Recruiting, Selecting, and Retaining Direct Service Workers to Provide Self-Directed HCBS

How Much Training Will the Applicant Need?

1. Listen

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Two women talking using sign language.

2. Read

Someone who is new to providing direct supports may need a lot of training.  Sometimes new DSWs make great staff if you have the time to train them.  Review and evaluate DSWs' experience and training.  You may find applicants who don’t have a lot of experience, but you think they are a good fit.

Consider how much training they will need to do the duties the job requires. Do you have the time and means to train them? If someone requires more training than you are able to easily provide, another applicant may be a better match.

Sometimes the best DSWs are those who come with the right attitude and willingness to learn even if they need more training.

3. Reflect

What do you think?

Juanita was hiring a new DSW to help support her mother.  Juanita has a full-time job and active teenagers. She has a full schedule!  Juanita interviewed two people.  One has experience supporting people with dementia and would be able to jump into the job with minimal training.  The other person hadn't worked with people with dementia, but she seemed eager to learn and got along well with Juanita's mom.  Who should Juanita hire?

Juanita decided that she had limited time to train someone.  Her evening staff left and she needs staff right away.  Juanita decided that to hire the candidate with relevant experience may be the best option for her.

Juanita decided that having someone her mom was more comfortable with was important.  She was able to find ways to provide the training the new person would need by having her family record how she provides supports for her mom.  She also found times for the new DSW to shadow her.