To Understand What Works, Drill Down

To Understand What Works, Drill Down


[This article by Jim Moore previously appeared in the industry publication McKnight’s Senior Living]

It is generally recognized that the senior living business is becoming more complex with increasing need for operational sophistication and innovative best practices. The senior living continuum of products and services is growing. There is a pressing need to optimize the financial viability of existing communities through revenue enhancement and expense reduction.

financialYet in spite of these generally recognized complexities and challenges, many sponsors and owner/operators still focus exclusively on tracking and evaluating their financial position on a broad consolidated basis. This is a great big-picture summary approach, but the true financial dynamics and sensitivity of the organization must address the development of individual cost and profit centers within the continuum. Simply combining three or four businesses within a community into one simple consolidated income statement of revenues and expenses is not the best practice for the future. In reality, each of these major product and service businesses should meet reasonable industry financial benchmarks of:

  1. Revenue
  2. Expenses
  3. Net operating income
  4. Profit margins
  5. Cash flow

Each cost center must initially stand alone before being merged into the consolidated financial statement. Just using consolidated financials can frequently mask unacceptable subpar performance of one cost center, while penalizing another one.

Clearly owner/operators must provide a seamless consolidated continuum of products and services for their aging residents. But this consolidated continuum is really composed of a number of individual business models with unique challenges and opportunities. Each key element of this continuum must first be segmented as standalone cost and profit centers and then (and only then) combined to track the results on a consolidated basis. Each business element must be successful individually.

Let’s take a look at a typical example. One of my clients operates a comprehensive CCRC that has independent living, assisted living/dementia/memory care, nursing/rehabilitation and assistance-in-living/wellness as major components in their seamless continuum for their residents. These components have each been segmented as these standalone profit centers. Individual income statements exist for each one. These individual income statements include earned operating revenues, operating expenses including direct costs and an appropriate overhead allocation that applies to that cost center, individual net operating income, profit margin and cash flow. These financial statements also include monthly and year-to-date budget versus actual results and, where appropriate, a discussion of why variances occur.

This approach also quantifies and enhances the objective assessment of key staff member performance. Coupled with resident satisfaction scores, this provides an objective criteria for addressing important initiatives.

The senior living continuum is becoming more complex, with services like comprehensive assistance-in-living within independent living, geriatric assessment, memory care and external continuing care at home. Financial performance sensitivity is also increasingly putting more pressure on profits, debt service coverage and capital investment needs impacting overall cash flow for aging physical plants.

The standalone cost and profit center is a concept whose time has arrived. It is already being implemented by progressive sponsors and owner/operators. The benefits include sharpened pricing, focused cost controls and potential overhead cost reduction. Finally, the concept is fast becoming a key element of a state-of-the-art business practice.

Need help drilling down your financials? Contact MDS at 817-731-4266


Let Seniors Out of the Box!

Let Seniors Out of the Box!


A recent article in Senior Housing News shows how one community takes on the challenge of seniors and technology.  This community looked outside its own walls to form a partnership that brought great value to the community’s program offerings but more importantly, value to their residents.

Don’t Limit Seniors

Senior man staring into cardboard box

So many times we make assumptions which limit both us (as individuals and companies) as well as those we make those assumptions about.  We make assumptions based on our own opinions as well as past knowledge.  We must not only keep an open mind but embrace that times and people change and evolve.  In our minds, we might limit seniors’ interest and ability when it comes to technology.  We think it will be too difficult, we think they are not interested and even THEY may have these same thoughts.


Technology is Increasingly User Friendly

Do your residents shy away from technology? Some may not be interested because they think it is too complicated or difficult even if they wanted to learn.  Equipment is becoming increasingly user friendly and apps make that equipment even easier…well, sometimes.  With so many options, it is not hard to find systems even the most timid can learn and use.

Reducing Isolation

We often criticize technology for isolating our younger generations by limiting their interaction to technological means vs. human interaction.  While that is most definitely a valid argument, some populations are isolated due to circumstances such as residents in senior housing with family in distant locations.  Technology can open doors to communication and interaction.  Emails, video-chatting, Facebook, and other applications can give those residents access to family and friends they may not have right now.  If these residents have family far away, what a gift to be able to see them and be able to stay up to date via video and pictures.

