stop. We are always on. We’re always here to serve and to improve. I need to see that in everyone that we hire, otherwise they’re not going to fit. You’re either, A) going to look at me like I move a million miles an hour and struggle to keep up, or B) you’re going to get it.”

While he does look for the experience factor, another primary deal breaker is whether or not they really understand what the company is trying to solve. “A smart MBA graduate can go look at the industry numbers and say, ‘Wow, this is a massive market opportunity.’ Right? But what we do is not sexy. The way I lose clients is that they pass away or progress to the point where they can no longer safely stay in their home anymore and need to be moved to a facility.” The company is in the business of dealing with people’s lives, so it is important to make sure that the team fully comprehends what is on the table, and realizes that the job is not just another walk in the park.

Recognizing that a successful company requires varied levels of talent at different stages of growth, Sheik hopes to see CareLinx succeed whether or not he is a constant part of the team and process. Some people are able to migrate through the trials and errors, ups and downs, and see a company through its progression, but according to Sheik, that’s rare. “I hope to be the guy who takes it all the way home to the finish line. But I recognize that ultimately, I might not be the one. Right now, the goal is to get it to work.”


Sheik would like all prospective employees to know that at CareLinx, it is not easy. The company was initially built based on personal experiences. At the time, what Sheik did not realize was that the pain he was feeling from the rough times that he and his family faced would now be amplified five hundred times. “We deal with people who are in crisis mode. I don’t want people to naively come to CareLinx assuming that what we do is easy.”

The staff is constantly confronted with emotional displays of families crying about their situations, caregivers upset about being overworked and endless amounts of personal moments. “You don’t think about that when you first build this type of business until you are in it.” So, when Sheik gets new team members, he does his best to be open and communicate the fact that there is a heavy need for them to be empathetic and for them to have thick skin so that they can truly help families during their time of crisis. “If you take it all in, you will most likely burn out emotionally.”

When Sheik made the choice to step away from his big career in the healthcare industry and risk starting a new business, he asked himself, “Do I want to be a trader and use my mind and resources to make money, or do I really want to solve this problem that I have a high degree of certainty my thesis can correct?” Believing that he can build a great business that’s going to impact millions of lives and will revolutionize an industry, Sheik trusts that the risk/reward on this trade, “call it my life and career,” makes sense. When he looks at the opportunity in front of him and the personal pain of his past, everything is crystal clear. What he doesn’t know, however, is whether or not he will be the one to officially solve the problem. All he can do is try, and continue to build awareness of the CareLinx mission.

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Learn how Tucson Home Care is succeeding with Hiring!

Learn how Tucson Home Care is succeeding with Hiring!

How does a business with complex job requirements find and hire quality part-time people? Learn how this manager’s common sense approach toward hiring has helped this Tucson, AZ based caregiver business flourish.

Read how our guest implemented a new style of hiring, and eventually went against her years of experience by taking a risk in order to give one young girl a chance to prove herself, ultimately resulting in an incredible opportunity.

Mona Baker is the Human Resources Manager for Homewatch CareGivers of Tucson, joining compassionate and professional caregivers with customers suffering from complex health problems.


Margie Lannon opened the largest female-owned company in Tucson, AZ, just six years ago. Known for being a helper, Lannon launched a new branch of Homewatch CareGivers after a career in social work and personally aiding her family and aging father through many years of Alzheimer’s Care, which her employees believe aided the successful development of the business. The mission of Homewatch Caregivers is to improve the lives of their clients by providing “compassionate, professional in-home personal care and companionship services to people of all ages as if they were part of [their] own family.”

Clearly believing in the company’s ambition and slogan, “let our family care for yours,” Human Resources Manager, Mona Baker, prides herself on the newfound strength and durability of the Homewatch CareGivers team. As one of Lannon’s “hand-selected” employees, Baker joined the company at a time when the caregivers were in need of an authority figure who would set guidelines and make sure that rules were abided by. Baker set out to help the company establish new protocol, understanding that in order for employees to improve over time, they needed to be both rewarded for a job well-done and should undergo repercussions for not following guidelines.

According to Baker, the core values that the business is built upon are all based on “trust, education, [and the] willingness to help others,” in addition to the all-important ability to sit down and communicate. She expressed that in this business, the purpose is to find individuals that truly care.


