Home Instead (Franchise)
Topgrading for Entry Level Employees
The Company & Challenge
Home Instead Senior Care provides in-home caregivers through 900 franchises worldwide. This case study is based on the Wichita franchise, which was launched by Michael and Ewelina Steinberg.
The need for high performing caregivers is growing as the population ages, but it's challenging to recruit, select and retain A Player caregivers.
This case study (along with that of Roundy's grocery stores) shows that Topgrading can dramatically improve talent at entry levels. The entire methodology can be simplified for entry-level positions with abbreviated forms, shorter interviews, and brief reference calls with candidates' past employers and customers.
The Steinbergs had heard of Topgrading through their network, asked Corporate for approval to try Topgrading (which they received) and attended a Topgrading Workshop. Next, Chris Mursau simplified the Topgrading methods for hiring caregivers, starting with creating an excellent Job Scorecard (JSC) which reflected a true A Player Caregiver. This JSC became the basis not just for hiring but for performance appraisals.
Another modification was to abbreviate the Career History Form with fewer questions about education and more questions specific to the caretaker position. Mursau also conducted a couple of shorter-than-usual Topgrading Interviews using the new CHFs.
The Steinbergs were almost ready to launch when Brad Smart decided to field test the caretaker Topgrading methodology: hiring a caretaker for his 93-year old mother who was living in a retirement facility. Smart contracted with the local (Milwaukee) Home Instead franchisee, explained the Job Scorecard, what the Topgrading Interview would consist of, and how candidates would arrange reference calls. At Mrs. Smart’s funeral Brad said the caretaker, Lynn, had become like a super-caring daughter, and Lynn said Brad’s mother had become her second Mom. The Steinbergs were inspired by reports about A Player Caregiver Lynn Geiger.
For their Wichita francise, the Steinbergs follow most of the standard procedures for Topgrading, including measuring their percent A Players hired and annual turnover, and recruiting through their networks (HI caregivers are so proud of the company that they have referred over 25% of new hires), conducting Topgrading Interviews, and having candidates arrange reference calls with their recent employers and with clients they served.
For entry-level jobs like Caregiver, Ewelina Steinberg performs solo 1 1/2 hour Topgrading Interviews which include competency questions. The Tandem Topgrading Interview is used for managerial hires.
"Topgrading enabled us to triple the sales for the Wichita office. A Player caregivers impress clients, who refer us, and A Players refer other A Players for us to hire. Everyone wins."
- Michael Steinberg, Franchise Owner
Hiring A Player caregivers at Home Instead’s Witchata franchise has improved from an estimated 25% to 88%. 44 out of 50 caregivers hired with Topgrading have turned out to be A Players after passing the provisional time period.
The improved hiring results have transformed the Steinberg's Home Instead franchise from an average performing to a high performing franchise. Additionally, annual turnover has dropped from 100% (typical in the caregiver industry) to 44%.