Tips and Tricks for Recruiting and Hiring Workers

Before you start

Do an Interest Inventory
Determine a schedule
  • Can be a general idea of when you would like people to come
  • How many days; for how many hours
Create a job description
  • Need to be able to tell the applicant what they will be doing
  • Will help you decide the schedule and have a better idea of what you will need


Creating an ad

Be as concise as possible
  • No one is going to read 5 paragraphs
Accentuate the positive
  • Talk about the fun activities you go on
  • Flexible schedule
  • Working one on one
But don’t leave out the negative
  • Better to know upfront
  • Know the applicant can do it/handle it
Make clear the qualifications up front
  • Car, license and insurance?
  • CNA
Make the expectations clear up front
  • Lifting
  • Experience with challenging behaviors
Pictures are worth a thousand words
  • I include a picture, so they know I am real
  • People are much more likely to look at something with a picture
Consider a video ad
  • Really see your personality
  • People love short videos
I include the pay, because I want that known upfront

Posting an ad

Sample Ad

Get paid to go shopping, go to the movies, go out to dinner, etc!

I am a 44-year-old woman living with Muscular Dystrophy. I love to be active and do fun things! I need caregivers to help me do that! I currently need someone to work weekly on Mondays and Tuesdays at 9a until 11p. Besides having fun, you would also need to help me with bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring, cleaning, cooking, driving, etc. You must be reliable, able to lift and drive. I do not live on a bus line and my work requires that you drive me from place to place in my wheelchair-accessible van. I use an agency, so you must pass a background check. Due to my health conditions, I am only hiring people who have the vaccine/are willing to get the vaccine. I can teach you everything else. Pay $12-16.50/hr. Get valuable experience and have fun! I look forward to hearing from you!

Sample Ad

Recruiting and Hiring Workers


Places you may want to post an ad to:
  • craigslist
  • Facebook
  • CareGuide
  • College
  • Nextdoor

Where to find Workers

  • Talk to friends and family
  • Ask friends, family and current workers to spread the word
  • Ask people in the community
    • The nice waitress at the restaurant or the bus driver that went above and beyond
    • I carry business cards to hand out to people I like
  • Ask local businesses about hanging up signs
  • Bookstores, gyms, coffee shops, etc.
  • Find people with similar interests
  • Every person you meet, is a link to a potential worker
  • It’s not selfish it’s survival

Screening applicants

When reviewing applications/resumes, look at the employment history
  • Look for gaps
  • Look for short stays at jobs
Have a Survey Monkey link that I send to applicants
  • Asks all the requirements-Driver’s License, able to lift, able to stay overnight, vaccinated, etc
  • Asks questions to get to know the applicant better-what they liked about their last job, disliked, what qualities to you find most effective in a supervisor/least effective
Do a video or phone screen before setting up an in-person interview
  • Helps weed people out
  • Less time consuming if the person doesn’t work out
  • Safer, if you don’t like the person
  • A lot easier to end a video or phone call if you don’t like the person


Interview questions

General questions help you decide if the worker is right for the job
  • What do you like to do for fun?
  • What types of movies do you like?
  • You will know if you have similar interests and will get along
Questions specific to the participant’s wants and needs will help decide if the worker will be a good fit
  • Are you a morning person or a night owl?
  • Are you an introvert or extrovert?
  • Do the workers traits match well with you and the job needs?
Questions regarding a specific situation help you know how the person will react
  • What would you do if your car broke down and you had to be to work for me?
  • Is the worker going to just not show up or will they find a different ride?
Sample situations questions let you know how the worker will react to situations
  • What would you do if we were out at a restaurant and the waiter asked you what I want to eat?
  • Will the worker answer for you or look to you to answer?

Getting creative with interview questions

Questions NOT to ask

You have a lot of children, are you even going to show up for work?

You are old. Can you even do this job?

You have a lot of tattoos? Do you have a criminal record?

Tips for interviewing

Do the first in-person interview at a local coffee shop or park
  • For safety reasons, it is not always good for people to know where you live
  • Might not be able to get the person out of your home
Have someone else around for the interview
  • Helpful for safety reasons
  • Helpful to get a second opinion of the applicant
Have a copy of the job description with you
  • Review the job description with the applicant-the good and the bad
Have a copy of the schedule with you
Have interview questions prepared, but don’t be afraid to go “off script”
  • Learn the most from people just by talking
Pay attention to body language and reactions; Always says more than words


Selecting an applicant

Remember your Interest Inventory and what traits are important to you so you can make sure the applicant possess them.
  • If punctuality is important, but the worker shows up 10 minutes late with no reason, that worker wouldn’t be the best choice.
Make the job requirements and expectations known up front and communicate them to the applicant to ensure the applicant meets the requirements.
  • If driving is a requirement, but the applicant doesn’t have a drivers license, they will not be a good match.
  • Good or bad, make sure the applicant knows what to expect.
Set a schedule up front and make sure the applicant is available at those times.
  • If the schedule is flexible, still make parameters, so there is not conflict or confusion down the line.
If the person asks about pay right away, they are most likely not in it for the right reason and will not last.
  • We all need money to survive, but no one is getting rich from being a caregiver.
  • The person has to have compassion and actually care about people to be a good match for self-directed care.
Trust your instincts, they are probably not wrong.
Most of all, pick the person that is the best match to you.
  • Skills can be taught.
  • Personality and chemistry cannot.
  • You are not just filling a hole, this is a person you will spend a lot of time with, so you will want to like them.


Make sure you know what you are looking for in a worker, before hiring.

An eye-catching ad will assist with hiring.

There are many places to post the ad, but the best way to find workers is just by networking and living life.

Make qualifications and expectations known up frontMake the “good and the bad” of job duties known up front.

Have a variety of interview questions prepared to learn about an applicant, but don’t be afraid to go off script.

Select the applicant that you like the best, that is the beauty of self-direction.

Click here to download a PDF file