What skills must be in place in the staff of an Adult Family Home in Kirkland?

In every Adult Family Home in Washington State, there are laws set down by the state, and there are facilities and services added by the owners of the Adult Family Home. High on the list of priorities in both cases is the need to have properly trained staff. Such staff will be looking after your loved one day after day, night after night, so it’s probably the most important consideration as to what qualifications they possess. Some of those qualifications are printed on paper, while others are a little more ethereal. Yes, it’s very important to have the correct paperwork to prove a person is trained and capable of taking on the responsibility of care give, but more important perhaps is their desire to work with and help people under their care. That means being very comfortable with the kind of work involved in looking after the needs of the elderly. Still, there are a lot of other things to look out for in the staff of an Adult Family Home, so let’s begin with how to interview someone for any job.

1. Are they properly qualified / experienced to do the work?

Whether you are interviewing someone to become an airline pilot or a care giver, they should of course have the needed training and experience to be capable of doing the work. This is perhaps the easiest of the three most important qualities of a job candidate to determine, as all you need to is read the paperwork. A good place to start when it comes to caregivers is are they a registered nurse? Probably the best training to be a care giver at an Adult Family Home is to be a retired registered nurse. You have all the experience of a high pressure caring situation, but don’t want to work at that incredible pace for this new job. Such candidates fulfill the first needed question.

2. Do they have a passion for the job?

Most people will claim to possess a ‘passion’ for the job of care giver at an Adult Family Home job interview – or any interview for any job, for that matter – but in reality, many people are really only passionate about collecting a paycheck. Seasoned job interviewers – hiring managers, you could say – will know how to recognize people as such easily, and cherry pick those who truly do find looking after the elderly a joy. Determining this is not easy, and it might involve following up on that background check, and calling references to ask some tough questions, but it is worth it.

3. Can we tolerate them within our culture?

Every organization of two or more people will have developed its own culture. And the typical Adult Family Home will have its own, and no two will be alike. To be fair to everyone, and to introduce the least amount of disruption, it is best to respect the existing culture and to hire to match it, unless you are actually on a mission to modify the culture towards improvement.

Those three criteria are really all an interviewer needs to determine. Miss any one of them and things won’t work out. A candidate might be supremely qualified, love the work of care giving, but are only good in a culture where they get to make all the decisions. That might be fine, and it might fit your culture, but if it doesn’t, the new disruption will bring chaos to your organization.

Other, less critical considerations

It’s probably always easier to hire people with experience, but that always comes with a price. Experience usually costs more, and people with a lot of experience (I include myself in this category) tend to have stronger opinions. That’s sometimes good, but it is also sometimes advantageous to have a mix of experienced and inexperienced care givers. That way, you always have capable, experienced employees on the job so that the less experienced employees can learn and grow into the organization. I remember my own first years of work in technology. I was capable and willing to work hard and learn from those in the company who had decades more experience than I had, but I learned a lot from them.

Although it might be less fair to consider non work specific qualities of a candidate, they must be capable of showing up for work on time. If they live on the other side of the city, will they be able to make the commute every day? A long commute costs time and money, and will they be willing to continue to make that sacrifice as the months progress, or will they become frustrated and go searching for their next gig before a few months have passed?

The most common way to find good and reliable new employees is through existing employees. A person’s reputation can even be enhanced, the more they help in the process of recruiting. There is not an organization in the land that can’t benefit from the introduction of quality future employees. Does the candidate you are considering have good connections, and are they likely to result in quality future recruitment?

A healthy employee who is capable for carrying out the physically demanding responsibilities of a care giver in an Adult Family Home may be more likely stay with the home for longer, and be more capable while they are there.

More again next week!

Rémi Walle