The global economy’s labor crisis is something that the senior housing industry knows all too well. Senior living communities have been struggling with high employee turnover rates long before the pandemic and unfortunately, COVID-19 made matters worse. “According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nursing homes and residential care facilities lost nearly 13% or 380,000 workers between February and July 2020 (seniorlivingnews.com).”
Beyond pay concerns and demanding job requirements, Forbes shares that the restrictive “immigration policies further shrunk the supply of foreign-born workers, who [typically] account for about one-quarter of all direct care workers.” And, due to the pandemic, staffing shortages increased due to health concerns, and an inability to find child care while schools stopped in-person learning, forcing senior housing workers to leave their jobs.
Working to Bounce Back
In a recent survey, the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) reported that 78% of nursing homes and 61% of assisted living communities are concerned workforce challenges might force them to close. In the same survey, 7 out of 10 long-term care facilities say a lack of qualified candidates and unemployment benefits have been the biggest obstacles in hiring new staff. Unfortunately, this is an obstacle that many industries are facing, including healthcare, restaurants, and schools.
To overcome these obstacles, senior living communities must engage in innovative solutions to combat staffing shortages. As a digital marketing agency focused on the senior housing industry, Markentum understands the business and offers creative integrated marketing solutions that can position senior living employers in front of key audiences and markets.
Change the Persona Perspective
Typical ‘senior living professionals’ are switching careers all the more. They are choosing to leave the industry for one where they may have no experience - and they are getting hired.
Why not have the same mentality in the recruitment process? Change the typical persona perspective and be open to looking for qualified candidates who may not have senior living experience but have the qualifications to grow into a great employee.
You have the opportunity to separate yourself from the crowd by reaching your audience with recruitment messages that stick. Start attracting these potential employees by developing copy and visuals that make applicants stop and think (or click).
Focus on the Employee
With so many industries and senior living communities to choose from, how can an employer attract their ‘perfect candidate’ and encourage them to apply? According to LinkedIn, 75% of candidates will research a company’s reputation before applying for a job opening. Show off what you love about senior living; showcase a company culture that workers can’t resist.
While compensation plays a factor, employees want to work for a company where they can grow - professionally and personally. While many companies are offering sign-on bonuses or referral bonuses, these are short-term benefits. “People want recognition and they want to know they have a career path in order to better themselves, their lives and the lives of their families (seniorlivingnews.com)” - focus on creating career pathways for your employees.
I Want You [insert Uncle Sam poster]
Now that a senior living employer may know who they want and who they are, it’s time to recruit! Through our digital marketing services, Markentum creates campaigns that highlight what makes the industry and each senior living community special. From blogs and social media to video testimonials and email marketing, there are multiple ways to attract and connect with your audience.
But, like any senior living advertising effort, you have to keep these points in mind:
- Don’t just set it and forget it. Don’t just focus on getting an ad/campaign live; you have to make sure it is working. Are you generating interest/clicks? Are you attracting applicants?
- Track your efforts. The ultimate success of a recruitment campaign is about reporting how many applicants can be attributed to each marketing source. This allows you to see what is working and what isn’t, so you can focus your efforts (and your marketing dollars) on the places that will generate the strongest results.
As occupancy rates rise, there is an ever-increasing demand for hiring among senior living communities. We encourage you to reach out to Markentum to learn more about our integrated marketing solutions and how we can help!