Comfort Zones

While technology may be out of the comfort zone of both the senior student to learn it and the staff who is designated to teach it, rewards can be significant. Don’t hesitate to look outside your community for help with instituting such programs. As this article illustrates, finding partners outside your community can benefit your community as well as your residents.  It does not have to be a partner as large as Google, local businesses and organization offer a wealth of knowledge and resources.

It is a common adage that life happens outside our comfort zone and our senior residents are no different.  When we are pushed to learn and grow, we find confidence, opportunities and great satisfaction in overcoming perceived obstacles.  Find ways to help develop this confidence and satisfaction in your residents.  Give your residents challenges every now and then.  Lifetime learning is exactly what is says, a lifetime of learning no matter your age.  We should adopt this concept not only for ourselves but for our residents as well.

An important reminder for us and them; we are never too old to learn something new.

"You’ve Got Questions…We’ve Got Answers"


In additional to authoring several books based on his years of experience in Senior Housing, Jim Moore has published countless articles for both mainstream and market specific publications.  Jim answers your questions in regards to strategy and operations every month in McKnights Senior Living

You Asked: Do I Need An Exit Strategy?exit

Many owner/operators say they don’t intend to sell; they plan to ride out the various business cycles and they’re not about to leave the senior living industry. But having a sound exit strategy doesn’t necessarily mean you’re actually planning to get out. It’s somewhat like thinking about our life expectancy. To stay healthy, should you do anything differently? In early 2016, you can use an exit strategy for several beneficial reasons.

Here is a simple strategy for estimating the approximate value of this exit strategy by determining today’s valuation, using a capitalization rate of 7%. Simply divide your actual annual net operating income (NOI) by 0.07. If your community has annual revenue of $3.6 million and expenses of $2.3 million representing an operating profit margin of 36%, then the NOI from this performance would be $1.3 million. Dividing that annual NOI figure by 0.07 reflects a preliminary value of approximately $18.6 million. Many who went through that simple exercise have changed their attitude about whether to consider an exit strategy.

Whether you actually decide to sell is an important decision. Whether you plan to fold your cards soon or hold them for a long time, having a sound exit strategy can only help.

To find out how Jim and the staff at MDS  can help you in regards to developing your exit strategy, contact us today.

Minimum Wage Issue Can Impact Senior Living

Minimum Wage Issue Can Impact Senior Living

There Is A Win-Win Strategic Solution

The potential impact of the emerging minimum wage increase on Senior living is currently unclear.  Right now it may be speculation, but it could become very real in the near future.  Now is the time to anticipate a future impact and develop an appropriate response.  The good news is that regardless of the minimum wage impact on Senior living, there are available practical responses that will have a favorable long run impact for astute owner-operators.

money-1012598_1920 The minimum wage issue is clearly an ethical dilemma and a real world business challenge.  Two conflicting issues are emerging; a legitimate moral and financial concern for lower paid, entry level employees versus a potentially serious fundamental business impact.

Many feel that modestly increasing the standard of living for lowly paid workers is the right thing to do.  But price and profit sensitive businesses with high concentrations of low-cost workers are concerned.   Industries like fast food would be dealing with several critical variables like higher prices, possibly a lower customer base, or lower profits.  Consideration is also being given to lowering cost by reducing entry level employee counts.  Simply stated, the fast-food industry and other businesses may have to reevaluate and adjust their business model.

There are also concerns that if the baseline minimum wage of $7.25 per hour (the current Federal standard), is increased by approximately $1.50 to at least $8.75 per hour, there could also be pressure to increase the hourly wages of other lower paid entry-level employees in an attempt to sustain the current offset from the increased minimum wage.  New York, California, Oregon, and Connecticut and Massachusetts have already set their minimum wage higher than $8.75 per hour.  Other states already either have an official minimum wage of at least $8.00 per hour or considering similar increases.

How Might This Affect the Senior Living Industry

There is a heavy concentration of entry level workers at a typical independent living or assisted living community.  Those entry level positions typically include housekeepers, laundry personnel, cooks, servers, and other dietary employees, as well as drivers, security personnel, some maintenance positions, and healthcare workers.

