What do I need to know about caregiver placement agencies?
Let's break down the real information you need to know, and signs you need to watch out for when considering caregiver hiring agencies.
First, we need to clarify that here we will address the agencies which take a fee from you to source and recruit a caregiver for you, either domestically or internationally, which you then hire and manage yourself. This differs from companies which provide home care that you pay for hourly.
The basic process they follow is:
Assessing you needs and preferences.
Finding a caregiver who is a match for those needs, based on qualifications and other preferences (like age, culture and strengths).
Providing help with any legal processes like contracts, immigration, government benefits, etc...
Taking the fee and, potentially, some kind of guarantee if the match doesn't work out.
There are more advanced agencies which provide more holistic service offerings. We have seen prices for caregiver sourcing in Canada range anywhere from $500 - $10,000. These prices include different levels of service. We are wary of organizations sourcing caregivers for any price less than approximately $1,500 because they will not have the funds to put effort into finding a good match, finding someone who is qualified and they may not stand by their guarantee.
There are hundreds of companies that offer these services in Canada. We looked into a lot of them, and we like Diamond Personnel. This company is higher than the average in terms of cost, but they are reliable, award-winning and they offer a complete menu of services based on your needs.
Here is a list of services that you might want to use when researching caregiver agencies for yourself:
Certification or licensing: Get references, check online and with the Better Business Bureau to make sure they are a business in good standing and will stand by their word.
Matching process: What factors do they consider? How much do they know about what you need? How large is their pool of applicants, and how diverse?
What kind of training do they provide the caregivers?: Many agencies will give cultural sensitivity training, basic first aid, and more.
How do they support you through the hiring process?: From legal aspects, understanding the immigration details, to the management and on-boarding of the caregiver.
What if it doesn't work out? What is your recourse?: Most agencies will offer other candidates if the first choice doesn't work.