U.S. spending on services at long-term facilities is growing rapidly and projected to continue growing at an average rate of 5.2 percent each year until 2024, reaching $274 billion in total spending. But many long-term care facilities face challenges keeping up with this growth due to an industry-wide staffing shortage. In fact, the shortage of paid direct care workers in the U.S. is projected to reach 355,000 by 2040.
Record-low unemployment, limited interest in long-term care careers and other factors contribute hiring challenges. But some of the best long-term care facilities understand how to set their organizations up as great places to work, helping them attract and hire top talent. Fortune recently released a list of the “Best Workplaces for Aging Services.”
For the list, more than 223,000 at-home care and senior housing employees completed surveys on their work experience. Specifically, employees were asked to measure the workplace experience in areas including respect, fairness, and leadership competence. Whether or not your organization is on the list, below we’ve outlined a few key tips for you to turn your long-term care facility into a great place to work.
Employees Contribute to a Strong Employment Brand
With so much competition to fill long-term care jobs – including other long-term care facilities, doctors’ offices and hospitals, among other employers – building your employment brand is key to attracting the right job applicants and providing top-notch care. Your employment brand is just as important as the overall brand you build to attract new patients at your long-term care facility.
In the “Best Workplaces for Aging Services” survey, employees responded positively to statements such as:
- This is a great place to work
- My work has special meaning: This is not “just a job”
- When I look at what I accomplish, I feel a sense of pride
- When you join the company, you are made to feel welcome
- People celebrate special events around here
If you support a similar workplace culture at your long-term care facility and employees enjoy working on your team, you can leverage their feedback as an opportunity to build your employment brand and attract new qualified employees. For example, you can highlight written employee testimonials on your website’s careers page or create a video of employees talking about their firsthand experience. This will excite prospective job applicants about joining your team.
Beyond sharing employee testimonials, you can also more effectively fill your long-term care jobs by answering the “What’s in it for me?” question for job seekers on your careers page and in your job descriptions. In these resources, focus on what your long-term care facility has to offer – such as your benefits, company culture, opportunities for training and career growth, and awards.
Hireology data found that employers with a strong employment brand can boost applicant-to-hire conversion tenfold compared to those without an employment brand strategy in place.
Top Long-Term Care Facilities Build Relationships with Employees
In today’s competitive hiring market, it’s critical to keep the qualified employees you already have on staff engaged and excited to work for your team, rather than start the hiring process from scratch. And some of the best long-term care facilities included on the Fortune list understand the importance of making employees feel valued and motivated to do great work.
One of the organizations featured in an article about the elder care talent shortage, Ohio Living, has nearly 25 percent lower employee turnover than the industry average – and attributes better patient care to this low turnover rate. Many factors contribute to Ohio Living’s staffing success. These include: creating an environment where employees feel inspired and invited to contribute ideas, recognizing individual employee accomplishments and building meaningful relationships with employees.
You can take a similar approach at your long-term care facility to ensure all employees are motivated to stick with your team for the long haul. In addition to what Ohio Living has implemented, another way to keep your employees engaged is by building out defined career paths and providing the resources needed to set them up for success – such as training opportunities and certification reimbursements.
When employees realize your long-term care facility is invested in their growth and success, they’ll be more likely to continue doing great work for your team – and might even refer other qualified job seekers in their networks for your open roles.
Building a strong employment brand and fostering relationships with employees are only small pieces of the puzzle when it comes to overcoming hiring challenges at long-term care facilities. Your team also needs to have an effective recruitment marketing and hiring process in place, to ensure you reach job seekers where they’re looking for open roles and keep candidates engaged each step of the way. Learn how Hireology can help set you up for hiring success – schedule a demo today.