Typical Roles at a Hospice Business

Hospices provide palliative care to those who have less than six months to live. Due to the nature of this work, your team must be empathetic, kind, and reassuring to patients and their families. You will need doctors and nurses, mental health professionals, and administrative workers to make your hospice run smoothly.


The supervisor oversees the day-to-day activities of the hospice in addition to interacting with the families and patients.

Typical Salary: $100,000 per year

What Does This Role Entail?

  • Work with families and patients to develop care plans
  • Oversee staff
  • Budgeting and fundraising

Who to Look For:

  • Management experience
  • Good with grieving families


Caretakers (or nurses) help hospice patients with everyday tasks such as eating, washing, and getting around.

Typical Salary: $35,000 per year

What Does This Role Entail?

  • Making sure patients take any necessary medications
  • Assisting patients with limited mobility

Who to Look For:

  • Caretaking experience necessary
  • No specific education level necessary


Most hospices have in-house doctors who provide palliative care to the patients.

Typical Salary: $185,000 per year

What Does This Role Entail?

  • Prescribing medications
  • Ensuring patients’ comfort

Who to Look For:

  • Medical degree and professional experience
  • Good at dealing with emotional patients and families


Most hospices have in-house counselors for patients and their families.

Typical Salary: $42,500 per year

What Does This Role Entail?

  • Helping families learn healthy coping mechanisms
  • Resolving conflicts between a patient and those close to them
  • Bereavement counseling

Who to Look For:

  • Bachelors or masters degree and experience with grief counseling
  • Good at dealing with emotional patients and families

Hospice Business Hiring Tips

Hiring employees can seem like a nerve-wracking process, but it doesn't have to be. We break the process down into four basic steps: (1) Planning; (2) Recruiting; (3) Interviewing; and (4) Completing the Hire. Here are some tips for each phase of the process

Plan to Staff Your Business

The most crucial thing to look for in your employees is a kind and gentle manner, as they will have to interact with very sick patients and grieving families every day. Early on, the owner could serve as counselor, but unless you have a medical degree, you will need to hire at least one employee to start off with.

Develop a Recruiting Strategy

When looking for doctors, nurses, and mental health professionals, it is best to find interviewees by networking. If you’d like, you can hire a recruiting agency to help you with this. You can also post job openings online, but make sure that applicants have great credentials before they come in to interview.

Interview with Confidence

If you take your time during the planning and recruiting phases of the process, you will likely end up with many qualified candidates.

Nonetheless, it is perfectly natural for a new business owner to be a bit anxious the first time hiring employees. Don’t forget that the interview is just a chance to get to know an applicant and to give them an opportunity to learn more about the role and the business. Also, it might help to remember that they are probably even more nervous than you are!

Throughout the interview process, it may help to keep in mind that most hospices look for employees who are:

  • Kind
  • Honest
  • Punctual and reliable
  • Great with people

Here are some sample interview questions that will help you learn more about the character of your interviewees:

  • Why do you think hospice care is important?
  • How do you handle stress?
  • How would you approach conflict between a patient and their family over treatment, medications, etc.?
  • Describe a time you had difficulty getting the patient’s family to accept their upcoming death. How did you manage?

Be Familiar with Hiring Laws

After selecting a job candidate, there are certain steps you will need to follow to complete the hiring process. Check out our Hiring Compliance Checklist for a step-by-step guide to the legal aspects of hiring employees.

One of the most important steps is to classify your new hire as an employee or an independent contractor. Become familiar with IRS guidelines on this matter, as there are serious consequences for misclassifying an employee as an independent contractor.

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For more details, please refer to our guide on the topic, Contractors vs. Employees: What You Need to Know. We also provide templates for the essential hiring forms you will need.

Set Up Payroll

Once you have a growing team of employees, it's time to set up your payroll. Using a payroll service provider saves you time for running your business, and also helps ensure that you comply with important federal requirements such as employee tax withholding.

To help our readers save money and grow their business, we negotiated a 20% discount for you with payroll provider ADP, the most popular small business provider in the country.

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Try ADP and get 20% off payroll services for your business.

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