Let’s look at a typical 110 unit assisted living community with 55 Full Time Equivalent Employees (FTEs).  This staffing ratio of 0.5 FTEs per unit is a typical benchmark.  The types of lower wage earner workers mentioned earlier totals 43 FTEs.  Their current entry level wages range from $11.00 per hour (housekeeper, laundry and some health care support, security and maintenance workers) to $11.70 per hour for CNAs.

There could eventually be pressure by workers, labor unions and other interest groups to attempt to sustain the current offset between minimum wage levels and other entry level worker pay.  For example, if the minimum wage is increased by approximately $1.50 per hour, this offset, if also achieved by other workers, will have a significant financial impact on this assisted living community.

A financial sensitivity analysis of this issue revealed the following:

  • Annual Payroll Increase of $149,800 or 10.2%
  • Total Expense Increase of 4.5%
  • Net Operating Profit Margin Decrease of 3.4% (from $1.5 million to $882,450 in net income)

At an 8.0% capitalization rate, the intrinsic value of this community would decrease by approximately $1.9 million.  Granted, the potential minimum wage increase impact on other entry level wages involves speculation at this time, but the change is very likely to occur.

There is a viable win-win solution to this potential financial dilemma.  The solution involves three basic initiatives:  1) Reducing overall operating expenses, 2) Enhancing revenues and 3) Realizing organic growth through increased occupancy and expanded services within the community.  This strategy can be a very significant win-win solution because it addresses both the potential minimum wage financial impact and also improves the community’s long run financial performance.




Our Industry Is Entering Into The “Second Generation”

When we think of “generations” we typically consider population in general and our peers, children and grandchildren.  We know unique generations commonly think differently in terms of lifestyle, finances, how they spend their money and their perception of value . . . in other words their “psychographics” are different.  The term psychographics is broadly defined as the use of demographics to determine the attitudes, perceptions and behavior of a particular segment of our population.Strategy(compressed)

Let’s sharpen the definition of population psychographics and apply it specifically to our senior living industry in terms of two important consumer generations; 1) The Silent Generation, ages 70 to 90 – age, income and asset qualified seniors as potential residents for our communities and 2) The Baby Boom and Baby Busters ages 55 to 64 – the decision influencers for senior living.  Let’s also consider the professionals that design and operate our communities.  These designs and operating strategies are changing.

There are dramatic differences we need to address as we make the critical transition into the second generation of our industry.  They involve two primary consumer generations:

1. The Silent Generation – 1925 to 1945. This generation has two major components:

  • The Depression Era (1929 to 1939). When I talk to seniors and conduct senior focus groups, I always ask, “Does having lived through the Depression in any way affect your financial decision-making today?”  The answer is always a resounding
  • World War II (1940-1945). GIs came home from the war, married, bought homes and had children in record numbers (the Boomers).  These veterans were motivated to make up for lost time.  After getting educated under the GI Bill, they built businesses, careers and built personal savings.  They are generally fiscally conservative.

2. The Baby Boomers – 1946 to 1964. The Boomers and the Baby Busters (1965 to 1980) have a current age spectrum of 35 to 69.  Their psychographics are:

  • The “Gray Flannel Suit” Era (1946 – 1980). During this period, many men and women entered the corporate world prepared to spend their careers with one employer.  They were generally “team players” – conforming, spending their time responding to the requirements of their employers as they worked through their careers.
  • Vietnam Era & the Rebellions of 1960s & 1970s. This troublesome period (1960 – 1974) created large groups of disillusioned veterans and many “maverick consumers”. A large portion of the population did not accept these nonconformists, which only triggered further rebellion against “the establishment”.

The younger element of the Silent Generation and the Boomers are the foundation of the emerging second generation of our industry.  Their attitudes and opinions have also been shaped by the boom/bust cycles of the past 20 years and the very low savings rates experienced by fixed income seniors.

