Post-acute giant Kindred Healthcare (NYSE: KND) is not afraid of making changes—including currently exiting the skilled nursing industry after years of being a major provider. But for staff recruitment, the Louisville-based company is a big believer in tried-and-true methods.
Like other providers across the health care spectrum, Kindred has been utilizing social media and other digital channels to reach prospective workers. That’s not enough, though, according to Senior Vice President of Human Resources Jeff Jasnoff.
“Don’t forget some of the low-tech stuff, because that works too,” he said last week at the SHINE Senior Care Human Resources Executive Summit in Chicago.
In particular, he advocated for events like “Walk-In Wednesdays” or “Talk to Me Tuesdays.” On these days, communities welcome walk-ins and conduct guaranteed, on-the-spot interviews.
These events are successful because many people who are interested in senior care work lead busy lives, and they also want a job that is close to home, Jasnoff said. By attending a Walk-In Wednesday, they can learn about available positions and interview for them without having to submit a resume, connect with a Director of Nursing, schedule a time to come in and jump through other hoops.
“If you’re not doing [this type of recruitment], you’re missing a portion of the population and an opportunity,” he said.
Everyone’s a recruiter
A Walk-In Wednesday event will only work if the right culture is in place at a community, Jasnoff emphasized.
“Everybody is a recruiter,” he said. “The head of dietary, the social worker, the head of sales and marketing.”
That is, everyone should be willing and able to talk with someone who arrives for an impromptu interview.The receptionist should never tell people to come back later, because no one is available to do the interview on the spot.
Anyone can learn how to do basic interviewing or even behavioral interviewing, Jasnoff said. At Kindred, department heads and other senior executives have come in to teach those skills and participate in these recruitment days.
“You have to have that culture right from the top,” Jasnoff said. “Our CEO [Ben Breier], he’ll tell you he’s the top HR guy. That permeates throughout the organization.”
Doing interviews can be a nice break in someone’s day, introducing some variety into their jobs, Jasnoff added. Another way to motivate people to step outside their typical duties and start to do interviews is to stress that they need to be part of the solution to the staffing crisis, not part of the problem.
McLean, Virginia-based Sunrise Senior Living, one of the largest national providers of independent living and assisted living, also does walk-in interview days, said Vice President of People Strategy & Field HR Operations Julie Clark.
Her tip: Be sure to hold the interviews during the shifts when workers are needed.
Like Kindred, Sunrise is combining traditional recruiting with tech-driven initiatives, such as using predictive analytics to identify promising applicants.
There will be even more technologies developed to help with recruitment; however, given the margins in senior care, providers need to be selective in their tech investments and keep plugging away at proven methods of recruitment, Jasnoff said.
“We don’t always have the latest and greatest,” he said. “So you’ve got to do the social and mix in a little low-tech. We as an industry are never going to have all the bells and whistles.”
Written by Tim Mullaney