Why is it important that your home care franchise wins the recruitment race?
In the past 10 years, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of franchise opportunities in the home care sector. An ageing population, pressure on the NHS and resistance to going into residential care have meant huge and increasing demand for in-home care providers.
At the same time as the increased potential presented by more elderly people, the U.K. has seen a reduction in those wanting to work in the care sector. News coverage and industry commentators are highlighting that it is harder than it has ever been to recruit care staff. Many home care franchisees choose the sector because they can build a satisfying business making a difference to those in their local community. To do this you need to be differentiated as an employer. Put simply if you cannot find staff in your local market you will not be able to build your business.
Many new business owners worry about finding clients for their product or service. In the social care sector, this may be the wrong question to ask. There are thousands of people in the U.K. needing care and support. Visiting Angels advises people to try telephoning a home care provider and asking them when they could start a new package of care. There may be a delay before care can start and many home care providers cannot take new care packages at all due to a shortage of staff. So, the right question to ask is: where can I find my staff?
Carers come first
There are dozens of care franchise opportunities but there are subtle differences between the models that they operate. Visiting Angels is the U.K.’s first carer-centric home care franchise. When founder Dan Archer brought the business to market in 2017, he knew that having enough quality care staff was key to the business’ success.
Dan says, “Our business is carer centric; we are the first care business in the U.K. to make carers the most important people in the business. When launching Visiting Angels in the U.K. I spent weeks researching the market. Every care business that I spoke to had a mission which was care delivery focused.
“They wanted to be the best care provider, they wanted to deliver outstanding care, they wanted to provide care that you would expect for your own family. I asked myself, how can we do this unless we focus on staff? Business owners don’t deliver care, caregivers do, it is our job to support our caregivers to deliver excellent care. At Visiting Angels we say our carers are more important than our clients. That is what we mean by being carer-centric.”
Dan continues, “this has given us a significant advantage during and coming out of COVID-19. Our market-leading staff retention rates mean that each client sees a limited number of carers. This means fewer people going into the home, it also means we have had staff available when many other care providers were struggling to find them.
“Our staff retention rates are up to five times better than the industry average which means when a Visiting Angels franchisee recruits, they recruit to increase their workforce rather than recruiting to replace leavers. Having more caregivers means you can deliver more care allowing you to build your business.”
The shape of the care industry
Visiting Angels says that franchisees should make sure the business opportunity that they are considering has flourished during the last few years. Visiting Angels is one of the fastest-growing care businesses in the U.K. and a runner up in the bfa Franchisor of the Year awards 2021 as an emerging franchisor. Some care franchises were proven 10 or 15 years ago and Visiting Angels says that the recruitment landscape has changed in this time.
Dan says, “15 years ago there was no minimum wage, we were in Europe and there were more people working in the care sector. Following the Visiting Angels model allows our franchisees to be differentiated as an employer. In the current market for care staff, it is important that you have a system proven to help with recruitment. We support our franchisees in marketing their job vacancies and support them in the recruitment and selection of candidates.
“We have also established a proven way of working which bakes in loyalty from day one. Once we have successfully recruited caregivers, we have a number of innovative retention techniques which encourage staff to stay.”
There are between 120,000 to 130,000 staff vacancies in the care sector. Many home care businesses are struggling to find care staff. It could be argued that the most important question that a home care provider needs to answer is “how can the franchisor help me find care staff?”
Visiting Angels has been conceived, developed and proven for the challenges of today’s market. The mission statement for the franchise involves redefining the role of carers in society. Making a care job more attractive is according to Visiting Angels an essential part of succeeding in finding caregiver staff.
Dan concludes by saying, “Today more than ever you need a franchisor who recognises what the problems are and helps you to succeed, you need a franchisor who is carer-centric. The Visiting Angels model has unique strategies for recruitment and most importantly retention of carers. The competitive advantage that this gives their franchisees helps them to grow faster.”
Visiting Angels is a substantial, premises-based management franchise with the potential for a multi-million-pound turnover. Started in the U.S.A. 24 years ago, Visiting Angels is an international network of 800 franchisees in five countries.
At a glance
US 1998, UK 2017
Number of franchised outlets:
70+ worldwide, 24 UK
Location of units:
£80,000 - £100,000
Minimum required capital:
£30,0000 - £50,000
Dan Archer, 07584 178458