The typical life cycle of the Silent and the Boomer generations has been defined as approximately 18 to 20 years old respectively.  The modern day senior living industry “first generation” life cycle is defined as approximately 30 years (1985 to 2015).  Just like consumer psychographics and trends, some dramatic strategic changes are taking place in our industry

Multiple Generations affect senior living marketing strategy

Tomorrow’s senior living marketing prospects are no longer “the usual prospects.” They are raising the bar of expectations and will be much more articulate in expressing their wants, needs and perceptions of value.  It’s time to redouble your efforts at understanding today’s age 75-plus consumers while becoming more savvy about how you market to them.  Actually, quite a lot is known about the current mindset of the senior consumer; the challenge is translating this knowledge into practical communication and marketing strategies.  Take, for example, pricing.  Most of us know we should sell tangible value before price.  But, in our zeal to tell our story, we forget that the process involves three very important steps:

1) Truly understand the senior consumer mindset

2) Identify and correct common senior misconceptions

3) Deploy consumer-focused, market-driven positioning

Finally, realize that we are evolving to another generation of prospects and we are dealing with senior consumers who have experienced a number of life-changing events.  The financial implications are enormous.

A word of caution: Don’t get misled by the opinions expressed by your existing residents.  These opinions may no longer necessarily reflect the changing mindset of your future residents.

Jim Moore is president of Moore Diversified Services, Inc., a national Senior housing and health care consulting firm based in Fort Worth, Texas.  He has written several books about assisted living and Senior housing, including Independent Living and CCRCs. Jim is also a regular contributor to industry publications such as McKnights Long Term Care News and various industry association publications.  Contact MDS at 817-731-4266 to discuss your consulting needs.

Employee Recognition Can Help Motivation and Retention

Employee Recognition Can Help Motivation and Retention

by Kim Jimenez

I keep seeing this quote on social media: “Employees who feel valued will do more than expected.”

Employee Engagement is a current concept garnering lots of attention.  Employee Engagement refers to and measures how connected and committed an employee is to an organization, its product and its customers.  High employee engagement can result in greater productivity, increased morale and higher retention. Therefore, companies are looking for ways to increase employee engagement. One such way is employee incentives and recognition.

Engaged Employee
Employee Engagement – Appreciation Major Factor in Multi-faceted Approach

According to a 2014 paper by Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) “employees not only want good pay and benefits, they also want…to be valued and appreciated for their efforts” (Society for Human Resource Management, 2014).  While some organizations may shy away from formal recognition programs because they think they may be too expensive to implement, it is not necessarily monetary recognition employees are looking for. Recognition can be internal recognition, public recognition or staff appreciation events.  Even small items like t-shirts, gift cards, thank you notes, and coffee mugs can be effective if genuinely presented for noted achievements.

Also, there are any number of areas for which a company can structure a recognition program depending on the organization and its employees.  Some such areas according to SHRM can be as simple as attendance and years of service or more involved like systems improvements, talent acquisition, innovation, and/or “champions of change.”  Recognition can be structured however the organization can effective track and designate employee contribution.  Then recognition should be consistent and immediate.  An inconsistent program will not motivate employees.  But overall, good recognition programs can be very effective.

Taking recognition to the national level can not only motivate employees but provide credibility to both the employee and the organization.  National recognition can be an organizational designation or recognition coordinated with industry associations or regulatory agencies.  There are a number of national designations, awards and achievements available for employees and organizations to draw from within every industry.  National recognition can bring a level of respect from subordinates, coworkers and customer’s alike.  It may even motivate other employees to strive to obtain the same designation and recognition.

Give as much thought into how to win over your employees as you do your customers; your employees are your customers.  Treat them right and they will treat your customers right.



Society for Human Resource Management. (2013, March 21). Developing and Sustaining Employee Engagement. Retrieved from Society for Human Resource Management:

Society for Human Resource Management. (2014, September 12). Managing Employee Recognition Programs. Retrieved from Society for Human Resource Management:


Kim Jimenez has been a regular contributor to the MDS website and MDS blog for the past 15 years.  Kim holds a supervisory position in a Fortune 100 company and has extensive experience with a multitude of employee, training and leadership issues.  She is currently obtaining her degree in Human Resource Management at Southern New Hampshire University

Management Mondays: Communication is Key

Management Mondays: Communication is Key


Are your employees meeting your organization’s standards and goals or just barely reaching minimum expectations? Are you seeing a decline in resident satisfaction? Are operations just not up to par and not sure why? One issue you must investigate is communication.  Are goals and decisions getting communicated effectively and completely to those down the line? Can your front-line employees restate policies, procedures, and goals as well as how and why these things apply to them?

