The demand for long-term care employees is on the rise, as spending on nursing facilities and continuing care retirement communities is projected to grow at an average rate of 5.2 percent per year until 2024, reaching $274 billion. But while demand for long-term care services increases, facilities face challenges filling a growing number of open roles.
Many job seekers have the misconception that long-term care workers are overworked and underpaid, and that there’s limited room for growth in long-term care careers. But this isn’t the case – in fact, Fortune recently released a list of the “Best Workplaces for Aging Services,” which highlights long-term care facilities and similar organizations that are committed to supporting a top-notch employee experience.
It’s important for your facility to change the perception of long-term care careers in order to attract qualified employees for your open roles. Below, we’ve outlined some tips to do so.
Build a Compelling Employer Brand
Despite the low unemployment rate, across industries, 72 percent of adults keep an eye on open jobs no matter their current employment status. But with unemployment at the lowest rate in more than 50 years, your facility needs to sell job seekers on the true opportunity long-term care careers present to get them excited about joining your team.
Your employer brand should include job descriptions that answer the “What’s in it for me?” question for job seekers. In your job description, focus on what your long-term care facility has to offer – such as your benefits, company culture and awards. And while many long-term care positions require certain certifications, your job description should also highlight preferred competencies, rather than specific required experience. For example, let job seekers know you’re looking for employees with personality traits such as compassion and level-headedness.
In addition to great job descriptions, your business needs a strong career site, as the most engaged candidates apply through career sites. Your career site should include details on the workplace culture, career progression and overall benefits to help top candidates see the opportunity your team offers. Hireology data found that a career site is 15x more cost-effective than job boards when it comes to attracting quality candidates.
Outline Defined Career Paths
One of the misconceptions of the industry is that long-term care careers offer limited room for growth. But today’s top job seekers aren’t simply looking for an exchange of time for money. Rather, they demand clearly defined career paths and opportunities for long-term growth. Your career site is a great place for you to change the perception of a long-term care career by outlining specific career paths.
Your team might offer career progression from certified nursing assistant to director of nursing. Or on the administrative side, the career path might range from administrative assistant to front desk manager. Highlight all possible paths on your career site to encourage top talent to apply and help them understand the career growth potential on your team.
Continuously Train Employees
Once you have outlined career paths, it’s important to ensure employees have the tools they need to succeed on your team. If your facility claims to have set career paths but no measurable goals or training resources to help employees rise through the ranks, employees will quickly get frustrated and look elsewhere for open roles.
Set employees up for success by first having them meet with their managers to understand key goals and milestones they need to achieve in order to reach the next level for their careers. Then, outline training steps they can take to move up the ladder. You have countless options when it comes to training resources for your employees – including skills assessments, online training videos and certification courses, to name a few. You can also bring in outside training experts or guest speakers for hands-on skills training. And remember to refresh your training resources on a regular basis, as industry regulations and requirements evolve over time.
Hiring has never been more challenging for employers across industries – and long-term care facilities face added challenges due to the increasing demand for talent. For additional tips on driving improved hiring results at your long-term care facility, read our resource, “The Seamless Hiring Process Playbook.”