New Horizons Un-Limited Inc.
Guide for Hiring Personal Care Assistants (PCA)
August 1, 2016 [Updated October 31, 2017]
The following is a Guide on Hiring Personal Care Assistants. This guide is intended for those who wish to find and hire their own Personal Care Assistants. There is a great benefit in being in control of who assists you with your personal care, and selecting someone that compliments your lifestyle.
New Horizons Un-limited assumes no responsibility in guaranteeing the services, programs, or practicess as described. If you are interested in a resource listed below call or contact the resource to verify the current situation. Evaluate information and make your own decisions when using the guide.
- Find out which long-term care programs are in your county, and how to apply. Contact your state Department of Health and Human Services or local Disability Center.
- If your workers are being hired by a care agency or fiscal agency, through a long-term care program as mentioned above, make sure you understand how to: hire/enroll new workers, what the payroll process is, and any rules or restrictions in hiring (ie. no family members, felons, etc.) If you are hiring independently and paying out of pocket, these rules may not apply.
- Know how many hours you have available to use each day, week, or month. Know the rate of pay, any overtime rules (some states have different rules,) and if there are any available employee benefits. Find out if there are any restrictions on when or where hours are used such as outside the home, at work or school, in the hospital, etc.; and what type of tasks for which the hours can be used. Some programs require that you use all of your allotted hours. Make sure you know all of the rules before hiring.
- Decide what times of day you need care and how long the shifts will be. Create your routine and schedule. Determine a start date.
- Determine if you will train on the job or not, who will train new hires (yourself, a family member, another PCA), and if the training is paid.
Identify your requirements:
Know your "must haves." Consumer directed hiring is where you call the shots. Let them know! Consider the following:
- What kind of care do you need? Will your PCA need any licensing or certification?
- Will you need them to transfer you. Specify a weight lift requirement?
- Do you prefer a specific gender?
- Do you have a restriction on how far away they live?
- Do they need to be comfortable in assisting you in other tasks such as pet care, cleaning, going out, or going to work with you?
- Do they need experience in caregiving?
- What are your policies on vacation and sick days?
- Do you need them to commit to this job for a certain time length?
One of the most vital parts of the hiring process is getting the word out about the position! This can be especially hard when you live in a rural area or small town, so it helps to get concise and creative.
When creating your ad, make sure to include the most important information:
- Where the job is located.
- If the job is part-time or full-time.
- What times of day are the shifts.
- Your requirements.
- How to apply (email, phone).
- What to include in applying (Resume, references, a bit about themselves, their availability).
Find out where to post your advertisement. Be creative, and keep what kind of applicants you desire in mind. Determine if your position is good for young people, college age people, or working adults.
Here are a few ideas on where to post your advertisement:
- Send the ad out to your extended community; friends, family, other PCA employers, coworkers, and whoever else you think has good judgment in referencing applicants.
- Send out emails to local colleges, asking them to share your job opportunity with their students. Don't be shy!
- Find local bulletin boards at schools, in coffee shops, gyms, and other public places.
- Post your ad to websites such as Craigslist, Indeed, and Care.com.
Once applicants start applying, it's important to start the interviewing process right away. Here are some steps for getting prepared, and interviewing in a way that is comfortable for you.
- Determine what you want your interviewing process to be.
- Would you like to start with questions over email, a phone interview, or go straight to in-person interview.
- Write a list of interview questions relating to the job and your requirements.
- Review applicants and select applicants to move forward with in the interviewing process. (If someone does not currently meet your requirements or fit in your schedule, reply to them thanking them for applying and to feel free to apply in the future.)
- Decide if you are more comfortable conducting first interviews somewhere public or in your home.
- I’d highly recommend having someone else present if interviewing in your home.
- Interview 3-5 people.
- Allow around 30 minutes for each interview. Explain to the applicant that they must be punctual as you have other interviews lined up.
- Decide who to hire, and have a second choice in case your first does not accept.
- Get back to all interviewee’s within a week of filling the position, thanking them for their time.
- Set up a time to complete paperwork, and training dates.
- Confirm by phone or email, one day prior to new employee’s first day.
have a back-up plan for a new employee's first day.
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[Updated October 31, 2017]
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