"What if, and I know this sounds kooky, we communicated with the employees."The decisions you make at the top are important but they will not matter much if the actions of those employees on the “front lines” do not line up with those decisions.  Employees need to be, MUST be, invested and informed: Do they know your organization’s mission? Do they realize how they speak to or interact with people affect that mission? Are employees getting proper feedback on their performance in regards to company standards? Upper management needs to communicate goals, missions, and reasons behind decisions that affect employees.  If decisions seem random to employees, they are less likely to embrace them and support them.  If employees can see how decisions improve service, improve resident satisfaction, improve business and therefore benefit them in some way, they are more likely to support you in these decisions.

On the reverse side, can employees reasonably incorporate expectations into their daily routines? Are the policies and procedures handed down to your front-line employees realistic? Are you asking already overworked employees to do more, take on even more than they already have time for? Again, communication is key.  Get with your employees and get feedback on new initiatives you are handing down to them.  How do they see these affecting their work? Do they feel it will make the difference you say it is going to make? Are these initiatives resident centered or business centered? Those employees involved directly with the residents may give a different perspective or creative ways to implement actions those in corporate may not have thought of.  Keep in mind, while something looks good on paper in the boardroom, implementation may be more complicated in the day to day operations of a resident-centered facility.

Another think to consider: Do employees report to more than one supervisor or manager? This can be complicated when each supervisor has different priorities.  Make sure priorities and tasks are consistent for each employee and there is not a conflict of “whose requests should I make a priority.”  Again, communication on ALL levels as well as communication going both up and down the organizational ladder will make for a more cohesive workgroup and increase the likelihood of meeting and even exceeding goals.

MDS can help evaluate where your organization stands with a comprehensive operational analysis.  A follow-up strategic planning session or retreat can help make sure your current business goals are on track and develop new and innovative ideas.

Kim Jimenez has been a regular contributor to the MDS website and MDS blog for the past 15 years.  Kim holds a supervisory position in a Fortune 100 company and has extensive experience with a multitude of employee, training and leadership issues.  She is currently obtaining her degree in Human Resource Management at Southern New Hampshire University

Explanations Go a Long Way on Resumes

Explanations Go a Long Way on Resumes


Leaving off pertinent information is why so many Resume, pertinent information, Senoir Living Consultant, Senior Living Consultingresumes go in the trash.

It’s difficult to balance out the amount of information presented in a resume. With the shorter attention spans today, it’s important to get to the point. You don’t want to bog the reader down with reams of useless information — but you also need to make sure you include vital information that demonstrates why you are worthy of further consideration. You can’t just cut your resume down for the sake of word count.

Make Sure Your Resume Includes Pertinent Information

While there are many areas this tip could apply to, let’s focus on past employment. As a hiring manager, this is the first area of a candidate’s resume that I look at. I want to see if the candidate has any related work experience, and I want to see how stable their employment history is.

Most hiring managers are looking for long-term employees, and stability is important. Despite that, I receive more resumes today than ever before with tenures of five months here, four months there, and seven months here, with no explanation. Short job tenures are not bad in and of themselves, but without an explanation of some kind, the worst is assumed. I will usually not waste my time doing a simple phone screen — and definitely not an in-person interview — with a candidate that has a history of unexplained short-tenured positions.

Case in Point: A good friend of mine found herself unemployed at the end of 2013 due to staff cuts resulting from her company being bought out. Her unemployment dragged on for about six months, with very little activity.

After looking at her resume, I figured out why. She had a stable work history with three companies up until 2009, averaging eight years of tenure at each business. Then, after 2009, she had six jobs in a couple different industries. It was no wonder she was not getting any calls: It looked as if something had happened to make her very unstable in this period.

My friend had been employed in the building material industry for her entire career. Beginning in mid-2006, the housing slow down led to tough times in that industry. My friend had been laid off or downsized in company buyouts or mergers four times during this period. She was also a single mother and had to take a few part-time jobs to pay her mortgage and put food on the table.

