In two previous posts in January and in June of this year, I discussed the need for a substitute caregiver. After the last few months which included trying to fill a vacant shift, summer vacations, and sick days, I finally decided to take some action in order to find a substitute caregiver. I simply did not have the energy or time to respond to the myriad of phone queries that a newspaper ad might or might not produce. So, I tried a different approach. I put a very simple ad in the classifieds saying: Substitute caregiver needed for young woman with disabilities. I then directed interested parties to a website for all of the details.
There are many sites on the web that will host a website for free. They offer templates in which you can put all the information that you need to have on your website. I used www.yola.com for the website I designed to support this help-wanted ad. The Home page outlines the who, what, and why of our search. The job description details, caregiver requirements, and pay information are on a page called Job Details. Since we are looking for a substitute(s) for all shifts, I included another page, Daily Schedules, which is a sample schedule of Lauren’s day. Then on yet another page, Contact Info, I included contact information and what details about themselves I wanted applicants to provide to me when they emailed me. (If you want to check out the site go to
www.caregiverneeded.yolasite.com) I also set up a statistical counter on the site so that I could tell if I was getting any interest or “hits” on the site. It also tells me if they are looking beyond the first page, and the general geographic area in which they are connecting to the internet. I know it may sound complicated, but it’s actually quite easy to set up. Once again, there are sites that will do this for free. I use www.statcounter.com.
I placed the ad to run for a week. (A plus to placing the shorter ad is that it is significantly cheaper to run, than an ad with all of the details in it.). So, as today is Wednesday – the ad has been running for four days. The site has had eighteen hits and no one has emailed me with interest in the position. The last ad I ran for a caregiver in April resulted in about ten phone calls. So, I guess the level of interest is comparable, even a bit better. And, this is summer which is always a more difficult time of year to hire someone. But, the level of interest is still far below what logic tells you it should be. The economy, joblessness, homes and families at risk seem to be the topic of every news broadcast these days. Yet, no one wants to apply for a caregiver position. I know I’m not the only one experiencing this problem. This is a subject that needs much further exploration and study. But for now...we have no substitute caregiver.