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Three senior living staff members interviewing a woman for a position on their team

3 Unusual Hiring Practices That Work

If staffing issues keep you up at night, you’re not alone. In fact, people in the senior living industry are currently more concerned with staff recruitment and retention than anything else, according to a report from architecture and planning firm Perkins Eastman.

Luckily, several innovative senior care providers have found surefire ways to hire the right employees and guarantee they stick around. They might surprise you. Here are some of these providers’ best hiring tips:

1. Include a Test-Run
Hiring the wrong employees ends up being “a waste of time and money,” Terrence Ranjo, the director of nursing at Maple Manor Rehab Center of Novi, said during a session at the 2016 PointClickCare SUMMIT in Orlando. Ranjo knows this from experience.

Consequently, Ranjo makes sure nurses interviewing at the skilled nursing facility in Novi, MI, endure a three-day “trial period,” during which they shadow nurses who already work at the facility. The potential new hires are paid for their work, and Ranjo gets to observe how they perform before they’re hired.

“On the first day, I ask her if she likes [the job],” Ranjo explained. “If she says yes, [she] can come back tomorrow. If I don’t think [she’s] a good fit, we’ll have to let [her] go.”

This process makes it less likely that Maple Manor will hire people who aren’t right for the job, or who don’t have a good work ethic, Ranjo said. “It’s a win-win situation, for the facility and for them,” he said.

2. Get Extremely Personal
At Naperville, IL-based Charter Senior Living, new employees’ personal goals and desires take center stage, founder and CEO Keven Bennema told Senior Housing News in March 2016.

When new people are first hired at a Charter community, current employees partner with them to ensure their responsibilities develop as they’ve planned — taking newcomers’ career goals into consideration every step of the way.

“It’s going to be a very customized and individualized approach to helping all of our team members grow as much as they want to in their current roles, or to become managers, to become clinicians,” Bennema told Senior Housing News. “That encompasses what I think is a much different approach to partnering with your employees on their career development.”

Employees are also financially incentivized as they progress and improve their skills, Bennema noted.

3. Make Hiring a Team Effort
At some senior living communities, hiring new employees is a team effort.

That’s the case at Edgewater Pointe Estates, an independent living, assisted living, and skilled nursing community operated by Acts Retirement-Life Communities in Boca Raton, FL.

When Edgewater decides to hire someone new, the employees who will be working most closely with the soon-to-be newcomer get together to discuss what qualities the new hire should ideally possess. These include desired skills, required knowledge and appropriate behaviors, Edgewater Pointe Estates Nursing Director Carol DuMond Stryker told McKnight’s Senior Living in November 2016.

After the employees agree what will be required of the new hire, they come up with specific interview questions and conduct the interviews together. Then, employees’ impressions are factored into the ultimate hiring decision.

The new hiring process has a high success rate, Stryker told McKnight’s. In fact, 93% of the employees hired through the new process were still working at the community and performing well as of last November, she said.

Hiring new employees doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Armed with these three innovative strategies, providers are equipped to find the right staff for their community. Once you’ve attracted the right staff, the next step is retaining them.

Learn more by watching Tackling Turnover with Employee Engagement below:


July 17, 2017