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How Senior Care Facilities Can Find and Keep the Best Employees

04-27-2021
Nadia Hercules

Senior care facilities house one of our most precious populations: those that witnessed important events in American history, such as the first man to walk on the moon and the civil rights movement, and who shook their hips to Elvis Presley and took their dates to drive-ins. According to the National Institute on Aging, the population of Americans over 65 is booming and estimated to double within the next 25 years, with the U.S. Census having predicted that the number will hit 83.7 million by 2050.

As the number of seniors continues to increase, the amount of highly skilled employees to care for them must also rise to keep up with the demand. However, it’s no secret that finding and retaining employees in this industry is the number one obstacle many senior care facilities face today. In 2020, that became – well – even more challenging! As the first wave of COVID-19 sped up in April, what had been a highly competitive market quickly became one struggling to find and retain talent, with significant staff shortages due to illness, quarantines, and fears of infecting residents, loved ones, and themselves.

Hiring and retaining the best and brightest for your facility can be difficult and cost plenty of time and money. As you probably know, there’s a lot that goes into it: crafting and posting descriptions, reviewing applications, conducting interviews, onboarding and training, and everything else. And once you have new employees, it doesn’t stop there; the matter then becomes how you can keep them.

If you’re wondering what can be done to make things easier, we’ve gathered some essential techniques for finding and holding onto your top talent below.

How Can You Hire the Best of the Best While Also Simplifying the Process?

Talent Acquisition Software

How long is your staff staying with you? If it’s less than a year, that could mean that your current recruiting process is not yielding new hires that stay with your organization. So, you should start by looking at this process and seeing if you can update it, and if you don’t already use one, consider talent acquisition software to optimize your human resources work.

After identifying the need for a new position and crafting the job description, applicant tracking software can help you post and advertise your new role directly on the largest job boards. With the right program, you can even purchase ads on sites like Indeed, Monster, and CareerBuilder from one dashboard, increasing the amount of job seekers able to see your post with ease.

A good applicant tracking system also streamlines all of your information into onboarding and payroll and helps you build a pipeline of candidates, identify your best sources for applications, and refer inexperienced applicants to training. Applicants are applying to all of your competitors in the area and non-competitors from other industries, so the speed at which you communicate and utilize technology to offer the best overall experience becomes a critical differentiator in getting these candidates working for your facility.

Ready for Next Steps?

Once you’ve narrowed down your candidates, you can schedule their interviews and other events through the calendar function within the applicant tracking system. The right software will also allow you to manage the process with custom workflows, rating templates, and email templates and can generate reports to monitor how your applicants are reaching you, with breakdowns by source.

Then when you start interviewing, make sure that you are only contacting qualified candidates and that your work conditions are designed to meet candidates’ needs, expectations, and requirements.

Once They’ve Said Yes, How Do You Keep Them?

State-of-the-Art Onboarding

You’ve found one or more ideal candidates and made an offer, they’ve said yes, and you’re excited since they’re exactly what you’re looking for – now how will you impress them? What does your onboarding look like?

If you have manual onboarding, you’re not only making it difficult for yourself but are also giving your new hires the wrong impression from the start. No one enjoys filling out a gazillion forms or a skyscraper of paperwork on their first day, and the more manual the process, the more room for errors – errors that can be costly and make your new hires want to leave before they’ve even started. With an easy-to-use onboarding program, your new employees can get started on their paperwork early, making their first day special.

But don’t just take our word for it: Based on the Society for Human Resources Management, onboarding is a crucial time to impress your new employees and leave them with a lasting impression. If you start off with a great onboarding experience, 69% of your employees are more likely to stay with you for three years (SHRM).

Training and Development

We all know that your employees are your greatest asset, but this next fact may be a little more surprising: According to LinkedIn, 94 percent of employees would stay with their organization longer if it invested in learning and development. That’s why it’s imperative for you to work with both your new hires and existing staff to identify needs that can be targeted with ongoing training and education programs.

In a day and age where everything is digital and easily accessible online, there’s no reason not to give your employees the option to access learning material from anywhere at any time. Platforms such as the Learning Management System powered by Nevvon can offer training and education to all your departments and locations, on topics including continuum of care, bedside manners, dementia, COVID-19, HIPPA, and ADL.

This will enable your employees to give high-quality care to your patients, resulting in happier, more satisfied clients, which – as you know – can lead to referrals and generate additional business. In the long run, investment in education will promote general safety and patient satisfaction as well as employee success and retention, altogether contributing to a higher ROI.

Financial Freedom – Pay Options!

Due to the demand in skilled nursing but shortage of available staff, your employees are probably working long hours. If you want to keep them, you have to make sure you pay them right, which can include providing the freedom to choose how they are paid. Especially in times of crisis like the current pandemic, you want to make sure your employees will get paid on time and without needing to physically go to the office or bank.

Paycards

Based on the American Payroll Association, about 10% of employees in the U.S. are “unbanked” and unable to set up direct deposit, but employers can offer the option of paying these employees with paycards, like those provided by Netspend. Paycards are like debit cards; an employer can deposit pay onto a paycard, and then the employee can access their funds using an ATM machine or by using their paycards to make purchases. Netspend allows employees to not only have access to their hard-earned income but also the ability to manage their finances, especially useful during challenging times like these.

Access to Earned Wages

Besides paycards, another great perk is giving your employees the option to access their earned pay at an earlier time than pay day, right when they need it: Our recent partnership with DailyPay allows you to do just this. With DailyPay, you’ll be able to easily integrate your employees’ tracked hours with your payroll, and whenever your employees need access to their earned wages, they’ll be able to access those funds and transfer them to a paycard or an account via direct deposit. Based on a recent study by DailyPay, employers who offer a daily pay benefit experience are able to cut savings and also, on average, have a reduction in absenteeism and 50% reduction in turnover; additionally, 74% employees using DailyPay reported that it has helped them reduce their financial stress, leading to higher productivity at work.

If you’re interested in learning more about all of the HCM software solutions we provide for senior care facilities, check out our Senior Care page.

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