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Insights & Strategies For Hiring Senior Care Employees In 2019

Insights and strategies for hiring right in 2019It’s time for the second installment of our Getting Ready For 2019 blog series. A couple weeks back, we covered how to successfully balance care, cost and service and this time around we're going to focus on strategies for hiring employees in senior care.

hiring senior care employees

Hiring in long-term care and senior living is definitely easier said than done. Just look at the image at the left to see what the industry is up against

In this post, we’ll cover how to...

1. Identify hiring needs to right size staff for quality care
2. Attract & hire top talent using strategies from both inside & outside the industry
3. Automate the candidate process to reduce time-to-hire & secure top talent

So, without further ado, here’s how to get the most out of your recruiting efforts in 2019.

How & Who You’re Hiring Matters

First things first: why does hiring matter? Well, for one, poor hiring practices can lead to increased labor costs. Based on a single community with 100 employees, overtime costs can range from $144,000 - $360,000, agency costs can range $25,000-$100,000 and turnover can cost up to $178,500. Not only is hiring the right people important for cost savings, but how can you provide quality resident care and service without enough people on hand?

Determine Your Hiring Needs

Before you begin hiring new employees, take a look at how you are utilizing your current staff. Are your full-time staff members working full-time hours? Are your part-time staff working part-time hours? If they are working less, they are underutilized. Conversely, your employees are over-utilized if full-timers are working more than 40 hours and part-time staff is working more than 24 hours. Identify where they are working this extra time and prioritize hiring for those shifts.

Look at Gaps In Your Schedule

Work with your employees to find out their true availability and build your schedule around that, taking into account labor budget minimums and targets. Be sure to train your schedulers to adjust staffing requirements based on census or occupancy fluctuations. 

Think About Who You’re Hiring & Go After Them

Now that you know where you need to hire, it’s time to think about who you’re going after and how to attract them. Currently, 78% of new hires in senior care are millennials, yet only 35% of providers have changed their tactics to attract and engage this group. You’ll find that the majority of millennials and their Generation Z counterparts are frequently on their mobile devices, particularly on social media platforms. That means there is an excellent opportunity to reach and recruit workers using social media.

Here are some examples of how big brands are using modern recruiting tactics:

  • McDonald’s, Taco Bell, JPMorgan Chase and other large companies have started using Snapchat filters and recruitment adds to get applicants and are seeing excellent results.
  • General Electric launched its “Owen” ads about a young software developer eager to start his career at GE to change the perception of GE from a manufacturing company to a tech company and target potential younger employees. As a result, interest in the careers section of the GE website rose 800%.
  • Mastercard Canada orchestrated a hashtag challenge, allowing college students to compete for an internship through social media using the hashtag #internswanted. They generated 532 qualified candidates – all who submitted an idea for a product, system, app or technique to help people go cashless in the future.


A Hiring Success Story: Century Oak Care Center

It’s not just the big brands that can benefit from using social media to recruit workers. Just take a look at Century Oak Care Center, a Five-Star Rated transitional care facility in Middleburg Heights, Ohio. They turned their top talent into brand ambassadors and let them run the company Facebook careers page. This page features job postings, video testimonials, photos of all the fun that’s had at the community and more. Management even encourages employees to share job openings on their own social pages.

Here are some other ideas for ramping up recruiting efforts from Century Oak Care Center:

  • Make sure you’re marketing to passive job seekers using the right message and making a job at your community stand out.
  • Partner with nursing schools.
  • Promote the benefits and fun at your community.
  • Create a referral program that incentivizes employees to participate. It’s quicker and cheaper to hire referrals than newly sourced candidates and referred hires tend to stay at their jobs longer than other new employees.
  • Look outside the industry to the likes of retail and hospitality. One thing senior care can offer hourly workers from these industries is a rewarding career caring for others.
  • Continue to use job boards. However, simplify your application so it can be filled out in 1-2 minutes and only ask for the essentials like last employment to understand potential certification needs.

Rethink Candidate Communication

Century Care Oak Center found calling candidates to schedule interviews turned into a game of phone tag with little to show for their efforts. Many of the candidates they were able to connect with didn’t show up to their interview, which led to frustration and wasted time. Those that they were unable to get on the phone quickly were accepting other jobs from those that reached out right away. Something needed to be done.

They implemented OnShift® Text2Hire™, a text-based recruitment software, and were soon able to connect with, interview and hire candidates in record time. OnShift Text2Hire helps hiring managers automate interview scheduling via text message, provides access to executive dashboards with real-time hiring metrics and creates a strong first impression with candidates.

Since implementation, Century Oak Care Center has been able to hire two times the number of people in half the time. They’ve also seen 60% less interviews no-shows and their interview scheduling process in 9X more efficient.

“OnShift Text2Hire has improved our metrics overall; we’ve doubled the amount of candidates hired while cutting our time-to-hire in half. And new employees have loved the quick interaction."

- Shelly Szarek-Skodny, CEO, Century Care Oak Center

I hope your organization can apply a few of these best practices in 2019! If you want to learn more, we take a deeper dive into these strategies in our on-demand webinar.

Watch The On-Demand Webinar

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