Finding and retaining dedicated caregivers has always presented challenges for administrators of Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly or RCFEs. Unfortunately, events of the past several years have contributed to a situation where the number of employment openings nationwide is greater than available job seekers to fill them.
In addition, unprecedented numbers of workers continue to quit their jobs to look for better opportunities and more job satisfaction elsewhere. If you are concerned about how these trends could affect your ability to hire caring, dedicated employees for an RCFE you own, manage or plan to open in California, this article offers some strategies you can implement to attract qualified caregivers for your assisted living residents.
Revamp Your Hiring Approach
You may feel discouraged when you read employment statistics. Be aware that many potential employees want more from a position than just a paycheck. A position at a successful assisted living facility can offer more, such as making a difference in a senior’s life.
Don’t be afraid to emphasize this as you recruit new employees with these seven strategies.
1. Devote Sufficient Time To Find the Right Staff
Hiring employees for an assisted living facility is a time-consuming process and requires a systematic approach. At a high level, the following steps cover the essentials of the hiring process:
- Develop an accurate job description that communicates the desired skills needed to fill the position. Involving current employees in the crafting of job descriptions gives a more accurate account of what to include. Bonus tip for standing out to prospective employees: write an engaging overview about your facility that highlights the objectives of the RCFE and highlights why the position you’re filling is important.
- Post the job description on various online job boards. If you have a LinkedIn profile, post the opportunity there. Also, don’t forget to tap your existing social network for introductions to potential employees.
- Review applications as they come in and set aside those that are a match. Consider giving preference to those who have already taken assisted living courses.
- Interview candidates. A best practice is to prepare interview questions in advance. Asking applicants the same set of questions will allow you to compare their answers and help you to address points that are most important to your organization.
Developing an organized hiring process can help locate the right workers for your RCFE, but be realistic about the time and effort needed to fill positions.
Prepare for inevitable disappointments when prospects decline a job offer, change their minds or quit after working a day or two. Learn from any negative experiences and try to avoid similar situations in the future.
Taking the time to carefully hire employees will reward you with less turnover and more qualified employees.
2. Research What Is Most Important to Employees
While dissatisfaction with earnings often tops reasons workers give for quitting, other causes include little hope of moving up to a better position and a lack of respect for employees and their work efforts.
Getting input from your current RCFE employees can help on several levels. Whether you conduct informal conversations or ask workers to fill out a survey, you learn what they value in the workplace and demonstrate you take your employees’ opinions seriously.
3. Consider Characteristics You Value in Your Caretakers
Before incorporating what you learn about employee values in your recruitment strategy, consider traits you desire in an ideal employee. Next, think about where you might find people who exhibit these qualities.
If you listed patience as a valuable attribute, you might contemplate recruiting experienced parents, teacher aides, or people working in customer service at big box stores. Parents whose children are now in school or burned-out workers may be prepared to make a change.
4. Be Ready To Invest in Employee Certification and Training
When looking for a competent administrator to run your facility, you may select a candidate that needs to take the RCFE administrator course. When seeking to hire a caregiver, experience is helpful, but not required. All caregivers must have the California RCFE employee training regardless of past employment in another RCFE.
5. Create a Positive Atmosphere in Your RCFE
The lack of respect many employees feel in their workplaces presents a huge opportunity to set your assisted living facility apart from the competition. Creating a culture of respect, appreciation, and warmth for every person in your RCFE family goes a long way in keeping residents and staff happy.
Options for showing employee appreciation are endless. Some suggestions include:
- Create a space for staff. Transform a lackluster break room into a full-fledged staff lounge. Include comfortable seating, snacks, charging ports for electronics, and other perks that give people an opportunity to decompress and re-energize.
- Give awards for a job well done. Be sure to involve residents in the selection and celebration of the awards.
- Go public with your appreciation. Highlight exemplary employees on your social media accounts.
- Celebrate with your staff. Birthdays and other special occasions (or even non-special occasions like “yay Tuesday”) can be celebrated as a team.
Showing respect and appreciation begins with the RCFE administrator setting the example and expecting employees to respect and appreciate each other as well.
6. Keep the Application Process Simple
Finally, once you have made your facility as satisfying a place to work as possible, streamline the initial application and interview process.
Being available to do an interview when a potential candidate comes by to complete an application, may save you both time later on.
Since many job seekers fill out several applications at the same time, it is important to meet them as soon as possible, talk over their needs and goals to see if they are a good fit, and pursue the next steps if you want them on your team.
7. Make Every Interview a Win-Win
While interviewing applicants before fully vetting their credentials may seem tedious, it is worth the effort. If the candidate is a good match for your facility, you can move forward before another employer snatches the worker up.
You can listen and learn about workers’ values from the applicants. You can also share information about assisted living opportunities and your facility in particular.
Work With an Experienced Training Program
Whether you are hiring an administrator or caregivers, you need a quality vendor to provide administrator certification courses and staff training.
Please contact Assisted Living Education for more information.
People Also Ask
What should I look for in an RCFE administrator program? Whether you’re looking for yourself or your team members, choosing an approved provider of RCFE classes is only the first step in evaluating a program. Here’s what to look for in an RCFE administrator program.