We believe that we have the best caregivers in the business, and we find them in a number of different ways; through ads, career fairs, and through current caregivers who love their job and receive incentives for recommending “new talent.” We’ve always run recruiting ads for caregivers with words such as “caring, families, and gentle.” While those are good words and we mean it, they also tend to be words that women respond to more than men. Even more, they are words that society has traditionally associated with fields dominated by women such as health care and teaching.
A January 16, 2017, article in the NY Times, Job Listings That Are Too ‘Feminine’ for Men reads, “Job postings for home health aides say applicants need to be “sympathetic” and “caring,” “empathetic” and focused on “families.” It turns out that doesn’t lead very many men to apply. One of the biggest economic riddles today is why out-of-work men aren’t pursuing the jobs that are growing the most, which are mainly in health care. A big reason is that these so-called pink-collar jobs are mostly done by women, and that turns off some men.”
Not good. We in the home care business need to recruit more men into the field. Our clients are increasingly more physically demanding and we are finding that older male clients often prefer men for heavy care, transfers, and companionship. As the needs of our male clients evolve, so too has the job market. Jobs loss due to increased automation is significant in fields traditionally dominated by men such as manufacturing and agriculture. This means there are more men, from all age groups, available and looking for work. Young men who once might have found work in factories are now finding that most available jobs that don’t require a college degree are in the traditional “pink collar” service-sector. And men in middle age, who have lost jobs due to changes in their fields or the economic downturn, may find themselves looking for full or part-time work.
It also appears that the gender stereotypes that once applied to caregiving are also changing. This is in large measure due to the increasing number of people, both men, and women, providing home care for a family member. In fact, according to an article in the March 2017 issue of the AARP Public Policy Institute, “40 percent of family caregivers of adults are men—which equates to 16 million male family caregivers in the United States.”
So how do we bring more men into the business of professional caregiving? Changing our recruiting strategies to include more images of male caregivers and by using gender neutral language is a good start. As for us ― FRHC is always looking to hire new caregivers, both male, and female, so if you know someone looking for work, please tell them:
Family Resource Home Care offers the right candidates a rewarding career with a company that values you. We are looking for smart, strong and responsible individuals (both pink and blue collar) who are ready to be part of a care management team and make a difference in someone’s life.