W^H? The Holmes Murphy Blog

  • The Law of Attraction (And Retention)

    I’m going to start this blog by asking a simple question. Do you think there’s difficulty with attracting, training, and retaining quality caregivers to meet the demand for our aging population? I’m not sure what your answer is…but, I sure think there’s difficulty. In fact, I see it as a big problem and I think most who work in the Health and Human Services fields would agree.

    I’m going to throw some stats out:

    • Now through 2030, 10,000 baby boomers will turn 65 each day. EACH day!
    • By 2056, the population of adults aged 65 and older is projected to surpass the U.S. population younger than 18 years of age.
    • In 1900, there were 14 potential caregivers for each older adult in the U.S., which translates to an old-age dependency ratio of 14:1 (according to LeadingAge®).
    • By 2050, the dependency ratio is expected to drop below 3 potential caregivers for every older American — so 3:1.

    If you were on the border of thinking recruiting and retaining employees to care for our aging population may not be an issue, have you changed your mind after seeing those stats?

    Recruiting and talent management in healthcare is antiquated. Not all healthcare organizations are awful at recruiting, yet the vast majority look for excuses for their shortcomings. In healthcare, the ability to effectively attract, screen, hire, and onboard medical personnel has a direct effect on a resident’s well-being. Because of this, it’s clear that recruitment and retention need to be a top priority.

    Sadly, every one of us in the Health and Human Services fields are expected to do more with less these days while continuing to have great outcomes. So what should we do? For starters, let’s work within those regulation guidelines and challenge our teams to think of new and innovative ways to share in the organization’s culture and vision. We can no longer expect caregivers to simply do what management asks or demands. We need to become more creative and less regimented.

    To help, I’ve outlined five best practices for talent acquisition that may help:

    1. Think about implementing new software applications. Ideally, such applications would initiate a requisition to staffing; post jobs to job boards and corporate websites; extract resumes to databases; track candidates through the application process, pre-screening, and reference checking; schedule interviews; stay in email contact with candidates; and make employment offers. The electronic format used by automated reference checking software encourages the reference source to answer honestly and avoid empty praise typical of a phone conversation.
    2. Ensure you have an effective communication process. This goes for direct and indirect communication. Ensure candidates know where they stand in the application process. You can do so by using an applicant tracking system. This will streamline and simplify the process for candidates. It will also allow Human Resources (HR) and recruiters to access key information during the recruiting process and allow candidates to check on their application process. Does your hiring process follow customer-service standards similar to what is in place for staff who interact with residents? Interaction between HR and candidates should follow the same service standards put in place for interactions between staff and residents. One other thing to keep in mind — for every potentially negative experience a candidate has, there is a significant ripple effect via social media and Glassdoor-type websites. These could harm the organization’s reputation. So try and make the process as smooth as possible.
    3. Consider implementing behavioral interviewing techniques. Use a behavioral assessment to show if the candidate has the right competencies and behaviors for the position (for example: the person has customer service skills and is a good cultural fit for the organization). Train managers and supervisors on behavioral-interviewing strategies and have them explain the value of behavioral interviewing for the applicant and the organization. Behavioral-based assessments are often linked to improved staff retention and ultimately reduce the cost of attrition.
    4. Consider including top performers in the evaluation process. Peer interviews are a great way to involve top performers in the candidate evaluation process. This interview technique introduces candidates to people who are currently performing the task for which the candidate has applied. Candidates are able to get a better picture of the job responsibilities. It also allows the candidate to make a connection with current staff. And bonus — employees involved in the interview and selection process tend to be more likely to help a new hire succeed. They feel they have a vested interest in the new hire being successful. Some organizations have even incorporated residents into the candidate evaluation process and empowered them to become part of the decision-making process.
    5. Consider providing a customized employee benefit summary that includes a total compensation statement. Employee benefit summaries and total compensation statements give candidates and employees information on the benefits made available to employees. It also provides the complete pay package on both a direct and indirect compensation basis. Direct compensation is typically defined as all compensation (base pay and incentive pay) paid directly to an employee. Indirect compensation is typically defined as compensation not paid directly to an employee and is calculated in addition to base pay and incentive pay (for example: employer-paid portions of health/dental/vision insurance, retirement benefits, educational benefits, relocation expenses, and paid time off). The more detail an employer can provide, the more beneficial the statement. Remember, you don’t have to do all of this by yourself. Great brokers and business partners should offer and execute these services for you (at no additional charge).

    At Holmes Murphy, we’re always thinking ahead and challenging our staff and customers to think differently about what we do and looking for new ideas. What ideas can you add to the list above? Do you have a process in place that’s working and you can share? What issues are you having with attracting and retaining employees? What are your concerns and how can we help? Comment below and let’s work together! The more we share, the more we can help each other!

    Published on: 06.23.16

    Join the Discussion