The long-term healthcare industry has faced with staffing challenges for decades. High levels of staff burnout are compounded by competition from other healthcare sectors, resulting in facilities that may be understaffed. As a risk management approach that includes protections like nursing home insurance, being creative with caregiver recruitment can help nursing homes and skilled care facilities overcome the hurdles presented by low application rates. In this guide, we will explore ways to identify and recruit top talent even in a challenging economic environment.
Labor Shortages in Healthcare
For decades, facilities in the long-term care sector have experienced staffing shortages, particularly in qualified caregivers and support staff. There are many factors that contribute to these shortages, including:
- Deficiencies in recruitment and hiring
- Lower wages and fewer benefits as compared to other healthcare sectors
- High workloads
- Workplace safety concerns
- Fewer opportunities for advancement
- Staff burnout
In 2020, the coronavirus pandemic made the staffing shortage even more dire for nursing homes. As COVID-19 spread through healthcare facilities, residents and staff members alike were put at risk, resulting in thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands of illnesses. Facilities already strained by insufficient staffing were pushed to the breaking point as workers were forced to stay home or resigned due to safety concerns. While nursing home insurance is designed to protect against a broad range of liability exposures, facility managers scrambled to find solutions that would help keep residents and remaining staff members safe.
Boosting Recruitment Through Social Media
It is no secret that social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter have revolutionized the digital marketing landscape. These platforms make it easier than ever to connect organizations with consumers, but they can also be leveraged as a powerful recruitment tool.
Forward-thinking healthcare systems and staffing agencies have discovered a positive return on investment when using social media in recruiting efforts. One of the best tips for using social media in recruiting is to create separate recruitment channels to maintain focus. By separating recruitment from the facility’s normal social media channels, this allows prospective candidates to quickly learn more about your organization and apply on the spot. Social media is also ideal for connecting with candidates through direct messaging and tailored informational content about available jobs and the organizational culture.
Using Applicant Tracking Systems
When caregiver jobs become available at nursing homes or other senior care centers, they are filled by one or more candidates. What about the remaining applicants? An applicant tracking system may be a viable solution to re-engage with past candidates as well as employees who previously worked with a given organization. With such a system, recruiters can reach out to previous applicants to determine whether they are still looking for work. These candidates are often referred to as “warm leads” who have already demonstrated at least some of the qualifications and skills needed to fill open jobs. In essence, an applicant tracking system is a database of potential candidates, helping boost recruitment even when current applications are down.
Harnessing Caregivers for Job Fairs
Recruiters in any industry know that job fairs can be great places to engage with prospective candidates. Unfortunately, the recruiters tasked with attending job fairs do not always have the in-depth industry knowledge to address complex questions posed by candidates. To address that potential shortcoming, nursing homes should consider bringing caregivers to job fairs. Caregivers can answer questions while giving candidates a better feel for the working conditions and roles in a given organization, further creating deep connections between the facility and its job candidates.
Barring the availability of caregivers to attend job fairs, they can also be used in other ways to help create a better sense of the workplace environment for candidates. One of the best ways is for caregivers to create short videos of themselves and their workplace roles on social media apps like YouTube, Facebook, or TikTok. Recruiters can share these videos online as well as with candidates at job fairs, giving those candidates a better sense of the organization, the work environment, and the personalities of fellow employees within the facility.
Recruitment of qualified candidates is an important part of an overall risk management strategy. Just like nursing home insurance protects facility assets and leaders, having a robust recruitment system can ensure adequate staffing levels. Even if applications are not flooding recruiters’ inboxes, getting creative with the recruitment process can help nursing homes find qualified candidates to provide outstanding care for facility residents.
About Caitlin Morgan
Caitlin Morgan specializes in insuring assisted living facilities and nursing homes and can assist you in providing insurance and risk management services for this niche market. Give us a call to learn more about our programs at (877) 226-1027.