Whether you like it or not, a tight job market means that applicants are calling the shots.

By Denise Boudreau-Scott

She applies for a job. You call and tell her about your outstanding organization.  

She should be jumping up and down like a three-year-old on Christmas morning. You know your organization is the answer to all her desperate prayers for an amazing place to work. The solution to all of her workplace woes.

Yet, after she hangs up the phone, the “I don’t knows” creep into her mind. Maybe. Maybe not.

You sit at your desk the day of the interview waiting. Desperately hoping that today is the day you’ll fill that open position.

Then almost inexplicably she doesn’t show. She disappears into thin air and you don’t even know why . . .

Unprofessional? Yes!

Aggravating? Yes!

Uncommon? No.

If it ain’t working, it needs to be fixed!

The above scenario is becoming a common occurrence in many senior living organizations. Whether you like it or not, a tight job market means that applicants are calling the shots.  

Including whether or not they’ll show for the interview they scheduled with you!

The best way to prevent no-shows or cancellations? Build rapport with the applicant early on and get them excited about the chance to work for your organization!

In a world of employee shortages, we can’t continue to do things the same way that we have in the past.

Here are 5 tips to make you stand out from the crowd! Some of them you might find outrageous, but if what you are doing now isn’t working, what do you have to lose by trying them all?

  • Build an initial relationship so they can’t wait to meet the person they’ve been interacting with via phone, text or email! Make sure the person interacting with candidates is contagiously enthusiastic. Even if it turns out that they aren’t the right person for the job, their interactions with your organization should be so good that they tell their friends it was one of their best work experiences ever!

  • Send a quick, 1-2 minute video sharing exactly who they’ll be meeting! Include the person’s title, a description of their contributions to the organization and why they are meeting with them. Don’t bore them with a long email! No need to make it fancy or script it out. An iPhone stacked on some books and a little ad lib will work. People want to see the real person they’ll be working for, not some sanitized version.

  • Excite them by sharing what they’ll be working on! It best not be the same boring stuff like every other organization. Forget about the normal tasks. Tell them about the CNA that is actively involved in interviewing new employees from other departments to ensure everyone works together. Or the dietary aide that goes to each new employee orientation to talk about the organization’s mission. Or the housekeeper that prays with residents when she goes into each room. 

  • Let them pick their own interview date and time! At Drive, we use a free service called Book Me. You can set the parameters of what days and time you leave open, plus the system automatically links to your calendars so you never have to update it once you set those parameters! Want to try it out and learn how we can help you with your culture-driven recruitment efforts. Click here and book an appointment with me! 

  • Make it super easy for them to reschedule before the interview time via text, call, or by using Book Me. You can include this information in a short video that you email or text the day before the interview. Share how excited you are to meet them but tell them up front how not showing for the interview impacts you, the residents and the organization if you are sitting around waiting for no reason. 

But I Don’t Have Time

I can hear it already! Who has time for all this? Nobody. There’s also no time for:

  • Setting up more interviews than you need to because of no-shows.

  • Applicants rejecting you because you’re no different than the place down the block that’s hiring.  

  • Waiting for a candidate that never shows.

  • All the frustration that comes from the above! 

These five tips cost zero dollars and take at most about 10 minutes of your time the first time that you try each of them. After that first time, it’s smooth sailing with just some minor tweaks as needed for each candidate. When you try them book some time with me and let me know the outcome! You know how to reach me and I’ll be as excited as a 3-year old on Christmas morning to hear from you!

But wait, there’s more! Bonus Tip:

Ensure the person interacting with potential candidates is a cheerleader for your organization! Recently some organizations I am working with on culture-driven recruitment did a “mystery shop” using an audit tool I provided. They were shocked to hear how nursing assistant candidates were treated when they called asking about employment. You wouldn’t accept it for a resident inquiry, why would you accept it for a team member inquiry?