By Steve Moran 

One of the sessions at Synergy, the Senior Dining Association event in Orlando, was a breakout on staffing. The collective group came up with some dynamite ideas. Some will be specific to dining, and others could be used for a variety of positions. Take a look:

  1. Start by naming every single dining venue like it was a restaurant. Then advertise for positions at the restaurant.
  2. Related to point 1: Send applicants to a job landing page that is not a part of the senior living community website. The idea behind all this is that once you get them to your campus — to your community — they will be super enthusiastic about working in your restaurant.
  3. Tell stories about how your team members are changing the lives of residents and families. Right now, today, many many prospective employees are looking for a calling as much as a job.
  4. Offer your team members job flexibility when it comes to working shifts. Make it easy with things like a scheduling app.
  5. Stop doing drug testing (unless required, of course).
  6. Speed to hire is similar to speed to lead for sales teams. Make sure there is someone to respond to job inquiries within moments after they apply.
  7. Don’t make the application process complicated or time-consuming. Ultimately, you will make the decision based on the interview more than the application or resume anyway.
  8. Pay big referral bonuses to existing staff for making a referral. $500-$1,000 per referral.
  9. Post your jobs in Spanish and other languages, depending on ethnic pockets in your geography.
  10. Refresh your job listings regularly. Get rid of job postings that are old. It only takes a few days for a job posting to become stale.
  11. If there are significant ethnic pockets in your employment market pool, look for local publications and websites as places to post your openings.
  12. Make sure your team members feel like they are being heard.
  13. Give your team members the ability to eat on the job. Good food as an added benefit can be hard to walk away from.
  14. Create safe spaces for team members to develop relationships with each other, with residents, and with resident families.

Take and use the ideas that work for you and your organization. Tell us how it goes.