“I first ask myself if I would want this person taking care of my mom and dad. That’s what I go off… figuring out if I would be comfortable with that.”

Every client is different with varied needs. Every caregiver is different with varied backgrounds. Because of this, Baker ensures that she doesn’t search for just one type of employee when seeking out a new hire. In the beginning, the hiring process was slightly chaotic for Baker because of the learning curve. Now, she has got it down to an art form.

Although she knows what qualities she is looking for before a potential caregiver even walks in for their interview, Baker does her best to not judge a book by its cover. “I first ask myself if I would want this person taking care of my mom and dad. That’s what I go off… figuring out if I would be comfortable with that.” With the intent of keeping an open mind, Baker asks herself if someone with a different personality or outlook would be comfortable with it if she concludes that she personally may not be. In the past, she found herself feeling unsure of how a new employee would perform, only to be surprised by their stellar performance later. To this team, it’s important to give everyone the opportunity to show their potential.

Baker’s philosophy in making new hires is to first get to know their personalities before she matches them up with different types of clients in order to determine whether or not they would be a good fit for the large spectrum of people that the company offers services to. If she determines that they are a decent candidate, she furthers her research by investigating their backgrounds, obtaining personal references, and validating credentials and certificates. If and when interviewees are officially hired, new employees are also required to take a paid 12-hour class to continue their education and help them be better at their jobs. It took some time for Baker to get a grip on the best background check and interviewing techniques in order to determine what information was the most vital to gather in order to protect the company’s clients.

Another large factor in concocting the perfect match involves personality assessments. “We’re going to have clients that are very private and aren’t going to want somebody who is Talkie Talkerton, and we’re going to have somebody who is very educated and may want a caregiver that they feel is very educated also.” Baker is responsible for envisioning these potential scenarios in advance in order to best match her clients with appropriate caregivers. By hiring a variety of people, she is able to properly pair them based on previously conducted assessments used to learn their methods, motions and personalities.


Homewatch Caregivers is comprised of a combination of full-time and part-time workers which has turned out to be beneficial for both the employees and the company. Many of those that work part-time go to school concurrently, while others may simply work on the weekends for extra money. This type of business offers shifts that range anywhere from 3 to 24 hours, so it is quite accommodating for the student that is only available for 3 hours every week-day morning, or the busy-bee who can only work one day a week due to other commitments. The variety is so vast that there are even employees that just come in to do a client’s grocery shopping. This company works for just about any type of person looking for a job.

Baker comes across many individuals that join the team after enjoying the experience of taking care of their loved ones. This type of employee is typically assigned a companion care job – one that doesn’t require an education as they are simply cooking meals and spending time with their clients. Oftentimes they will go to school for their CNA while working for the company before moving on to bigger things. To Baker and the rest of management, this is perfectly fine and they are happy to have contributed to their new career. On the other hand, they also experience employees that stick around for the long-haul because they enjoy working for a small business and getting the hands-on, family feel that is difficult to find with larger companies. “The feel like they’re part of a family versus just being a part of a company.”

Homewatch Caregivers employs some part-time individuals that have been on the team for almost five years. Baker speculated that these employees may be sticking around rather than moving on because they love what they do and they enjoy who they do it for. “Usually the older, more mature employees are the ones that really stick around, and I think that’s because they’ve been around the block. They know the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. They have had bad bosses. They have worked in bad situations. Once you find a decent company and you get it good, you don’t want to go anywhere.”

Because they are a small business, Baker has also worked to build a repertoire with colleges in the Tucson area in order to accommodate individuals that are just beginning their careers. Homewatch CareGivers works to be a stepping stone for fresh caregivers beginning with companion care and help training them and getting the experience needed before they move on to employment at major hospitals.


“That’s because I let them know that I’m here for them. I appreciate them. I appreciate their hard work, what they have chosen to do with their lives and in their career. I’m not there to be the one that’s always cracking the whip. I’m there to say thank you and show appreciation on a regular basis.”

Typical of small businesses, Homewatch CareGivers experiences a fluctuating employee retention rate. About 50% of the company’s caregivers stay for approximately two years before moving on to different things. The other 50% consists of a huge variety of retention lengths. Baker stressed the fact that though the employees’ lengths of stay may vary, many part ways because they simply end up growing out of the business and are ready to move on to different jobs or school. This is largely due to the fact that they are a small company. “With time and learning, my retention rate has gotten better by taking the time to figure out what does and doesn’t work.”

