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May 30, 2014
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From the Editor's Pen Gary Barg • Editor-in-Chief • gary@caregiver.com

Gary Barg

Caregiving Tools and Technologies:
Hiring Well

An interview with Bryan Smith and Adam Chez,
two of the co-founders of Helpio.com

Gary Barg: What tips do you have for people looking to hire well with regard to homecare?

Bryan Smith: Set the expectations upfront and have times where the family caregiver or, as we like to say, careseeker and the professional caregiver agree to connect and talk about the loved one. You also want to seek or solicit advice and recommendations from your professional caregiver. It's also a good way to know they truly have your loved one's best interest at heart. 

Gary Barg: You're actually talking about a partnership.

Bryan Smith: That's it exactly. A partnership is when things tend to work best, rather than your traditional relationship where employer tells employee what will be done, when and how. That is not the ideal relationship for caregiving.

Helpio AdGary Barg: So, walk me through it. I'm a family caregiver or careseeker and I come to Helpio, which, by the way, is a great name. What happens when I come to your site?

Adam Chez: Careseekers will be able to sign up, make a profile for their loved one, and post a job. We have a service called The Care Concierge, where we work hand-in-hand with the careseeker to help put together a team. They can get a list of caregivers, see their qualifications, history and references. Then, if the caregiver and the careseeker agree to a rate, start the job. It will all be managed through our app. The app will bring accountability and transparency. It'll notify the careseeker when the caregiver's on the way to their loved one's house and when they arrive. There is even a time card feature that starts calculating how much time they've been there.  Once they clock out, the bill will be submitted to the careseeker.

Gary Barg: It sounds a lot like a flexible, open market. I, as the employer, have an opportunity to interact with the caregivers and decide if I want to work with them or not, even in advance of their coming to the home.

Bryan Smith: That’s one of the benefits I love about the program. Careseekers can go through hundreds of caregivers in their market, interview them themselves—making decisions on their own and striking their own chemistry. We feel that with all of the caregivers we provide in our marketplace, we have a lot better probability of finding very good fits for people.

Gary Barg: What prompted you to create Helpio?

Adam Chez: Careseekers want to know that the caregiver is on the job and be notified when they start or leave. We can do all of this through our app, plus provide background checks. We feel that we can help connect caregivers with the careseekers and loved ones, since there are three people in this transaction. We can bring it all together through our app with the accountability, transparency, and ability to be flexible that is needed to make sure the careseekers’ loved ones are getting the right care. Careseekers are allowed to create a team and can control the amount of care they're receiving through our app.

Gary Barg: Who are the people that are signing up to be the caregivers with Helpio?

Bryan Smith: They're coming from various walks of life. We have students in the medical or care professions. We have a lot of retired CNAs that want to come back to care. And the third category is people that have been family caregivers.

Gary Barg: It seems like a great opportunity for people once they've stopped family caregiving, but have picked up a skill set and they don't want to stop caring. And can make some money at it.

Bryan Smith: That's exactly right.

Adam Chez: Helpio is a people company, but it's also a technology company. Technology is a hurdle for people in some cases. But our app is so simple and it brings accountability and transparency, and enhances the care that their loved ones are going to receive.

Bryan Smith: Helpio is a marketplace and community where you now have options. You are empowered to control your loved one's experience, including everything from choosing your caregiving team, direct communication and contacts, and negotiating rates, with transparency for the entire process through simply smart technology, like your cell phone. The app allows you to understand where your caregiver is, what you're being billed at any time, and even make payments through your smartphone. We allow caregivers to be flexible. They can work 40 or 5 hours per week. And we give them the ability to be self-employed. We give them the platform to be able to go out and do what they love to do.

Gary Barg: So, this is actually, to use a Silicon Valley kind of word, disintermediation. In other words, you are getting the middleman out of the way.

Bryan Smith: It's a disruptor, no doubt about it. On both sides, it's cleaner, more efficient and just an overall better experience, which benefits the careseekers and their loved ones.  


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