You put an ad in the paper and people line up at the door looking for work. We wish it was that simple.

Today, Elite is holding a job fair at the office. We do this so we can interview the applicants, get to know them, check their references and do a background check and decide if they are a good fit for our quality of service. Again, pretty standard in this line of work. However there is no line out the door. We’ve had 5 phone calls and 3 applicants scheduled. Why? Well, there is a major shortage of CNA and home care staff in the Pioneer Valley and across the country. So in addition to the shortage we are also very fussy.

After the interview and background check we ask ourselves one question, “Would we send this person to our own family?” and if that isn’t the case, we make a decision not to hire someone simply to fill a position.

Honorable perhaps but challenging when the phone rings and we are faced with no extra staff to take a new client. I’m not telling you a secret here. Other agencies have the same difficulty. Here in the Pioneer Valley there are a limited number of home care staff and if one of them works down the street and loses a client or hours they start looking for work at the next agency. Holyoke Community College and Greenfield Community College turn out CNAs that will take positions but not as rapidly as  the market loses care givers or as rapidly as the demand increases with the Baby-Boomers that need the service.

So, we are fussy about who we hire, we will tell new clients we can not take them if we do not have the staff to cover them and we wish today we had that line out the door and we could hire 5 new staff.