Although it may seem like a daunting task, done well, the right personal care assistant can make a huge difference to your life, as well as that of your loved one - giving them a renewed ability to continue to live independently, in the freedom and comfort of their own home.
From knowing where to look for a personal carer, to interviewing them for the role, to negotiating terms, to writing a contract - there are many things you need to think about when wanting to hire a new carer.
We share below the five areas that you should pay particular attention to, when looking to confidently hire a new private carer for yourself, or your loved.
- Be Clear About Their Role
You need to be transparent with your new personal care assistant about what duties you want them to perform. This includes explaining your condition, the aids or support your require and use, sharing with them any support you already have, as well as the things you like to do and the areas you need support with.
This will help your personal care assistant know exactly what is expected of them and before they even apply they can think about how they will contribute to your daily life. You can ask them questions around this in their interview.
Remaining clear about what you want from your PA throughout your search process is just as important as specifying the requirements of the role up front: At shortlisting and interview stages, you may come across personal care assistants who seem uninterested in working with you after they have found out more from you. A word of advice - don't trim down your requirements to make your job more appealing to an uninterested candidate. It is better to find someone who can provide the level of care you need, exactly as you need it.
- Pay Properly
Think about this long and hard before you start looking for your new care assistant. Although your requirements may seem obvious to you, they might involve a lot of work from the personal carer's view.
It is a good idea to look at other adverts for similar roles before you start your search, so that you are sure you are paying according to your requirements. A role that underpays carers may not attract the highest quality of candidates.
Once in the role, ensure you are paying on time, as agreed, paying NI contributions and keeping records of your payments. It is also now a legal requirement to having a signed contract in place from day one of employment with your PA, and this should detail specify wages, hours of work, as well as duties.
- The Interview
In the interview, you will be able to learn more about your possibly new hire - from their general attitude, skills and experience - to their mindset and methods. You should be able to get a feel for how much they are willing to do, and how flexible they are, when you talk to them about the role.
A great question to ask your PA is why they are interested in applying to your role in particular. Any successful candidate's answer should resonate with your reason for creating the role - it should show their interest in your role and demonstrate that they have thought about why they are applying to you, and how they can meet your requirements.
- Where to Find PAs
There are a plethora of options on where to look for PAs. Some avenues will provide stronger candidates who are more expensive, while others can provide people from the other end of the spectrum, where a lot more sifting and sorting needs to be done when it comes to seeing their profiles and CVs. So, often your decision on the route you are going to opt for might be influenced by what you have the resources for.
You can advertise on job boards like Gumtree and even your Facebook account but this might not send forward the most qualified and most earnest candidates. You will need to spend time liaising with interested candidates and find time to shortlist PAs you want to meet with for interview, but if you're lucky, this could be a very cost effective route.
Looking for candidates through agecnies has the advantage of the agency managing that role for you, once they have placed someone with you. The agencyh will manage pay, NI, the conrtact and provide holiday and sick leave cover ettc if and when required. However, this service does come at a premium, involving high agency fees, and so it is often seen as a last-resort route by most people looking for a PA.
A great alternative to both of the above is to use a platform like UKCIL to independently find your next PA and get the best of both worlds - a wide choice of readily available PAs, at a very low price: With UKCIL, you use technology to your advantage - advertising and reaching out to thousands of good, local PAs via one straight-forward posting and managing the hiring process, from interviewing to downloading ready-made contracts, in a few simple steps. Not only do you save time, but you can save £1,000s over the year, depending on how many times you need to hire - because, as long, as you're the same employer, you can hire as many times as you need during the course of your 12-month subscription.
- Have a Contract
Once you have decided on a skilled carer you would like to hire, you should create a contract to include the duties your PA is expected to perform, their salary, hours, duties and boundaries you have agreed to. It should be legally compliant. Having a contract will ensure that you are financially and legally covered while employing a personal care assistant at home. We have included an easy-to-use, downloadable employment contract, that is available to all our customers on UKCIL.
We hope the five areas we have highlighted in this article help to ease the process of finding a new PA. If you'd like to talk to any of the friendly team at UKCIL about different in-home care services and how we can help you to find your own private carers, just pick up the phone to us or email us. We'd love to hear from you.