Staff Shortages in Senior Care

What to do when demand for staff is higher than supply, when there are more open positions than applicants?

A recent article published by McKnight’s Long-Term Care News reported that 94% of nursing homes are continuing to endure unprecedented staffing shortages. This statistic confirms what we have been hearing for our network of all long-term care and aging service providers as well. Despite the introduction of vaccines, their studies show that 73% of nursing homes feel that the situation is worse than even last year, in 2020.

States like Florida, for example, are projecting a 50% increase since 2015 in the demand for workers over the next 10 years.

We know this is a problem, but what’s the solution?

1. Advocate for higher reimbursement

Mark Parkinson, the president and CEO of AHCA/NCAL, comments in the article that, “The survey results clearly indicate that the long-term care workforce is facing serious challenges […] Lawmakers across the country must prioritize long-term care to ensure the profession has the necessary resources to maintain a strong workforce.”

The data from this survey was collected from 122 assisted living communities and 616 nursing homes. 81% of these providers said that they would have a greater chance of retaining their employees with higher reimbursement, allowing them to offer better compensation and benefits. Reach out to your state association to learn how you can get involved today!

2. Recruit more employees

This may be an obvious solution, but it can be easier said than done. We hear from HR leaders in senior care that recruiting is more difficult now than possibly ever. The industry’s reputation has taken a hit and people are suffering from burnout. We recently asked a group of forward-thinking senior care leaders, “what’s working?”. Here are a few strategies that are working right now:

• Utilize an application tracking system
• Develop an instant offer process
• Fast track applicants – 48 hours from application to the first paycheck!
• Double referral bonus the same week as an in-person job fair
• Communicate via text with applicants


3. Keep your people longer

We always say, “The best recruiting tactic is retention.” Keeping your people longer means less positions to fill. Now is the time to go back to the basics. What retains people more than anything else? Good managers do. Good managers know their people and how best to provide advancement opportunities, flexible scheduling, incentives, etc. In our Workforce Retention Bootcamp, managers are equipped to lead TODAY’s new workforce to create a place where people want to work.

The article closes with a second quote from Parkinson, stating that “caregivers are the backbone” of the industry, and they need to be appropriately supported to provide the best care to our seniors. We couldn’t agree more! We are committed to this industry and want to help your organization recruit and retain the employees you can’t afford to lose.

Magnet Culture specializes in employee retention for the senior care industry. We’d love to chat with your organization to discuss if what we do for other clients could help your organization. Schedule a call today!

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