How can we attract a new generation of skilled, dedicated people to senior care?

By Susan Saldibar

Recruiting Tips for a New Generation of Employees

Go to any conference on senior living and you’ll hear the same lament: How can we attract a new generation of skilled, dedicated people to senior care?

Sodexo, a Senior Housing Forum partner, is actually doing something about it. Their recently released “2016 Workplace Trends” report is worth a read. The report helps untangle the complexities of today’s recruitment environment, breaking them down to actionable challenges with solutions to capture the minds and hearts of a bright new generation of talent.

8 Ways to Wake Up Your Recruiting Strategy

They have also put together an impressive list of creative new work/recruitment concepts that is spot on with the new millennial mindset and work/life balance model. Here are a few ideas to get on the agenda before your next planning meeting:

  1. Stay Connected Networks: Private networks set up by community to keep in touch with past employees and keep them informed as new positions become available.

  2. Linking to LinkedIn Connections: Encouraging employees to keep up-to-date LinkedIn profiles and to post messaging that encourages friends and colleagues to connect with community.

  3. Military Recruitment: Getting involved in “Stand Down” events and career fairs geared toward vets. Increasing awareness and providing information as to the benefits of working in senior care.

  4. Trade Schools: Building relationships with local trade schools, such as culinary schools, to encourage graduates to explore chef positions available in senior living.

  5. Building “Brand Ambassadors”: Ensuring that all employees understand and are comfortable with articulating to those around them the positive aspects of senior care; encouraging their colleagues and friends to consider senior care careers.

  6. Recruitment by Walking Around (RBWA): Making it part of each employee’s role to recruit talent whenever possible. In other words, recruitment is not just the job of the talent acquisition team.

  7. ROSI (Resource Operations Support Individuals) Bench: Assigning key employees to float, rather than be tied to specific positions. They fill in when needed for about a year, after which they are expected to become permanent employees. This encourages new talent to step into senior care and, assuming they like the experience, settle into a career.

  8. Per Diem Positions: Individuals are “on call” when there is a need. These are part-time positions that may appeal to stay at home parents, students or retirees.

Putting Recruiting Ideas Into Action

The real challenge, according to Sodexo, is putting these ideas into action. Owners and operators of today’s senior living communities may start programs with the best intentions, only to slip back into old recruitment habits when challenges arise.

But that, according to Sodexo, would be a mistake. The workers of tomorrow have blazed their own path and are calling more of the shots. Those operators who can get “outside the box” of conventional recruiting strategies and into the heads and hearts of these new employees will thrive.

For more information on creative recruitment strategies, visit the new Sodexo educational website.