Resume, pertinent information, Senior Living consulting, senior living consultantJust looking at her resume, you could not tell any of this. It looked as if something had gone haywire and hiring managers were reluctant to even call her. Don’t expect that a hiring manager is going to take the time to try and connect the dots on your resume. That’s not their job. It’s up to the candidate to try and fill in any holes in their own resume.

The Proof Is in the Details

My friend went back and filled in all the gaps on her resume by including the reasons why she separated from each company. Within in the first few days of using this updated resume, she began getting interviews and job offers worthy of her experience and talent. Within a month, she was hired by a leading specialty building material supplier.

My friend didn’t change anything about her fragmented work history. All she did was add a little explanation. This had the tremendous benefit of helping hiring managers — especially those that lived through the difficult economic times — understand why her resume looked the way it did.

Are You Explanations Satisfactory?

There are many satisfactory explanations for short job tenures — they just need to be noted for busy hiring managers to quickly and easily see them. The shaky economy of the last few years has increased the number of downsizings, closings, and mergers, all of which have resulted in many layoffs.

Similarly, some positions are, by nature, contract- and project-oriented. These roles will result in job changes every six months or so, but not because you are an unsteady or troubled employee.

Furthermore, there are also those younger adults who have been working internships to try and gain experience in various careers. In today’s new economy, there are also those part-time and stopgap positions that employees need to bridge the gap between permanent, full-time positions.

Resumes, Senior Living consulting, senior living consultantJust remember that having multiple short-tenured positions is not the kiss of death — if you take the time to provide a short explanation for your limited tenure, that is. It need be no more than a few words under the job title, such as “contract position,” “internship,” “temporary work,” “layoff,” or whatever the situation was.

Do You Take Advantage of PR or Public Relations Opportunities?

Do You Take Advantage of PR or Public Relations Opportunities?


Public Reations, Roy Barker, Moore Diversified Services, Senior Living Consultant, Senior Living Consulting


PR or Public relations should be in everyone’s marketing communications tool kit.

As a Senior Living Consultant working with many Senior Living clients over the years, this is one form of community promotion that tends to be over looked the most. So what exactly is PR? PR or public relations, the noun, as defined by is as follows:

the activity or job of providing information about a particular person or organization to the public so that people will regard that person or organization in a favorable way


the relationship between an organization and the public

What is PR?
PR is different from advertising in the fact that in advertising you pay for the privilege of controlling the timing, placement, and message associated with it. While with PR, since it is generally free, the control lies in the hands of the writer and media outlet providing you the coverage. I once heard that “Advertising is what you pay for, PR is what you pray for.”

There are many forms of PR. Most of the time the words PR conjure up images of events at opposite ends of the spectrum. Either a publicity stunt where someone is doing something that is outrageous and crazy to call attention to themselves, their company or their mission, or a company spokesperson trying to put a positive spin on a potentially bad situation that has arisen for the company.

An example of an outrageous PR stunt would be similar to the flash mob dancing troupe a few years ago that held an impromptu performance at Grand Central Station, it ended up netting them 28 million YouTube hits and a lot of media exposure. An example of positive spin on a bad situation would be the aftermath of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. There have been subsequent news conferences and advertising campaigns trying to convince the public, that the gulf coast is now better than ever.

The kind of PR I am talking about is somewhere in the middle of these two extremes. The press release, media tours, special events, sponsorships, public service/public interest stories are all form of PR that your company/community can use to build brand awareness. These types of PR also show that your brand is part of the greater community and can generate loyalty in a larger audience.

Put PR To Work For You
One of the great things about PR is that it is happening all around us and while we get the intended message, we don’t realize the company or brand is promoting itself to us. Instead of thumping our chest telling everyone how great our company and/or products are through advertising, PR is a subtle way of getting a company name out by providing useful information and activities to others.

PR is also a way to have others validate you as an expert. The general thinking of readers or viewers is that they surely wouldn’t be quoting you or doing a piece on you or your company/community unless you were an authority, the best and most knowledgeable in your field.