Some employees leave for their own reasons and Baker recognizes that no matter how great you are at your job or how hard you try to keep them around, they are going to depart regardless. However, she also believes that with the right amount of hard work, it is possible to reduce the number of good people that leave too soon. In the two years that Baker has been with Homewatch CareGivers, she has seen the retention rate grow. “That’s because I let them know that I’m here for them. I appreciate them. I appreciate their hard work, what they have chosen to do with their lives and in their career. I’m not there to be the one that’s always cracking the whip. I’m there to say thank you and show appreciation on a regular basis.”

Baker has also learned that it is impactful to reward employees when they are performing well. “If I have somebody do something stellar, I will send them a gift card and just tell them thank you. I don’t reward them for doing their job. I reward them for going above and beyond their job. If the caregivers are happy, then the clients are happy. If the caregivers are miserable, then the clients are going to be miserable.”


“can ruin somebody’s day because that’s the one thing they they’re looking forward to – when their caregiver arrives through that door. When they’re five minutes late, they don’t understand it.”

While it is easy to know what to look for in prospective employees, there are also plenty of challenges that the company faces. The primary problem that they experience is in regard to the flip-flopping in the needs of the clientele. “One minute you’ll have a big need for a bunch of CNAs. The next minute you’ll have a big need for people who are able to go stay at someone’s house for 24 hours. Since my crystal ball is in the shop, I never know what it is I’m going to need.” From experience, Baker has learned to plan ahead and be prepared for the guessing game.

In addition to preparedness, Baker has also gathered that careful documentation is one of the best business practices, particularly in the realm that she works. For example, timeliness is one of the most important factors for this company – something that is stressed to every caregiver during orientation. Showing up late or not showing at all “can ruin somebody’s day because that’s the one thing they they’re looking forward to – when their caregiver arrives through that door. When they’re five minutes late, they don’t understand it.” Many clients of Homewatch CareGivers have Alzheimer’s or dementia, and slight strays in their schedule – such as a late caregiver – can completely throw off their day. According to Baker, many will not understand the flat tire or heavy traffic excuse.

Due to instances in which these situations have arisen under Baker’s watch, caregivers are heavily advised to be punctual. When they are not, it is carefully documented. The absenteeism and tardiness policy is vital to successful care.


One of Baker’s most memorable success stories involved a young girl around the age of 19. She visited the company seeking employment but did not own a vehicle – a factor that Baker explained would make her job difficult since she would need to travel to various locations on different shifts. Her response was that she would be on time. Despite her lack of vehicle and Baker’s experience with employees being late or missing their shifts because they didn’t have a ride, the young girl gave Baker the sense that she truly cared for the company’s mission. She decided to take a chance on her.

[Tweet “For #employees to improve over time, they need to be rewarded for a #job well-done”]

Baker’s newest hire started small with just a couple of jobs – one this week, one the next. She was always on time. As she continued to prove herself, she kept getting assigned more and more jobs. Then, Baker was faced with a long-term client that needed 24 hour care and a lot of help. At that point, she decided to put the young girl up to the task, working alongside a hospice nurse. In turn, Baker received nothing but rave reviews about her performance. Everyone was so impressed with how caring she was and how she would go the extra mile with the client by putting her in her wheelchair and taking her for daily walks around the neighborhood, even though it wasn’t a requirement. The positive reviews made Baker pleased to have given the young girl that opportunity, thus proving the importance of not judging a book by its cover.


To Mona Baker, the success of a small business equates to the team effort that is put forth. “It’s not just me. It’s the boss. It’s the administrative assistant. It is a complete team effort. Even if you work for a huge business, such as IBM, and you have 500,000 employees… if you lose that team effort, everyone else’s job wouldn’t happen. It wouldn’t be as smooth for the person working in the next cubicle over.”

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I would know if an employee was planning on quitting

I would know if an employee was planning on quitting

Misconception #11 – I would know if an employee was planning on quitting.

“The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have” – Vince Lombardi, Former Head Coach of the Green Bay Packers.

