Last week, at the Ohio Health Care Association 2018 Human Resources Conference, HR professionals gathered for a roundtable to answer the age-old question: how do we solve recruitment and retention challenges in senior care?
During a completely frank and enlightening conversation, several attendees shared what’s working for their communities - and what's not. I figured I'd spare you the grizzly details about what's been ineffective and get right to the good stuff. Here are eight tactics that have managed to move the needle in terms of hiring and engaging employees, according to conference attendees.
Wanting to guarantee an interview on the spot for all people that inquire, one community trained several people to step in when needed. If someone walks in to apply, and a hiring manager or recruiter is unavailable, they always have someone on hand who is prepared to properly conduct the interview. As a result, they rarely, if ever, turn away candidates that walk through the door, lowering the risk of losing them to the community down the street.
One community gives applicants the opportunity to shadow prior to hiring them. They sign off on HIPPA-related material before they hit the floor for their three-hour stint; either 7a-10a or 7p-10p. During this time, they follow a mentor (generally an aide) but refrain from doing any hands-on activities with the residents.
The aide shadowed observes this person's interactions and behavior to help HR make a hiring decision. This process has even helped some applicants realize that certain settings, like rehab, are too stressful for them, which is helping to produce hires that are well suited for their role.
Each department picks a representative or two to attend a monthly meeting that focuses on process improvements at the community. They can bring forth any issues their departments are facing before the committee and then work with management to develop a solution. It's also a place to share their ideas. Each meetings’ minutes are posted afterwards to give the entire community visibility into what was discussed.
Morning Team Huddles
Noticing a string of comments on poor communication from management during employee exit interviews, one community instituted morning team huddles at the start of every shift, where the supervisor pulls together the direct-care staff on the unit to touch base for about three to five minutes. Employee feedback on the morning huddles has been extremely positive, communication has improved and everyone seems to be on the same page.
Another attendee added that they like to do employee recognition and anniversary shout-outs during their morning huddles, as well.
Formal Leadership Development
One community regularly sends all employees in management positions to leadership conferences. That includes administrators, and even schedulers – who are not traditionally thought of as managers, but have a very important, employee-facing role. Recently, they had a leadership consultant come in and teach management about the importance of embracing millennials, as well as other younger generations, and all the positive things each group brings to the workforce.
The people you put in leadership positions have a huge impact on engagement and turnover. According to a Gallup report, 50% of people have left a job because of their manager.
A HR executive during the event said they get their best employees from referrals. Good people usually know good people, so those that currently don’t have a program in place, should strongly consider implementing one.
One community reinvests their yearly workers compensation rebate check back into their employees in the form of bonuses. Based on performance, each staff member gets a tiered cut of the total amount.
Several people said they are successfully connecting with applicants and scheduling interviews using text messaging. It's no surprise they're seeing an uptick in responses and interviews scheduled since data out there shows this is the preferred communication method of today's workforce.
One attendee chimed in and said the biggest employee pleaser out of anything they offer is flexible scheduling. Letting new employees choose their desired shifts and current employees adjust their schedule as necessary goes a long way in providing the work-life balance that today's workforce wants.