Download a template ad here that you can edit to make your own ad.
Simple Guide for Creating and Using an Ad to Recruit a Personal Care Attendant/Home Caregiver
Finding a Personal Care Attendant or Home Caregiver can be a challenging process, but by creating an ad that paints a picture of your care needs — or the care needs of a loved one — you can set yourself up for success.
Preplanning: Before You Write the Ad
Create a Task List
The best place to start is by creating a complete list of duties that are routinely performed throughout the day. List each task which requires support.
After your list is complete, make note of how long the task might typically take, and when that task might occur if it’s something that must happen at a certain time.
If you’re creating this list for a loved one, ask them: What would you do next? (For example, ask: After you brush your teeth, what would you do?) If that conversation is impossible, observe and use your experience assisting them. The ultimate goal is to create a task list that is most similar to a routine they’ve established for themselves.
Also, it can be helpful to maintain separate task lists for activities that might not occur every single day, but frequently enough to budget time for. For instance, there might be a regular weekly physical therapy appointment for a set amount of time. If assistance is needed with transportation, it’s important to add in transportation times and other activities that might occur along the way.
Task lists don’t need to be rigid — they are a guide. The lists can change over time as you or your loved one find that the priorities or times for certain tasks change. However, it’s helpful to be as specific as you can when writing yours.
Here’s an example of what a regular daily schedule task list might look like:
|Time of Day for Task||Task Description||Approximate Length of Time for Task|
|Morning: 8 AM, weekdays (approximately)||Transfer from bed to shower||15-20 minutes|
|Afternoon: 12 PM, weekdays (approximately)||Prepare Lunch||30 minutes|
|Afternoon||Cleanup Kitchen||1 hour|
|5 PM||Administer Medication||5 minutes|
|5:30 PM||Prepare Dinner||1 hour|
|6:45 PM (approximate)||Cleanup Kitchen||1 hour|
When planning to hire a caregiver, it’s important to take stock of the resources available. Using the task list above, you’ll now have an idea of how long tasks take, and you can decide on a consistent number of hours you will be hiring for. Using the task list, you should also determine how long a work shift will be. If it’s one worker, be sure that shifts are long enough to make them worthwhile. It is recommended that shifts be at least 2-3 hours.
When it comes to setting an hourly wage, it’s important to make fair pay a top priority.
We currently recommend $20/hour as a minimum wage, but it’s important to understand that the cost of living in your area may be much higher. Use MIT’s Living Wage Calculator, a tool to find current living wage information to see what an appropriate wage is in your area.
By paying a fair wage, you ensure that the person you hire has what they need to sustain themselves and their family, as well as understands how much you value their work. Fair pay is one of the most important factors in creating a positive, long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationship.
Writing the Ad
Now that you’ve done some preplanning, you are ready to begin writing the ad!
Step 1: Write a short statement about yourself and need for care
This information helps to paint a picture of who will be receiving care and what their basic needs are. It’s important to understand that some people who see your ad may be new to the job of providing care, so it’s best to be very specific, but brief.
Example (hiring for yourself): “I am a 68-year-old LGBTQ man, significantly disabled from multiple sclerosis. I am seeking a part-time caregiver to help with tasks around the home as well as some occasional assistance with grocery shopping.”
Example (hiring for loved one): “We are seeking a full-time caregiver to assist our 84-year-old mother in her home in the Outer Sunset neighborhood of San Francisco. She has limited mobility due to severe arthritis and communication challenges due to Alzheimer’s disease. It is necessary that the applicant have experience in assisting older adults with advanced dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, as well as the ability to perform physical caregiving tasks, such as: mobility assistance, meal preparation, personal grooming, medication reminders and administration, and assistance with community socialization and engagement.”
Step 2: List Duties and Responsibilities
Using the task list you developed during preplanning, highlight some of the most important duties and responsibilities.
Keep in mind that if you’re developing a printed flier, the amount of space that you’ll have on a single page is limited. Even if you are posting online, this section should focus on sharing the most important duties and responsibilities.
- Ability to maintain transportation to and from our home
- Preparation of meals
- Assistance with bathing and grooming
- Light household cleaning
- Assistance opening and reading mail aloud
Step 3: List Requirements and Necessary Qualifications
Next, it’s important to list any certifications that may be required. Some examples could include CPR/First Aid Certification, experience dealing with people who have a certain disability or medical condition, or a driver’s license. List only the things that are absolutely necessary, as listing too many requirements may turn away potential applicants.
Step 4: Add Compensation and Contact Information
To complete the ad, clearly state the compensation being offered. This should start with the wage you’ve calculated, but can also be very helpful to add any additional compensation, such as paid time off or reimbursement for gas (if the worker is using their own vehicle). Finally, complete the ad by adding your contact information.
Distributing the Ad: Getting the Ad into the Community
Now that you’ve developed an effective ad, you must get it in front of good potential candidates. We recommend several approaches, as our members have had success from the following strategies:
- Online groups, such as Facebook (particularly neighborhood groups), NextDoor (a social media platform for neighbors), and Craigslist in metropolitan areas.
- Physical postings on job boards and community spaces, such as community centers, churches or other religious institutions, community colleges and local universities (particularly in medical or physical/occupational therapy programs)
In addition to the advice above, Hand in Hand member, Alana Theirault recommends, “Go where your community is!” If you are part of a social activity, don’t rule out sharing that you are searching to hire a caregiver. Many people have either directly recruited family friends who are looking for work or have found that asking family friends leads to finding potential candidates.
Preparing for Interviewing, Hiring and Beyond
Congratulations on completing the first step in the process of hiring a Personal Care Assistant/Home Caregiver! Here are additional resources we’ve developed, that you’ll find helpful as you continue the hiring process organized in a topic roadmap for your journey to success:
- Interview tips for employers of domestic workers (including Personal Care Attendants/home caregivers)
- Creating a Work Agreement
We’d also like to offer you the opportunity to receive a free 15 minute consultation with our staff. Click here to sign up to receive a consultation.