As the population ages, the demand for well-staffed senior living communities and memory support services continues to increase. Ensuring you have a respectful and caring staff ready to promote your values and voice is one of the biggest challenges a care community can face.
The success of any community depends on the quality of its staff. Staff members are the backbone of the senior living industry, and when you find someone who brings joy, experience, and professionalism to their role, you’ll want to make sure you can keep them.
Finding Staff for Senior Living Communities
Hiring can be a daunting prospect. You’ll see many people, and not all will be appropriate for the job. You can make this process easier by putting the work in before you ever take the first interview.
Develop a Clear Job Description
Creating a clear and concise job description is the first step in finding the right candidate for the job. The job description should stay updated and accurate. It may include information on the position’s responsibilities, qualifications, and salary range. Creating a clear job posting can help to screen out applicants who may be unqualified, leaving you with more time and energy to spend on prospective hires.
Look Beyond the Standard Candidate Pools
A senior living community is a unique environment that requires empathetic and qualified staff. Residents should feel at home in your community, and a well-rounded staff can offer more support. By looking beyond standard candidate pools, you’ll also have a wider pool of applicants to pick from.
Consider what skills your job applicant needs. For example, care communities need cooks for dining options, and experience with hotel management may be helpful for front desk administration. It can be helpful to hire with a focus on outcomes, meaning you’ll want to picture what an applicant can do for your residents rather than what they are on paper.
Consider Job Shadowing Opportunities
Many people who are new to senior living may not be familiar with the full responsibilities of a role in your community. Working for a senior living community may come with unexpected hurdles, especially when looking after people who need medical attention.
Offering appealing applicants a chance to walk through the community can help them—and you—figure out if it’s a good fit before spending too much time and resources training them.
Increase Internal Hiring
Promoting from within provides current staff opportunities for career advancement and can also help build a sense of loyalty and commitment to the team. In addition, when drawing from trusted employees, you can reduce recruitment and training costs associated with hiring new staff.
Leverage Social Media
Social media can be an effective tool for recruitment if used appropriately, particularly for reaching a younger applicant pool. Choosing and learning the ins and outs of your chosen platform is essential. Many platforms have advanced tools you can use to target specific candidates, promote job openings, and attract potential applicants.
Retaining Staff in Senior Living Communities
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the senior living care industry has a turnover rate of 50%. This amount of turnover can be devastating in an industry that relies on continuing care. High employee turnover can result in employee burnout, increased training costs, and a lower quality of care as you spend more time finding replacements.
Once you hire the best staff you can find, focus your energy on keeping them there.
Provide Competitive Compensation & Benefits
A rewarding salary can often be a determining factor in how long someone chooses to remain in their role, even if they love their job. Senior living communities should conduct regular compensation reviews to pay staff members fairly and competitively.
Providing employee benefits is also a good way for your staff to be as well cared for as your residents are and incentivize them to stick around.
Create a Positive Work Culture
A healthy staff is a happy staff, and that includes mental health. A team that embraces mutual care and camaraderie creates an environment where employees feel valued. Encouraging teamwork and open communication can help build a sense of community among your staff. This care can be as simple as checking in with your team in meetings and asking how they feel about their work.
This work can be stressful, and promoting a healthy work-life balance can help your team be more productive while increasing retention.
Offer Professional Development Opportunities
Employees are typically more likely to stay with a company when they can see a path for growth. You can offer training programs, workshops, and continuing education courses to help your staff develop new skills. Not only will you have a more knowledgeable staff, but you’ll also have employees that trust you to support them.
Recognize & Reward Employee Performance
Everyone wants to know that their hard work is appreciated. Recognizing your staff’s contributions to the community can go a long way in increasing retention. While this could be a recognition program, 75% of people are satisfied with a simple “thank you” for their daily efforts rather than occasional gifts or celebrations.
As long as the appreciation is genuine and heartfelt, most employees value it. In addition, you can pair recognition with professional development opportunities by giving valuable employees a chance to grow their skills.
Finding Staff That Match Your Values
Despite staffing challenges that have arisen as a result of the pandemic, we remain committed to providing solutions that can help your brand flourish. Distinctive Living is here to help support, manage, and grow your senior living team. Connect with us today to learn what our expertise can do for your brand.