November Public Relations Webinar
As part of MDS’ “Plug-In and Prosper” Webinar Series, the November 18, 2015 webinar will be “Generating Public Relations for Your Community”. The webinar will focus on the meaning and use of public relations and why it’s important. I will discuss PR as part of a well-rounded marketing communication plan, the benefits of PR, and how it can enhance your relationship between your company and the public.

So mark your calendar and join me on Wednesday, November 18 at 1:00 pm (CDT) for this important webinar.

I look forward to having you join me for this complimentary monthly webinar! You can also check out our past webinars on the Moore Diversified Services YouTube channel!

Registration Link

Roy Barker is Director of Special Projects at Moore Diversified Services, a Fort-Worth, Texas-based organization specializing in Senior Living operations analysis, marketing development, and investment advisory services. Roy is an authority in the field of employee turnover analysis and retention strategies.

Do You Market For Human Talent?      Part 2 of 2

Do You Market For Human Talent? Part 2 of 2



How Often Are You Recruiting For New Top Human Talent?

It is easy to form a perception that talent should only be recruited when there is a position vacant in your company, but unfortunately, that kind of thinking is not very helpful to your company. You should always be recruiting and finding top talent so that they are ready when positions open up for any reason.

Don’t Rely on the Internet Alone

The advent of the internet and job boards was thought to be the end- all- be- all for recruiting. But, it has proven to be a double edge sword when it is the only method used. The great thing about internet job postins is that you can cast a wide net by broadcasting your current job openings to many individuals that may be looking for employment in your town, or even across the country. The downside is that you can be flooded by many applicants that are not anywhere close to being qualified for an opening in a specific position.

Now, relate this to your community’s marketing department for new residents. Can your community just post an advertisement saying “We have rooms available”, and the right person shows up and there you go, you have a new resident? Not quite, or there would be no need to have a sales and marketing team. It should be considered the same with community staffing. It takes a lot of work and effort to find the right fit for the community, both for residents and staff.

Always Be Recruiting

It’s important to augment the posting of job openings through portals such as Indeed, Career Builder, or others in this category. Talent Mangers must actively recruit to find the best employees available for the many different job functions within the community/company. This includes giving talks throughout the community at different functions and gatherings of people like civic clubs, high schools, junior colleges, colleges, and other professional organizations throughout your operating region. It is very important to educate as many people as possible about the existence of your community/company, that it is a great place to work with many opportunities besides those of just direct caregivers. Target programs and organizations can include, but are not limited to, those affiliated with business, nursing, culinary, and hospitality.

LinkedIn is also a great place to gather potential contacts for professional level jobs. LinkedIn should be used to identify individuals with skills that will be beneficial to your team now and in the future. Don’t limit yourself to just those that may currently hold positions in the Senior Living industry, but look in other industries for transferable skills as well. Establish casual relationships in the beginning and watch how they interact with others in their peer groups. Do they post timely and relevant material? Do they have original thoughts? How many connections do they have (a peek at how good they might be at networking and recruiting prospective residents)? Do they seek out and participate in continued education opportunities? LinkedIn will also let you glance into the individual’s employment past. With this feature, it is easy for an individual to write anything they want with little to no cross-checking by others, so proceed with caution. Trust, but verify. Once individuals are identified as potential employees who could be an asset to your team, then it is prudent to reach out and make a connection with them.

Start an HR newsletter to keep current employees and those interested in working for your company informed of current happenings within your company/community. Not necessarily resident-focused, but more about job openings, training, and highlighting employee accomplishments. The added communication will go a long way in both employee retention and recruiting efforts. While this form of communication usually will not lead to instant gratification in the recruiting of other professional individuals, it will build a pattern of contact that over time will lead to candidates keeping up with your company. If they like what you have to say, it will leave them with the sense of wanting more information about company activities and available openings.

So get out from behind the desk and computer screen, and endeavor into the community, market yourself, your industry, and your company for great talent. A great side effect is that while you are getting the word out of your community/company, simultaneously you just might accidentally uncover a prospective resident or family member looking for a loved one.

Make your company an employer of choice, not an employer of last resort!


Roy Barker is Director of Special Projects at Moore Diversified Services, a Fort-Worth, Texas-based organization specializing in Senior Living operations analysis, marketing development, and investment advisory services. Roy is an authority in the field of employee turnover analysis and retention strategies.