Recruiting and Retention for Senior Living Communities

When you’re working in such a specific niche as healthcare and the senior living space, how do you recruit and retain employees at different levels? Are the tactics you use the same with different positions? 
 
At a high level, make sure you have a great social media presence. List your benefits on your site (and in job postings) and offer a hiring/referral bonus. This tells potential candidates and current employees that you value their skills and experience. 

Social Media Supports Senior Living Marketing

How do you maintain an active presence on social media? This is where your candidates are conducting research to determine whether your community’s culture, atmosphere and ideals fit their requirements.
 
Social media is also crucial for retention…especially on Facebook and LinkedIn. Use your Facebook page (or create a Facebook Group) to remind employees of holiday events coming up, team outings, etc. Then post photos of your employees at these events, post about their work anniversaries and anything you can think of to get them involved with their coworkers. Show appreciation for your employees by acknowledging their hard work in a public way.    

Employee Reviews Make a Difference

Ask your employees to post a review for your community on Glassdoor and Indeed. It helps the review process if you know that these employees are happy with their work, but don’t insist on a positive review. Potential candidates will see these reviews and feel more connected to your community culture and team. 
 
Bonus: Make sure these profiles are updated with your latest logo and business description. Add photos of staff at the office, at lunch or out volunteering. Also, include any awards you’ve won (like “Best Place to Work”).

Hiring and Referral Bonuses are a Win-Win

Hiring Bonus: One way to stand out from the competition is to offer a hiring bonus. Not all senior living communities can afford it, but in some cases a bonus can be cheaper than paying a head hunter’s fee. 
 

Say it first – Candidates will read the first sentence or two of your job posting, then decide whether to continue reading from there. Offer the bonus at the very beginning of the job posting to capture their interest right away and persuade them to continue reading the rest of the job description. 

 
Referral Bonus: Offer the same amount as a referral bonus that you are offering as a signing bonus for new hires. Of course, there are a few stipulations. Add a clause including verbiage to the effect of “Candidate must successfully work for 90 days before referral bonus is applied.” 
 

Retention perk – When you extend the referral bonus to both the new hire and the current employee who made the referral, your current great employee is more likely to help you recruit other great employees like him/her/them. And he/she/they will get to work with their friends. Now, that’s a win.

Applying for Senior Living Positions Should be Easy

Candidates these days are tech savvy – and they have expectations. 
 
If you make it hard to apply, they won’t apply. It’s that simple. Here are a couple of tactics you can use to make it easy to apply for your awesome HR, RN or custodial position at your assisted living home or other community. 
 
  1. Add your job to LinkedIn 
  2. Add a plugin to your site so they can apply with their LinkedIn profile
  3. Add a plugin to your site so the application auto-populates when they upload their resume
  4. Add your careers or positions page to the top menu on your site
Of course, if it’s too simple, you may get a bunch of unrelated applicants (we’ve seen this happen with Facebook Jobs.) So, a certain level of complexity is warranted. For example, if your application contains 2-3 pages of questions, this length is the sweet spot for simple-meets-complex. This length ensures you will receive applications from candidates who are truly dedicated and interested in your community and not just applying because it’s easy.

Benefits on your Website Should Be Varied

One major crowd pleaser you cannot afford to avoid is the benefits section of your careers, positions or culture page on your website. 
 
Candidates want work-life balance, health insurance, retirement options and vacations to name a few of their most-valued benefits. List these on your website – and in your job postings on external sites — to lure referrals and excite candidates to apply for your senior living community jobs. 
 
Having a list of benefits handy is also key to retaining your current employees. They may not know where they saw their employee handbook last, and adding these benefits to the site can quickly re-assure them about vacation time or dental benefits, for example.  
 
If you have any questions at all, don’t hesitate to ask. I have been helping marketers, owners and management executives with their outsourced recruiting and marketing needs for years. Contact me with your questions.