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  • Writer's pictureQuisha Umemba

Develop and Retain CHW Talent

Updated: Sep 4, 2023

Community Health Workers help to achieve the Triple Aim; improved health, improved patient satisfaction, and reduced healthcare costs and utilization. It makes sense that many organizations are hiring CHWs to expand their services and reach. But how do you recruit and hire diverse candidates, the Right CHW and the best fit for your organization, program, and the clients you serve?

In our last blog post, we discussed the importance of defining, maintaining, and protecting the CHW identity. We also provided seven recommendations for recruiting candidates from diverse backgrounds. Some of these recommendations included:

  1. Evaluating your job postings

  2. Expanding your recruiting efforts

  3. Offering diverse interview panels

  4. Using behavior-based interview questions

  5. Conducting multiple interviews

  6. Using skills-based assessments

  7. Looking for certain qualities that CHWs should possess

In this article, we will discuss another topic equally as important; developing and retaining your CHW talent. According to, annual turnover rates for Community Health Workers can be as high as 50%. Commonly cited challenges can include:

  • Work overload

  • Lack of team integration

  • Lack of proper supervision and support

  • Lack of autonomy

  • Lack of consistent training

  • Low wages and no opportunity for career growth

Retaining top CHW talent requires organizations to think outside of the box. Increasing awareness of burn-out and importance of self-care. Ensuring that CHWs are fully integrated into the organization. Providing adquate training for supervisors, but also for the rest of the team. Providing adequate training and opportunities for professional development or career progression, and of course, higher wages and better benefits.

By implementing these strategies, you can help ensure that you hire the RIGHT CHW the first time. Investing in your CHW talent will help your organization develop and retain them leading to high morale, productivity, and ultimately improved patient and organizational outcomes, a win-win for everyone.

Ready to hire a Community Health Worker? Download our CHW Hiring Assessment to assess your organization's readiness to hire the RIGHT CHW the FIRST TIME.

For help with integrating or training Community Health Workers in your organization, visit our website to learn about the ways we can support you.


About Umemba Health

Our mission is to transform public health through comprehensive workforce development. We are developing the next generation of public health leaders, one professional at a time! Find out how we can educate your workforce, empower your leaders, and expand your community presence by visiting

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