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The Best Way to Retain Assisted Living Staff? Focus on Recruiting

With an ongoing worker shortage, high CNA turnover, and a low number of geriatricians working full time, retention is more important for assisted living communities than ever. The key to retention is effective recruitment. When you have a streamlined application process, you’re more likely to find candidates who are in it for the long haul (while still maintaining a quick time-to-hire). Effective staffing will help you recruit and retain workers at the same time.

How to Recruit and Retain in Assisted Living

1. Be Communicative With Candidates 

It’s important to be clear about what your expectations are for employees, as well as what you can offer in terms of compensation and benefits. Most people who leave their jobs within the first month cite a lack of support, or even a feeling of neglect. There are many strategies you can take to improve communication. Texting candidates, for example, can help you reach candidates where they are. 

Also, consider using automated communication to make sure candidates are receiving concise and timely information. Automation can also cut down on your own administrative labor. Worried about your communication practices, but not sure why you’re losing touch with candidates? Consider a recruitment audit to see if you have any cracks in your process. 

2. Hire Quickly 

A speedy offer can greatly improve your chances at hiring your top candidates. Most communities are facing the same staffing strain that you are, so your ideal candidates may be juggling multiple offers. When you make your offer quickly, it shows candidates that you value their time, and that you’re an efficient and communicative employer. Moving quickly through the process, especially tasks that can be automated (such as setting up interviews) is vital. Not to mention, the faster you can hire, the less time your current employees spend being overburdened.  

3. Introduce Your Company Culture Early 

One of the many things that makes assisted living communities unique is the length of patient residency (a median of 22 months). With more seniors wanting to age in place, it’s important that communities make residents feel like they’re at home. Before you start the hiring process, think about what you want your community to feel like. Communicating this to your candidates early can help both you, the employer, and the candidate, decide if it’s a good fit. 

When you’re looking to recruit and retain, you want someone who not only gets the job done, but also creates a safe environment for your residents. Remember to evaluate soft skills, such as team building and communication. As you improve your company culture, your reputation will also grow, and this will attract more of your ideal candidates. 

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4. Recruit With Careers in Mind 

When you work to develop career paths in your business, you show both candidates and employees that you’re invested in them as people. You can more easily recruit and retain when workers understand that you’re not just interested in who they are now—you’re also interested in their potential.

Use in-house training, career development newsletters and seminars, and one-on-one meetings to help your employees build careers. Ask your candidates about their dream career paths during the recruitment process, and make them aware of any additional training or educational opportunities that you have. 

5. Streamline Onboarding 

Onboarding is the bridge between recruitment and retention. It’s your new hire’s first real experience of working in your community, and has an important impact on their early impression of your business. 

Use onboarding to communicate duties and responsibilities effectively. Let new hires know what perks and benefits they can access. A solid onboarding process can increase retention in the long-run. 

Better Hiring With Apploi

Apploi can help you recruit and retain with seamless hiring software. Interested in learning more about how you can recruit, hire, and onboard healthcare staff quickly? Contact us today for a free demo of our software solution. 


Melanie Boroosan

Over her six years in healthcare administration, Melanie has managed human resources, legal, compliance, payroll, and recruitment efforts at a corporate level. This oversight granted her a deep appreciation for the unique needs of healthcare managers, and for the direct ways that business operations affect the wellbeing of each employee. As Apploi’s Director of Healthcare Innovation, Melanie draws from her experience in healthcare HR and ancillary long-term care to pursue a vision of holistic healthcare staffing. Her work is rooted in the knowledge that great care begins with improving quality of life for all healthcare workers.