Are you making a list of all the things you plan to do in order to reduce your employee turnover problem yet? If so, are you sure it’s a problem and do you know when to step in and fix it? Like every other detail in your business, it is important to efficiently measure it’s success. Otherwise, how will you know if you are winning or losing?

Employee turnover is a simple measurement consisting of the frequency at which you have to making staffing replacements over a given period of time. Turnover is typically expressed as a rate; that is, a percentage commonly measured over a month’s time. I recommend that businesses measure this statistic in shorter intervals rather than quarterly or annually.

Manual tracking aside, I would hope that a business owner would be capable of detecting a problem before it grows to the point that he or she needs to step in to correct it. In my opinion, there are two primary points in time when measurements are most telling:  the first 90-days and in 24-month periods. These two areas tend to show employee turnover rearing its ugly head the most significantly. There are many factors that explain why an employee may quit within the first 90-days, including wrong hire, insufficient hours, improper or lack-of training, and more. The 24-month period shows very different influences such as employee engagement, lack of career growth, and the simple need for a change.

Here are a few other ways to help spot this unfortunate trend:

•    Evaluate positions one-by-one –  Every job is different, no single job fits all.

•    Create an awesome, comfortable workplace setting – Environment plays a vital role.

•    Are tasks appropriately assigned and performed? – Give the right job to the right person.

•    Are you training your staff? – If they don’t know what they are doing, how can you expect success?

•    Communication – Always communicate your messages as if you are talking to a new employee.

•    Get Feedback – Employees value managers who listen and make improvements where needed.

•    Exit Interviews – Ask for feedback post employment, but wait a week or so when it’s no longer an emotional issue.

Pay attention. Listen to what your employees have to say to you and to their co-workers and use those comments to your advantage. Here are a few employee quotes that I came across that could cause risk if they aren’t being heard:

•   “ I can barely afford to work here anymore.”

•   “There is no motivation to try when only employees in the “in-crowd” get promotions.”

•   “ Communication between employees and managers is terrible.”

•   “ I am constantly micro-managed and looked down on by my supervisor. I’m not a child!”

•   “The lack of flexibility in my department makes it hard to have a life outside of work.”

•   “ I used to love my job. But, all of these new policy crackdowns are quickly changing that.”

•   “There is no sense of teamwork here. Every man is for himself.”

•   “ The leaders are driving this once great company into the ground.”

•    “My boss makes a big deal out of every mistake but has yet to recognize me for an achievement.”

•    “During my interview, I thought this place was too good to be true. I was right. It was all a façade.”

Source of quotes:…

It’s a mistake NOT to know if your business is bleeding employees. It’s an even bigger mistake to ignore it until it transforms into a monster that is nearly impossible to solve. Know when your employees are planning on quitting! Spot the problem and fix it, ASAP!

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My business is simple and is not complex to run

My business is simple and is not complex to run

Misconception #9My business is simple and is not complex to run.

How often do you visit a retail store or a restaurant, see employees restocking the shelves or checking someone out at the register and think that they have it pretty easy? The average individual tends to assume that certain jobs and businesses are simple and not complex. We look at the role of a retail employee, for example, as someone to help customers locate products and process their payments. However, these positions are often filled by high school students who not only have to regularly contend with customers, but also deal with other issues and complexities such as out-of-stock items, inventory and register malfunctions, and even understaffed departments/stores.

What we might not see as customers is that the business itself could be experiencing an employee turnover problem that ultimately falls into the laps of the existing part-time employees. This problem becomes magnified by complex operational procedures and poorly defined processes that all contribute to the full-time headache experienced by the students who were simply looking for some part-time work.

There is a LOT more going on behind closed doors than we think. Complexity in the business world has grown over time, particularly as a result of technology. When a new aspect or type of technology is introduced, it can be expensive to implement into existing systems. Small businesses may not have the technical or financial resources available to take advantage of the latest and greatest, which consequently puts them at a distinct disadvantage. While marketing is critical to a business’ growth, it can be extremely difficult and costly to stay up-to-date on the latest forms (ie., Social Media, Websites, Blogs, APPs, etc.). These tools and resources require adequate time management which becomes critical to the balance of sales and marketing activities. On top of all of that, businesses are faced with complicated financing regulations and new tax law changes. All of these “hidden” tasks and requirements and how they are taken care of can make or break an employee’s time with a company.

