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Recruiting To Retain Staff In IDD & Behavioral Health

Recruiting To Retain Staff In IDD & Behavioral HealthIn May 2019, unemployment rates fell to their lowest levels since 1969 at 3.6%. And while in June rates rose slightly to 3.7%, there’s little reason to believe unemployment will significantly increase any time soon. While this is good news for workers, for employers, it means the battle for talent, regardless of industry, is on. Additionally, the rise of big brands such as Amazon, Target, Walmart, Starbucks and others mean there’s more competition than ever for the largest component of any IDD or behavioral health workforce—hourly workers.

For some healthcare organizations, hourly workers can comprise up to 90+% of their workforce. But the good news for providers, particularly those in the IDD and behavioral health space, is that for many, providing care isn’t just another job—it’s a calling.

The job of a DSP or a behavioral health caregiver isn’t always easy. The work can be challenging, the hours can be long and many feel the effects of being short staffed. With turnover on the rise, it’s important that providers make sure any employee they hire is a right fit from the start.

Here are a few ways providers can start retaining employees during the recruitment process.

  1. Make A Good First Impression

Job search sites like Glassdoor, Indeed and social networks such as LinkedIn and Facebook are some of the first places potential candidates look before submitting an application, making them the perfect place to show off what it’s like to work for your organization. Post updated pictures showcasing life at your organization. Ask employees who are happy at work to leave reviews about their experiences. And be sure to reply to any less-than-positive comments that are made.

Next, make it easy for candidates to apply. More and more candidates are searching and applying for jobs on their smartphones. And if an application is too complex or too long, they’re more likely to abandon it, particularly when it comes to those applying for hourly positions.

Finally, once their application has been submitted, don’t delay in responding to set up an interview. Generally, candidates apply to multiple positions at one time. And in this competitive market, you want to be the first to reply, otherwise you risk missing out on top talent. Skip the game of phone tag. Reach out to candidates to schedule interviews using their preferred method of communication -- text messaging. Text-based recruiting software like OnShift Text2Hire even allows hiring managers to send automated reminders closer to their interview date to prevent no-shows. It's best practice notify interviewees of when and where they need to be, as well as any additional materials they should have with them, such as a resume or reference list.

  1. Keep Your Mission Front & Center

As mentioned, providing care is more than a job. For many, it’s a calling. That’s why it’s important to make sure you show candidates how your organization is living their mission, as well as how individuals each contribute to that mission on a daily basis.

This is something else to make sure you have front and center on job search sites like LinkedIn and Indeed, as well as the career page on your website.

Don’t have a mission statement or could your mission statement use a refresh? Make sure it describes your organization’s core values, philosophies and reasoning for offering the services it does. And keep it concise. Ideally, a mission statement should only be about a sentence in length.

  1. Give Candidates A Preview Of Their Day To Day

The interview process is a great time to give candidates a tour of your facility and even let them interact with some of their potential new teammates or even some of the clients or patients they’d be working with.

Keep a close eye on how they interact with others. Do they display the type of caring attitude your ideal employee would have? Do they seem like they would readily fit into your culture? Being able to assess some of these factors can leave you feeling more confident that you are a hiring an employee who is more likely to be a fit and stay long-term.

A tour during the interview process can also help them understand what their day to day would look like, giving them a chance to assess whether your organization and the role they are interviewing for is a good fit.  

  1. Show That You Care About What’s Important To Them

Today’s workforce has certain expectations—one of which is that their employer will help them achieve work-life balance. One simple way to do this is by providing better access and more control over their schedule. Cloud-based workforce management software like OnShift allows employees to access their schedule, request open shifts and quickly reply to last minute call-offs, anytime, anywhere, right from their smartphones.

Employees also want to be recognized for their hard work. Employee engagement software can provide a systematic way to reward your staff for things like coming in on time, not calling off and going above and beyond the call of duty.

Another great way to show employees you care is by providing them with the tools they need to be more financially responsible. Financial wellness software, such as OnShift Wallet, allows employees to access earned, but unpaid wages in the event of an unexpected expense. Today, nearly 40% of workers don’t have $400 in savings to cover emergency expenses. Something like OnShift Wallet can help reduce financial stress and allow employees to avoid high interest fees, overdrafts or payday loans -- all of which only further set them back financially.

Your culture, your mission and the benefits and perks you offer your employees are a great way to attract new talent that is looking for an organization where they can stay long-term. Be sure to keep each of these elements at the forefront of your recruiting and hiring process. Doing so can help ensure you hire the right people for the job and in turn, work to reduce future turnover.

Another great way to attract and retain employees is by offering perks they love. Download the Bigger Book of Perks in Healthcare for nearly 50 'extras' to offer at your community. 

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