When it comes to recruiting staff for your senior living community, gone are the days of multi-stage interview processes and other inefficient methods of hiring. Efficiency and making sure you’re hiring the right people for your community, not just on a work level but those who can provide strong relationships with residents, are key to having motivated and successful employees.

Recently, Matt Reiners of Eversound interviewed Anthony Orsmbee-Hale, the Vice President of People Operations at Civitas Senior Living, about staffing and staff retention in the modern business world. Orsmbee-Hale gave a lot of tips on staffing, but here are the three you can’t live without.

Tip #1 Keep the Potential Employee Engaged

We don’t often associate human resources with sales and marketing but maybe we should be, according to Orsmbee-Hale.

“Any way that you can automate the recruiting process to keep candidates engaged and I think about it fairly similar to the way that we manage the sales and marketing process… how are you introducing yourself to the consumer or in this case the applicant,” Orsmbee-Hale said. “How are you engaging them in the story and, essentially, how are you setting yourself apart from every other community or company that they’ve applied to?”

It is a competitive market out there. Just as you think about how you sell your community to residents, you need to think about a similar pitch for prospective employees. Every company is special and different for one reason or another so when you’re hiring new employees, the things that differentiate you should be front and center.

Related Content: 5 Places To Post Your Senior Living Job

Tip #2 — Make your company a place people want to work

While it seems obvious, the best way to not only attract new hires but also lower turnover is to make company culture and life one of the most important things in your world.

“Pizza parties are great, you know I love a slice of pizza just like everybody else, but that’s not gonna fix employee retention issues, and I know that’s a hard lesson for many of us to learn, because it feels really good to walk in with the cookie cake and the ice cream and to say, ‘hey we really appreciate all of you’,” said Orsmbee-Hale. “What our employees really want, regardless of whether or not you’re in health care or not, is they want to be able to do really meaningful work, they want to know that the work that they do matters. They want to know that when they show up that it makes a difference.”
Understanding that company culture is more than free stuff or company outings is key to having a true relationship with the people inside your company. To do that you need to be empathetic, be a listener, and really, really listen and take action on the suggestions that are coming out from your team. Be proactive and find solutions.

Tip #3 Human Beings are Deeper than a Resume

While a resume is a decent summary of a person’s working experience, human beings are so much more than they could ever fit on a resume.

“You know if you were to look at my resume you would say, ‘Oh my God, this guy doesn’t know what he wants to do for a career.’ But what I learned in sales, really helps me run a building efficiently. I really understood the impact of finances on a Community, if we offered this incentive. How would that affect my NOI (Net Operating Income) and all of that made me a more effective Executive Director,” said Orsmbee-Hale.

“And then moving into human resources, understanding how the business operates, really helps me understand how I can safely help this individual get the operational end result that they want in a way that protects the company from risk,” Orsmbee-Hale continued. “When you approach it in that way, and the reason that I’m able to do that is because I’ve been fortunate enough to have those experiences, so we really focus on it.”

Taking the time to actually learn, whether through zoom or in person, what a potential employee is passionate about or cares about is infinitely more important than knowing simply what is on a resume. Every human being brings value of some kind to the table, a good interviewer and good hiring personnel should be able to find that value and figure out how it fits into your company.

In conclusion, remember job prospectors are choosing you as much as you are choosing them, so take the time to show the value of working for your facility beyond just a paycheck. Recruiters are seeing more and more importance put on non-monetary benefits of the workplace such as culture and growth opportunities. Carve out time in interviews to learn the values, expectations, and goals of the potential hire and make sure those align with what you are looking for. Those are key factors in finding a solid hire that likely will not show up on a resume. Remember “if you build a great workplace, they will come!”.