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Juniper Communities Rethink Senior Living Recruiting

Elderly operators have significantly modified their operations in 2022 to address staff shortages. One position that is undergoing rapid evolution is that of the senior life recruiter.

In the not-too-distant past, recruiters often relied on the communities or regions for which they hired workers. But their work became much more difficult with the advent of the pandemic and all its pressures on the industry’s workforce, which required a new approach to the role.

Now, several national senior living companies are creating the role of recruiting seniors of the future. They include Juniper Communities, which had the help of its sales staff to hire new workers; Pathway to Living, which went on to use third-party recruitment for all of its communities; and Lloyd Jones, who is assembling a team of operational “Blue Angels” to manage community transitions and, finally, recruitment.

Bring in outside help

One of the biggest pressures on seniors ’operating budgets in 2022 has been the use of agency staff. Some operators, such as Aegis Living, have responded to these pressures by piloting their own high-level staffing agencies.

Others, such as Chicago-based Pathway to Living, are moving away from in-house recruitment. About five months ago, the company decided to outsource its procurement processes to Cielo Talent, a procurement outsourcing company (RPO) based in Brookfield, Wisconsin.

Under the agreement, Cielo dedicates 10 to 15 recruiters at a time to work exclusively on staffing the 48 Pathway communities. In the short term, the decision is intended to help reduce the use of the agency’s workforce by the operator, which is often double what the company pays for salaried employees, according to Justin Dickinson, vice president Pathway to Living executive.

“What we’re trying to address here is downsizing the agency,” Dickinson told SHN.

Miami-based Lloyd Jones is moving from focusing on multifamily communities to the lives of seniors, and as the company has sought to target seniors ’acquisition, Petty noted that the hand of The agency’s work was incorporated into operating budgets on all of the more than 100 occasions it reviewed as a temporary line item. That has changed since then.

“The agency is now over the line because people believe it will not go away,” he told SHN.

Some senior life operators spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on agency staff, which is a budget “blind spot,” according to Petty.

As his senior participation grows, Lloyd Jones is deploying so-called “Blue Angel” teams to make the transition from the communities he acquires. Once a complete transition from a community to Lloyd Jones ’portfolio has been made, the actual company plans to create a position specifically for recruitment and retention.

Depending on the executive director of the community, the internal contracting director will have two essential functions: finding the right people and keeping them there.

“He’s not a human resources person,” Petty told SHN.

Lloyd Jones recruiters will venture around and find the best people, “forcing them to come in,” he said.

To keep retention high, recruiters will earn quarterly bonuses for employee longevity, as well as for workers hired on more than one salary.

“Instead of paying $ 200,000 a month for an agency, you can pay someone a really good salary during the year,” Petty said.

At the corporate level, Lloyd Jones will hold a senior position dedicated to managing and acquiring talent.

By using third-party recruiters and combining their talents with background human resources functions, Dickinson said the company can move away from the use of agency staff. With real-time data on open positions and agency staff within the company, recruiters can change their approach to reach the majority of candidates.

“Everything is at hand to find a solution that works,” Dickinson said

Recruitment, sales synergy

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought about a radical change in the sales process among many senior operators. But some companies, such as TK-based Juniper Communities, have redefined sales to include hiring features.

For Juniper, the best way to sell the idea of ​​working in one of its 28 communities is to sell it to potential employees.

According to Junne Katzmann, CEO of Juniper, when you fill open positions, just like you fill open units, you speed things up. But with all the other pandemic pressures within reach, Katzmann said communities sometimes put recruitment at the end of their to-do list.

At the same time, at the beginning of the pandemic, restrictions on moving residents made the company’s sales teams more time to take on new tasks. So Juniper brought in her own Blue Angels to help with hiring: non-front-line workers from the company’s accounting and sales teams.

“It simply came to our notice then [resident] needs, “Katzmann told SHN.

The argument for recruiting sales staff to hire is quite simple. They already understand the history and culture of the company, and the importance of being quick and keeping track of applicants.

Juniper recruiters are now responsible for the disclosure and selection of new employees, making not only hiring more efficient, but also operations. At the same time, full-time employees are less expensive and often more effective than agency employees.

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