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Senior Care Industry Getting Squeezed by Labor Shortage: How to Release the Pressure and Find Qualified Workers

We are living in a time whereby Senior Care related jobs (and all of the Healthcare industry) are more plentiful than the labor supply of prepared and trained persons. This trend is here to stay for many years to come.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of healthcare occupations is projected to grow 14 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations, adding about 1.9 million new jobs. Healthcare occupations are projected to add more jobs than any of the other occupational groups.
The American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging ( reports that, “Staff recruitment and retention is the amongst the top concerns of Senior Care Executives.” In much of the research, attracting and keep qualified workers is repeatedly the number one concern of hiring managers in the senior care industry. 
Whether you are an Owner, Operator, Executive Director, Skilled Nursing Care Professional or a Department Manager, it is vital to the success of residential community that you put in place an ongoing, proactive recruiting plan.
All of your recruiting efforts must start with a foundation of principles that must remain intact and unwavering.  These are the basic tenets, or building blocks, of effective recruiting for the senior care industry:

1. Successful recruiting and successful marketing adhere to the very same philosophies. They are built upon the same concepts of excellent service, consistency and ethical standards. Just as you market to raise awareness that your property is an ideal place for senior living, so shall you market within your community that your organization is an outstanding choice in which to work!

2. Recruiting is a well-planned, proactive, on-going process. “Reactionary recruiting” leads to poor hiring decisions, poor placement decisions, loss of business, loss of reputation, and loss of revenue.

3. NSR: Never Stop Recruiting. You may not always be hiring, but you are always recruiting! Keeping your cache of talent full so that when you need to hire a staff member, you already have a reserve of talent is an example of proactive recruiting. Keep your eyes open where ever you go- restaurants, on planes, when shopping, etc.

4. NSI: Never Stop Interviewing. Be willing to interview walk-in’s or those without an appointment. If you won’t, your next “star” will be walking right across the street to your competitor!

5. Top talent is rarely without a job and when they are, they tap their personal and professional network.

6. Recruiting is an assertive role. Just as most successful marketing/sales persons are self confident and believe passionately in their product or service, recruiters must also exude enthusiasm for their roles.

7. Referrals are King! Referrals are the unwavering, irrefutable, most efficient and effective method of recruiting new employees and new residents! (Again, see the similarities between marketing for new residents and new employees?!) If employee referrals are not your number one most effective recruiting strategy, find out why and make every effort to change it!

8. Employees are your most vital customer. Because you are in a service and “people-focused” business, your employees are the core of your organization. Residents much prefer to see the same reliable and caring faces as part of the staff rather than an ever-changing parade of strangers.

9. Ethics Rule all the Rules. Great recruiters are never ‘poachers,’ truth-benders or ‘cannibals.’ Never overtly recruit from competitors, nor speak negatively of your competitors. Being renowned for your adherence to the highest of business ethics will serve you, and your reputation, far greater than engaging in discreditable acts.

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