“Studies show that a good ratio of staff to residents increases the quality of care and improves health among residents,” reports Nursing Home Abuse Justice. Employee burnout and frustration causes accidents, unintentional neglect, and a stressful environment for staff and seniors. If you’re struggling with getting those amazing new employees onboard, it may be time to reevaluate your hiring process. Hiring good people is more than simply keeping your community running smoothly, it’s essential to the health and wellbeing of your residents.
Director of hiring analytics at Gallup, Kristin Barry, says, “Rethink job structures by considering ways to mold responsibilities to your people instead of expecting to mold people to responsibilities.”
When you’re already understaffed, changing your company’s hiring process and mentality are endeavors that, understandably, may be difficult in the midst of daily community life. Working with professionals who know the industry and what applicants are looking for is a good move, especially when you’re too busy to respond to the best candidates quickly.
Here are three reasons your preferred candidates are slipping through the cracks:
- You’ve found some great applicants, but they already found other jobs. It’s a job seekers market in the senior living industry, which means you’re competing with other desirable communities due to the demand for caregivers. Your applicants might really want to work at your location, but when there’s a lull in hearing back from you, these professionals aren’t apt to wait by the phone when other opportunities are available. They’ve got mortgage payments due, school loans to repay, and families to support—and they’ll likely accept a good from the company that gets them hired the fastest.
How can you hire the best applicants before someone else? It’s all about speed. Contacting your candidates promptly will reduce your time to hire and waste less time. This isn’t the time to play hard-to-get—rather pursue those conscientious employees just like you would a resident lead. And it’s a compliment to a candidate to show your interest as soon as possible! Get their attention first and you both win.
SeniorVu contacts your potential employees within five minutes. This not only impresses those outstanding candidates but also helps to secure your community as a top pick. We also pre-screen applicants so that you can get straight to business, hiring and training the staff your residents will love.
- You’ve found the right person for the job, but to hire them full-time, you must pay a staffing agency $25,000. Yes, staffing agencies can introduce some talented workers to you, but the cost might outweigh the benefit. When caregivers are brought in to cover certain shifts, these temporary employees usually have no prior history with your residents and are learning their care needs on-the-spot. What truly works in a community is a dedicated caregiver team who’ve built relationships and trust over time with the seniors.
You may eventually discover that star employee from an agency, but your contract requires you to pay the steep 25K fee to hire them. Adding this to your budget is costly for both you and your employee. The staffing agency profits from the money you could instead save for promotions, raises, and other employee benefits. CEO Mark Sperka of a Wisconsin-based community said “We were spending in excess of 10% of our staffing costs on agencies.”
How are these agencies making this work for them? The Florida Senior Living Association states that COVID-19 was an impetus for price hikes as “senior living communities and other health care facilities saw the costs charged by temporary staffing agencies skyrocket.” Their President and CEO, Gail Matillo said, “Staffing agencies are holding the entire health care industry hostage.”
McKnights Senior Living reports, “According to a recent Pennsylvania Health Care Association member survey, 70% of facility respondents said that they use agency staff to fill open positions. Those agencies are ‘poaching’ workers and leasing them back to providers at ‘exorbitant rates — in some cases, rates are inflated as much as 400%.’”
They added, “PHCA President and CEO Zach Shamberg told McKnight’s Senior Living that there are reports that staffing agencies also are taking 40% or more of an individual’s hourly wage, ‘which means wages are going right into the pockets of agency executives rather than the healthcare heroes themselves.’”
Saving money is one reason to steer away from staffing agencies. But most importantly, you’re caring for the health and security of your treasured residents. They put their faith in you and your team, and the same goes for future community members. When they see a professional, friendly, and compassionate group of caregivers, it’ll be even more motivation to choose you.
- Your applicants aren’t getting the same VIP treatment as your leads. We know you deeply care about your residents, and that’s a beautiful thing. But, the people who care for those residents are just as special. They’re responsible for giving your community’s seniors the very best experience, keeping them safe, and helping them make wonderful memories during those golden years. Your caregivers hold it all together while building meaningful relationships with the residents they see each day. Once a strong philosophy of employee wellbeing is rooted into your culture, your community can only get better.
Communities treat every single lead like it is precious. Your sales team will likely stop everything to give a family a tour of the senior living community, but you don’t do the same for the applicants – and it’s making communities lose. It’s like giving your leads a first-class airplane experience while the applicants are stuck in the back with a crying baby and no leg room. The lead funnel and recruitment funnel have a similar path, it’s time to take a similar approach.
Nurturing mental health, acknowledging workers’ personal life responsibilities, offering competitive pay, allowing flexibility, and encouraging professionals to utilize their talents are some ideas to get your community thinking. Ultimately, you’ll want to listen to each individual’s needs and offer them a package that fits their skill level, qualifications, family schedule, financial requirements, and even their own health conditions. Kristin Barry adds, “Job postings and marketing content should outline what flexibility actually looks like at your organization and how leaders embrace the give and take that comes with true work-life balance.”
“The labor challenge is a ‘a strikingly important issue,’ said Long Term Care expert, Howard Gleckman. “If we don’t deal with it, we’re going to have, really, a growing crisis among family members who just can’t manage the care by themselves.”
You can be an industry leader by choosing a different way. At SeniorVu, we understand communities and what makes them thrive. We approach hiring as if it’s our own team, and care for seniors and their wellbeing as if they’re family Contact us today to get started.