Hiring a team of community health workers can transform your agency. Whether you hire just one CHW for your small community or you’re expanding a team of community health workers to support all your clients, making the right match is important—and can be tricky.
First, you need to find someone who fits the position. They need the right qualifications, background, certification or community knowledge.
Then, that person also needs to fit your agency. They should have the same kind of drive that helps them connect with hard-to-reach clients. Plus, they should be an asset to your wider team.
Add to searching for CHWs the jobs of writing job descriptions, putting together interview questions and training your new hires, and it’s understandable why you might be overwhelmed. That’s why CHWTraining has put together a comprehensive guide to walk you through the process of how to hire CHWs (as well as promotores, community health representatives, and related titles). We’ve bundled together advice, guides and templates for:
- Finding top CHW candidates – How to know if CHWs are right for your agency; job description template for healthcare roles
- Interview prep – Roles and boundaries of CHWs; essential interview questions; tips for a successful interview
- Training your CHW workforce – 2022 state requirements for CHWs, setting training goals for CHWs, COVID vaccine must-have resources for CHWs
What Is a Community Health Worker?
CHWs usually come from the communities where they work, so they can build rapport with clients in a unique way.
CHWs work in a variety of places. You might hire community health workers for local or state health departments or districts. They might work for community- or faith-based agencies. Others work in clinics, health centers and hospitals. Many countries are familiar with CHWs, as well as people with similar titles, such as health advocates, promotores, or peer health educators. They commonly work in places like Africa and Latin America and are more widely employed than in the US.
What Skills Do CHWs Need?
Building a CHW career path–rather than just finding an entry-level job—involves understanding the core competencies and what kinds of skills are useful for growth into the future.
In order to earn a profitable job and build a lasting career, current CHWs and people who would like to be one need to keep their health and professional skills sharp. They need to take extra training and prove their knowledge and expertise through certification.Many core competencies training requirements are similar. The following are common skills required by The Community Health Worker Core Consensus Project (C3). Many states, counties and employers follow these recommendations.
C3 Core CHW Skills
- Communication Skills
- Interpersonal and Relationship-Building Skills
- Service Coordination and Navigation Skills
- Capacity Building Skills
- Advocacy Skills
- Education and Facilitation Skills
- Individual and Community Assessment Skills
- Outreach Skills
- Professional Skills and Conduct
- Evaluation and Research Skills
- Knowledge Base
The CHW Job Market
The statistics are inspiring. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for CHWs are expected to rise 17 percent from 2020 to 2030. That’s faster than the average for all occupations. That means that 161,000 jobs could open up. This article from US News and World Report says that CHW jobs rank 17 in the Best Social Services Jobs. In other words, people want these jobs.
Download the CHW Hiring and Retaining Bundle Now
CHWs are assets for any health, government or community agency. This job isn’t going away—it’s going to get bigger and broader and more useful.
Get ready for your next hire and download the bundle now—free!