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As you grow your start-up into a bustling and successful small business, you may begin to suffer from what we like to call, “bolt-on overload”. This is a series of small, incremental additions to one or more processes that may start to cost you more money and time to manage than expected. Implementing new solutions and reducing the complexity of your business is a strategic method meant to simplify the systems and operations. The goal is to improve your business performance and reduce employee turnover simultaneously.

How to reduce the complexity of your business:

Stop Multitasking – Kills productivity by nearly 40%.

Start Planning – Planning aligns objectives with strategies, thus delivering clear actions.

Constraints – Identify areas in your business that are choking growth potential.

Outsource – Hire people to perform that tasks that you don’t do well.

You will find great efficiency, lasting improvements and happier employees by focusing on making changes that effectively reduce the complexity within your business.

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Employees do not need schedules

Employees do not need schedules

Misconception #8 Employees don’t need schedules

“One cannot hire a hand; the whole man always comes with it.” – Peter Drucker, Author

“Your schedule is simple: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays you work from 8AM until 2PM. On Tuesdays and Thursdays you work from 10AM until 4PM, except for the last week of each month when we will need you to stay until 6PM to help with inventory.”

OK, that may not sound like a simple schedule, but in the grand scheme of things… it isn’t overly complicated either. Envision laying out that schedule for an employee who already has a hard time managing their personal lives and who struggles with simply getting by because of inconvenient and unexpected changes to their hours. How do you think their work ethics and demeanor will translate on the floor as a response? They may start to clock-in for their shift feeling unmotivated and happy, they might half-ass their assignments, or they might develop a bad taste in their mouth for you, their employer, and the company.

Do you blame them? Who WOULD enjoy having a different schedule every week, having their hours changed on extremely short notice (such as the night before) or being allotted shifts that are just too short and seemingly not worth their time? Unhappy and under-satisfied employees are not likely to stay committed to their jobs, just as they are unlikely to stay for very long. This “chase epidemic” often results in high turnover, absenteeism and tardiness. In turn, the company experiences issues with upholding a sufficient customer:service provider ratio. Matching labor supply to customer traffic becomes even more difficult because of increasing variability on both sides. Our suggestion? Prepare your schedules at least two weeks in advance and minimize last minute changes as much as possible.

Take a look at your scheduling processes. Are you keeping a close eye on WHO you are hiring and measuring your demand against their availability and potential conflicts? For example, students may be more sensitive to a sudden change in their work schedule due to conflicting classes, and single parents may have a hard time adhering to your needs due to child-care demands. While you are hiring and while you are scheduling, be sure to carefully sift through your options and take your interviewee’s lifestyle into consideration if your company’s hours are demanding and often changing.

Schedule communication is also essential. In what way(s) are your employees being notified of their schedule? A piece of paper stapled to the bulletin board in the break room? By email, a website, text message, a web app, an internet service? Make sure that you are consistent and flexible with the method in which you communicate work hours to your employees, and be sure there are options that work for everyone (including both non- and technical). As surprising as it may seem, not everyone has access to a computer or text message services. Perhaps consider posting a hard copy at the office AND sending it by email. This way, you are covering all grounds for yourself and your employees.

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Is the full staff schedule available for all to see, or does each employee receive a personal copy? Are reschedules and shift-swaps done in a way that everyone is on the same page, or are co-workers surprised to find that they are working with someone different than they had anticipated when they arrive? Allowing access to the schedule in its entirety gives all staff members the chance to see what everyone else is doing. It provides them with an opportunity to give you feedback and is also helpful if they need to adjust their schedule. For example, if Rick is unable to make his shift but sees that Becky isn’t already on schedule and knows she is hurting for hours, he can give her a call and ask her to cover for him. Consequently, you aren’t left with the arduous task of finding coverage or fulfilling his responsibilities on your own!

Finally, flexible schedules are vital to a company’s success. Allowing staff members the flexibility to maintain a comfortable and convenient work-life balance is crucial to eliminating employee turnover. It is important for employers to work with staff members to find a schedule that works well with their personal lives based on their other commitments, responsibilities, and even age.

Below I have provided helpful employee scheduling software services that you might be interested in utilizing if your scheduling efforts aren’t the best they can be:

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