Here is a question that came to me from the new owner of a 16 bed ALF in Florida but it’s a topic everyone is asking about:
How do I find a good administrator?
There are at least three good ways to recruit a facility administrator:
1. State trade associations, such as the Florida Assisted Living Association (FALA) for this reader, and similar groups. Connect with the association to share your need for a new administrator and find if they may be able to put you in touch with anyone, or advertise in their publications, or attend their functions to network with potential candidates.
3. A professional recruiter. While not cheap, recruiters that specialize in this type of position can help you move quickly with qualified candidates. I’d go back to FALA or other trade organizations and ask them who they recommend for recruiting in your area for this type of position.
But many are searing for staff at all levels and not just the administrator. So the question is even more often:
Where do I find good employees?
Staff turnover seems to be a challenge for nearly every operator of assisted living facilities. So when you have an open position, how do you fill it? Here are a few ways to find staff.
- Always be hiring. Now you may not always be filling an open position but you should always be talking to potential staff you meet in other settings, always promoting your facility as the first choice for those looking for jobs, and always making it easy for potential new hires to connect with you.
- Recruit your current staff. That is, recruit your current team to make referrals of new staff who they would like to work with. Your team has friends, family, and life acquaintances who might be looking for a job. When a good staff person makes a recommendation, you’ve already helped to pre-screen that candidate.
- Go to the source. One of the best sources of assisted living staff is the schools that are training nurses and other future health care providers. Making a connection to those schools through recruiting fairs, internship programs, and offering access to your facility can put you at the front of the line with those who will be seeking a job soon.
There are many other options available. And creative assisted living providers know how to find good employees. I’m sure some of our readers may have comments below with other ideas.
But here’s the key
I’ll say it again – some turnover is inevitable. But the key to a good staff is keeping people around for the long term.
Have you ever visited a restaurant over time and found the same people working there? I have. And it’s often that place with long-term staff that has the best food and the best experience. There is just something about consistency in the people you see when visiting that restaurant.
It’s really no different in assisted living. One of the things residents and their families appreciate is getting to know the staff – once! When you have a revolving door with new staff coming and going, it doesn’t create a consistent experience for your residents and it’s often an indicator of other problems.
So do what you can to retain your best staff. That may mean competing to keep them with pay raises, good benefits, and a pleasant work environment. And sometimes, just making sure they feel appreciated is the thing that makes all the difference.
If you can reduce your employee turnover, you’ll have a competitive advantage in your market and a great place for your residents to call home.