By Susan Saldibar

Just as the pandemic changed how prospective residents feel about living in senior living communities, so has it changed the way prospective employees feel about working in them. And it’s for reasons we all know by now: lack of childcare, need for better pay, and safety concerns; capped off by career changes. The result of months spent re-thinking goals and lifestyles. Just what this industry needs right now, right?

I spoke recently with Sally Kellam, Vice President of Client Service for SageAge (a Foresight partner) about this period of re-alignment we seem to be entering. And what they are doing to help their clients get their communities fully staffed and back on the map again.

You Have the Tools – Are You Using Them Correctly?

One point she continues to drive home to marketers is that you can’t afford to leave any tool on the table anymore. Some of the most readily available tools you have right now are digital. The big guns being your website and your social media channels. The good news is that they are not only accessible, it doesn’t require rocket science to start using them.

What it does require, however, is a strategy and a commitment to transforming your current posting schedule into one that is consistent and targeted as well as engaging in a meaningful way with your future recruits.

“Employment has changed dramatically,” Sally says. “No longer is there just one way to apply for a job. Prospective employees aren’t coming into your community to apply. That means you need to use your third-party tools to successfully manage online job postings and promote your community.”

How to Combat Negative Impressions

Messaging is key. How do you combat the negative impressions that are held by so many prospective employees? Sally has some suggestions:

  • Strategy cannot be one-size-fits-all. You need to match your social media platform to the types of positions and to the demographics of your targets. That goes for messaging as well. “Inconsistent messaging can deter prospects from applying as they do “research” in advance to see if your community is one they want to apply to,” Sally says.
  • What do your social media and online reputation say about you? Do your posts highlight your mission and values? Is it clear to outsiders that your community is a great place to work? “Inconsistent messaging can deter prospects from applying, as they will be doing research in advance to see if your community is the one they should apply to,” Sally says.

Orchestrated for Maximum Results

Here are 10 tactics that SageAge recommends to their clients:

  1. Post jobs to a special careers page on your website. Some communities even create separate websites dedicated to careers. Your website should include testimonials from employees, perks, and other reasons job seekers would want to work for you. LinkedIn is a good tool to nurture prospective employees as well as to recruit new applicants.
  2. Post jobs to all your key social channels, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.
  3. Post jobs on Indeed and other third-party websites.
  4. Make sure all platforms where you have listings have updated profiles, images and updated fields with descriptions.
  5. Conduct job fairs on campus or at related locations. Be sure to post these events online.
  6. Explore paid advertising. It can rapidly extend your reach and allow you to tailor to specific geographic and demographic targets.
  7. Showcase lifelong learning employment opportunities across social (CEUs, etc.).
  8. Connect with local colleges and universities to “headhunt” new grads or those looking for summer employment.
  9. Spotlight employee accolades on your social media channels. This can include things like work anniversaries, certifications of team members, etc.
  10. Stay on top of reviews. Do everything possible to ensure online reviews are positive. Ask happy employees to post reviews.

Consistency is key for all the above. Don’t let any channel sit unattended. Keep evaluating how you are doing and make necessary adjustments to posting and messaging.

“You should be regularly asking yourself ‘What does our social media and online reputation say about us? Are we posting regularly? Are we showcasing our community from both a resident and employee perspective? Are we showing why our community is a great place to work?’ These are all key to success,” Sally says.

SageAge provides assistance in all areas of marketing and integrated growth strategies. You can contact them to learn more about how they have transformed senior living communities.