Hiring the right people is a top priority for nearly every provider we work with. And for the most part, a best-fit candidate in senior care means someone who not only has the necessary experience and credentials but a caring spirit that's in line with the organization’s culture and mission to provide quality care and service.
But finding those best-fit candidates isn’t always easy. While you can put processes in place to filter out those who aren’t a match for either the open role or your organization, bad hires happen. And unfortunately, they can have a detrimental effect-- either quickly turning over, costing you upwards of $3,500 when they do, or performing so poorly they have to be let go. And sadly, both of these scenarios negatively impact both your employees and your residents.
While making a bad hire can never be completely prevented, there are steps you can take to avoid it. Here are a few of the top recruiting and hiring strategies LTC and senior living providers are putting in place to make best-fit hires.
1. Clearly Communicate Job Expectations
While it’s best practice to avoid including a laundry list of job responsibilities in your online posting, make sure you paint a picture of a day in the life during interviews. You want to ensure job expectations are clearly communicated from the beginning. That doesn’t mean it has to be boring. In addition to sharing details about their job function, you should also work in all of the benefits and perks your organization offers to build excitement.
2. Get Aligned On Scheduling Availability
Before you even post a job opening, it’s important to look at your schedule to understand where there are gaps and which shifts really need some extra help. Doing so not only ensures you’re hiring for an actual need but allows you to give candidates full visibility into what days they would be working.
Establishing schedules right from the start can go a long way in reducing call-offs and no-shows among new hires who, like many frontline workers, may be working multiple jobs and juggling additional responsibilities outside of work. Once availability is agreed upon, but sure to stick to it and work closely with new hires to create those best-fit schedules that work for everyone.
3. Use Behavioral Assessments
Pre-employment behavioral assessments are an extremely powerful tool and give hiring managers useful, data-driven information to make more informed hiring decisions. Make sure that your behavioral assessments are validated for key jobs in the long-term care industry. This gives you the ability to hire people based on their job-specific competencies, leading to better-fit candidates that are more likely to stay long-term.
Using standardized candidate assessments across all communities can also ensure every applicant is assessed in a fair and equal way, helping to meet EEOC compliance requirements.
4. Incorporate Your Mission Statement Throughout The Hiring Process
Your mission statement is much more than just a statement. It can be used as the roadmap for how you treat your employees and, most importantly, your clients. And by constantly working this statement into the employee journey, it comes to life and becomes palpable throughout your communities.
A new hire’s introduction to your mission should happen long before their initial interview as it should be communicated in your job postings, on your website and on your social channels. Continue to reference your mission throughout the interview process and regularly remind your new hire how their role fits into the bigger picture.
Your mission statement will naturally resonate with your top candidates, so pay attention to how they respond. You can even consider using it as a checklist to make sure each new hire aligns with your organization’s mission, vision and values.
5. Use A Referral Program
Good people tend to know other good people, or so a saying along those lines goes. Ask your top performers to share job openings with their friends or former co-workers who may be a great fit. And encourage everyone to share job openings on social media to drive interest.
Many providers will offer referral bonuses when their referred candidate is either hired or reaches a key milestone, such as 90 days of employment. An incentive like this can be a great tool for building your candidate pipeline. However, it doesn’t always have to be so lavish. Simply acknowledging an employee publicly with a small reward or certificate for helping you make your next great hire can be enough.
6. Incorporate DE&I Into Your Recruitment Strategy
A McKinsey study found that diverse workforces financially outperform their less diverse competitors. As a result, LTC and senior living communities have begun incorporating diversity, equity and inclusion practices in their recruiting strategy. Ayana King for McKnight’s Senior Living recommends conducting blind resume reviews and expanding your network to include diverse colleges and universities, as well as other technical and vocational programs to drive a more diverse pool of talent.
7. Discuss Career Goals Early
Discussing professional goals during the interview process helps you get a better sense of what drives your candidate at work. Having these conversations during interviews can also help you hire those who desire to move into leadership roles and then set them on the path to get there right from the start. For those not interested in moving up the ranks, let them know about any upskilling and training opportunities within your organization.