By Susan Saldibar

It’s been a while since I was VP of sales and marketing for my company, but after watching the latest Workforce Wednesday episode — with Brett Landrum, CEO of Procare HR (a Foresight partner), and Chris Krebsbach, COO of Marquis Senior Communities — I came to a realization:

I really sucked at recruiting.

Seriously, watching them share a ton of hard-earned insights, I realized why my department had become a revolving door of misfits. I didn’t really know what made a great leader, let alone how to recruit one.

Maybe you’re great at that. Maybe you suck at it. Either way, check out the full episode.

It’s fun to watch Brett and Chris tag team back and forth on what goes into great leadership and great hiring. These guys are so in sync with each other. This is what a vendor/client partnership should look like. And each comes at it from his own unique perspective, which is what makes the repartee so meaningful.

Chris, I should note, hails from “the great state of Minnesota,” managing operations for eight highly successful senior living communities throughout Minnesota. They cover all care models, offering private pay and affordable housing options.

Chris and Brett had tons of insights — too many to cover in one article. But here are a few standouts.

On becoming a better leader …

  • Get out on the floor with residents and families. You need those conversations. So do they.
  • Build your own culture “tribe.” I love what Chris had to say here. He is a big believer in leaders cultivating future leaders inside an organization.
  • Don’t “fly-by” the serious discussions. The tough conversations will go a lot better if you take notes and prepare. If you don’t, you’re more likely to end up in the weeds or get off track with other issues.
  • Don’t try to be Steve Jobs. Find your own management style. You can be kind and empathetic and still tackle tough issues.

On hiring a leader …

  • Find out who they really are. Use the interview to cover as many touch points as possible. Get their guard down by being as conversational as possible.
  • Tour one of your communities with them. How do they behave? Do they converse with residents and families?
  • Hire people who are good at the things you’re not good at. That’s how you get a well-rounded team.

On recruiting a great HR partner …

  • Be relentless. After Chris “cyberstalked” Procare HR online, he pummeled Brett with a ton of questions to make sure he understood what kind of an HR partner they were going to be. Would they truly be integrated with their team? What would they bring to the table?
  • Make sure they’re smarter than you. With nine years of experience and the scars to prove it, Procare HR had the answers Chris was looking for. He knew they were the right HR partner to become part of their organization.
  • Make sure they’re good at all the things you’re not good at. I stole this one from the bullet point above, but it makes sense here too. They should not only be the experts in HR, but they should take all the hassles off your back so you can focus on what you’re good at, which is taking care of your residents.

Procare HR is about giving operators an opportunity to get better.

Having a partner like Procare HR has brought a ton of value to Chris and the team at Marquis Senior Communities. In addition to managing payroll, they’ve nailed everything from writing their employee manual to launching smartphone time clock punch-ins to generating employee satisfaction surveys. And a Procare HR rep is in Chris’s meetings twice each week. How often does a partner do that?!

Chris says he looks at each hire as an opportunity to get better. By the looks of it, Procare HR is one of those hires.

Check them out yourself here.