Home » Sandy Jen: Rethinking Home Care @ Talks at Google (Transcript)

Sandy Jen: Rethinking Home Care @ Talks at Google (Transcript)

SANDY JEN: Yeah, so that goes back to the point where just being a knowledge expert is actually really helpful. And not just having an online presence, but going and getting into the communities is actually a really, really positive thing. So when you go to a senior center, or you go to a local event, you can just be there and then be a familiar face. So then when people have questions, they’re like, oh, you should talk to this person. They kind of have a better idea of how the elderly space works. Then you start to embed yourself better. And so part of the way to get better word of mouth is just taking advantage of the fact that health care and home care is very local, and so you have to respect that.

You can’t just be like, I’m this giant national entity. I’m just going to go and spread ads everywhere. That doesn’t work. You have to really go in and participate and talk to people and actually be in the community to really make a dent, so that’s generally the tack that we’ll probably take.

AUDIENCE: So what’s the pricing structure look like in this industry, and where does Honor place itself?

SANDY JEN: Yeah, so pricing generally is by shift length. So it’s hourly, because the care pros get paid hourly. We’re kind of right smack in the middle with most of the industry in terms of our pricing. Certain areas are a little harder to serve. So for example, if you are a care pro making minimum wage or a little bit above, a $6 bridge toll from the East Bay to the peninsula is a lot of money for you. And so it’s much harder for you to get from East Bay to, let’s say, Palo Alto.

And so in certain harder to reach areas– so Palo Alto, parts of San Francisco– prices can be a little higher because we have to be able to pay the care pro more. That’s generally more of a common trend with home care. But generally speaking, we’re very much market prices. And our hope is that because we can take a lot of the manual work out the process, we can maybe at some point charge a little less, pay a little more, and be able to take those gains because we have a little more efficiency within our system.

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JORGE CUETO: And since you’re using the employee model, does that mean that care pros have to work a certain number of hours or certain shifts during the week?

SANDY JEN: No. With W-2s, you don’t have to enforce a certain hour. We have some folks who work with us on more of a part time basis, or they just pick up shifts in the evening or on the weekends because they have another job. We have other folks who use this as their primary gig. And so we are their primary employer, and they take most of their work from us. It’s more flexible, I think, than people think about when thinking about employee model.

But we do realize that care pros have a lot of restrictions in terms of what they can and can’t do. Folks at Google generally don’t have– when you have trouble with your car, it’s like, oh, it’s really annoying. But when your car is the only thing that is really providing your work conduit, it’s a lot harder. And so we just make sure that we’re respectful of that and we provide enough options of types of work for our care pros.

JORGE CUETO: And wrapping up, I have one question about any specific technology or product that you’re excited about in the near future.

SANDY JEN: I would say the–

JORGE CUETO: It can be more than one.

SANDY JEN: Yeah. I guess just related to Honor, there’s much more attention now to seniors. I think that’s awesome. Before Honor, there was no funding in the senior space. And now we have companies really, really focusing on how to cater to seniors– not just building devices or technology, but really thinking about it from an offerings perspective, just because the baby boomers and the senior population is just going to explode in the next 10 to 20 years. So I would say maybe nothing specific, but anybody really investing in not just seniors, but demographics of audiences that are not traditionally invested in I think is awesome. And that’s what I’m really excited about.

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JORGE CUETO: Great. Thank you so much, and thank you for coming today.

SANDY JEN: Thanks for having me.

JORGE CUETO: Thank you everyone for coming here.

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