Rebecca McNeil asks this question: Do you treat your candidates like customers, with the goal of providing them excellent customer service?

For talent acquisition professionals in long-term care, it’s important to think of candidates as customers. By taking the customer service values that apply to a long-term care’s staff and residents and applying them to applicants, long-term care organizations will be able to provide a more positive candidate experience. More importantly, a thoughtful and meaningful candidate experience is going to equal is going to resonate with those customer-focused potential employees who you want to hire for your community. Recruiting Long-term care organizations must ensure that they’re attracting the right candidates for their organization. Here are some things to consider when evaluating the application process:

  • What does the career page look like?
  • Does the online application reflect the organization’s mission, vision and values?

For example, acute care organizations such as Children’s of Alabama don’t just post job descriptions on their Careers webpage, they also write blog posts and created employee testimonial videos explaining why they love working at Children’s of Alabama. Laura Lavender, Recruiter at Children’s of Alabama, said, “Our career website is always evolving. We have weekly meetings with the recruiting team to identify how to reach out to candidates in ways that are respectful of all generations. We use videos, pictures, and stories to give applicants insight into our culture.” By creating relevant content and utilizing social media to build brand awareness and connect with job candidate applicants, healthcare organizations will be more likely to attract employees who are a cultural fit for the organization.


At Heritage Community of Kalamazoo, their Commitment to their Customers states: “We, at all times, strive to treat others as they would like to be treated.” When interviewing in long-term care, hiring managers and recruiters must share the mutual understanding that candidates should be treated as a customer. Long-term care organizations should strive to make candidates feel comfortable and provide them with mentorship throughout the process. Talent acquisition professionals can form relationships with candidates by giving them advice when appropriate, by taking notes during their conversations, and by finding out what is important to them. An example of appropriate candidate mentoring would be encouraging a candidate to talk about an impressive past work experience with the hiring manager. Forming relationships with candidates, means recruiters will be more likely to identify those who are relationship-based caregivers, which is especially critical in long-term care.


A great candidate experience does not end with the offer acceptance. Employee onboarding has a lasting impact. According to Myra Johnson, VP of HR at Heritage Community of Kalamazoo, “The first day helps set the tone.” Make sure new employees have an enjoyable onboarding experience — not a “paperwork marathon.” With the help of applicant tracking software, a majority of the technicalities of employee onboarding can be handled well before their first day. With documents posted online and the electronic submission function, many of the forms are out of the way before a new employee begins. When designed properly, the onboarding process can bring a human element to the process and help HR develop connections between new hires. Through the automation of administrative paperwork, HR is free to focus on more engaging information, such as reinforcing organizational culture and striving to build long-lasting relationships with new hires. “Orientation and onboarding is about immersing people in our mission and values and customer service,” said Johnson. “We treat them like they’re very special — and they are. We get great feedback from our new staff.” When Heritage Community hired a new director of nursing, she commented about how “friendly, warm and caring” the whole experience had been for her.  After only a week, she talked about how even just by going through the application process, she felt like home. She knew that this was the place that she wanted to work. By handling a majority of onboarding logistics before the start date, HR teams are able to create a more productive and welcoming experience for the new hire. The onboarding experience should reinforce organizational values and be a positive experience for new hires. When a long-term care organization improves their recruiting, interviewing and onboarding processes, they’re improving the candidate experience. When applicants have a positive experience, it reflects well upon the HR team and the organization as a whole. Furthermore, when talent acquisition professionals go the extra mile to facilitate a thoughtful recruitment process, they are likely to hire better candidates who will provide high-quality resident care. Learn how you can harness talent management technology to promote person-centered care through your employees. Download our white paper: How Talent Management Influences Person-Centered Care to learn more.