Truth #5: Flexibility: the Way of the Future

5 Truths of the Hourly Workforce, part 5

As we look ahead to the light at the end of this COVID-19 tunnel, a ‘next normal’ is emerging. Organizations and employees are pushing for attention to mental health and impactful self care. The desire to live with a balance between work and life is rising to the top of our collective priority list. In a world where there are more jobs than people to fill them, employers of an hourly workforce can’t afford to NOT adjust to some version of employee-first flexibility. But what does flexibility mean in a world where remote work isn’t an option? 

While it may not be possible for a grocery store clerk to man the register from home, it may be possible to revisit shift scheduling, including a view of part time roles. Little Spoon, a Baby food delivery company, began offering easy rescheduling of shifts. This simple pivot for their customer service employees–many of whom are parents–helped increase the company’s retention and productivity. The business has to plan more strategically around surges in customer service requests, but in those cases, they can call on higher level managers to pitch in. This has not only led to increased flexibility, but has resulted in many hourly workers transitioning to full-time roles.* 

Affording flexibility, begins with the hiring process. In the current hiring climate, organizations are not only competing to attract talent, but also facing the challenge of holding onto candidates throughout the recruiting process. Allowing the candidate to select their interview day and time, determine how soon they can interview and how quickly the can start in their new job put greater control in their hands. From their first interaction with your organization, they experience that key sense of flexibility and control.

ProsperCare has proven that speed equals trust from “apply-to-offer” for high volume hiring. Its solutions and services reduce process friction to yield instant candidate matches to interviews. ProsperCare buys time for employers to focus on engagement with their teams, to promote career pathing and to reduce turnover.

* https://www.inc.com/rebecca-deczynski/increasing-shift-worker-productivity-hourly-incentives-advice.html

5 Truths of the Hourly Workforce, part 4

Truth #4:  Adapt to Win the War for Talent

The pandemic has taken a toll on many industries, but none more than with healthcare professionals. According to a recent report by Morning Consult, health care workers who say they disapprove of the way their employers have handled the pandemic “cited poor communication around changing safety protocols, inadequate personal protective equipment, low pay and a general sense of being disposable.* The cure to someone feeling disposable? Showing care, respect with personalized attention whenever possible. Exactly what the employer hopes is being offered to those in their care. 

The desire to feel cared for and respected–as a human being and an employee–is universal. Columbia Business School professor Adam Galinsky claims an organizations’ responsibility of compensation, needs to expand the definition of the word. Individuals want to feel a “sense of status and gratitude,” in addition to taking home a paycheck.** Projecting this feeling, from the time a candidate ‘applies’ and through the initial months in a new role, can inspire that critical sense of connection and camaraderie. It costs little and requires intentionality, but can make all the difference in the world. 

Inspiring loyalty runs both ways between the candidate, for an employee and with an employer and extends far beyond the job and time clock. Never underestimate the connection with people on a human level. In turn, they may be more willing to take on increased activities or challenging shifts and work longer hours in times of need. Winning at this level demands an investment mentality, starting with new candidate recruitment, but will return significant dividends in the battle against turnover. There is no better way to ensure the battle can be won than truth #5, flexibility.

ProsperCare has proven that speed equals trust from “apply-to-offer” for high volume hiring. Its solutions and services reduce process friction to yield instant candidate matches to interviews. ProsperCare buys time for employers to focus on engagement with their teams, to promote career pathing and to reduce turnover.

* https://morningconsult.com/2021/10/04/health-care-workers-series-part-2-workforce/

** https://www.inc.com/rebecca-deczynski/increasing-shift-worker-productivity-hourly-incentives-advice.html

Truth #3: Resume ≠ Qualified

5 Truths of the Hourly Workforce, part 3

Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to ripple through society, leaving nearly no aspect immune to some degree of impact. Year 2021 brought the emergence of a new phenomenon: The Great Resignation. People left their jobs in droves, with an all-time high of 4.5 million employees quitting their jobs in November.* Particularly in retail, but in other sectors, the urgent need for employees forced them to look long and hard at job requirements. 

Across the US, many organizations are making the choice to remove application prerequisites like degrees, years of experience, background checks and even drug tests. Leveraging learnings from a Sept. 2019 open hiring pilot program where they removed nearly all candidate requirements, retailer The Body Shop found that the “rate of performance-related terminations of people hired in the pilot program has been about the same as the rate among people hired through the routine screening process.”** 

These results beg the question: have employers spent too much time focused on the wrong candidate attributes? After all, according to the Harvard Business Review, the idea of hiring for attitude and minimal skills and then training for skill has proven successful in the corporate world.*** Why shouldn’t it apply to those in hourly roles? It can, but it may require a shift of resources and greater focus at onboarding on the part of the employer. This fact highlights the importance of truth #4, adaptation to win the war for talent.

ProsperCare has proven that speed equals trust from “apply-to-offer” for high volume hiring. Its solutions and services reduce process friction to yield instant candidate matches to interviews. ProsperCare buys time for employers to focus on engagement with their teams, to promote career pathing and to reduce turnover.

https://www.bls.gov/news.release/jolts.nr0.htm

** https://www.wsj.com/articles/help-really-wanted-no-degree-work-experience-or-background-checks-11636196307?mod=Searchresults_pos16&page=2

*** https://hbr.org/2011/02/hire-for-attitude-train-for-sk

5 Truths of the Hourly Workforce, part 2

Truth #2: Hiring Requires Resilience

Every hourly employer knows this experience: an employee reaches out, asking for a time to meet. They sit (or stand) in person and begin sharing some of the reasons their role isn’t working for them. They air frustrations and, perhaps, offer words about the leadership they’ve experienced. Eventually, they share the news: they’re resigning. That’s the best case scenario. Most often, they simply stop showing up. Now the organization must begin the arduous process of recruitment–the hamster wheel starts again.

No matter how many times it’s been done, or what efficiencies have been established, the painstaking reality of the recruitment process persists. Winning the recruiting war starts with overcoming the average application abandonment rate of 80%.* If successful, employers still have much at risk. ERE Media suggests that hiring and training an $8/hour employee can cost a company over $4,000.**

From start to finish, recruiting hourly workers is taxing and challenging to scale. Employers have to manage several applicants at one time: schedule screening calls, follow-up interviews and . Plus the time and effort required to onboard, train, and more. The question of how to simplify and standardize recruitment becomes crucial. That brings in hourly workforce truth #3: someone’s experience (or lack of) may not be the full indication of their ability. The key is knowing how much is the right amount?

ProsperCare has proven that speed equals trust from “apply-to-offer” for high volume hiring. Its solutions and services reduce process friction to yield instant candidate matches to interviews. ProsperCare buys time for employers to focus on engagement with their teams, to promote career pathing and to reduce turnover.

*https://www.jobalign.com/en/the-race-to-attract-the-hourly-workforce/

**https://www.investopedia.com/financial-edge/0711/the-cost-of-hiring-a-new-employee.aspx

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Truth #1: Focus on Retention

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5 Truths of the Hourly Workforce, part 1

The life of an hourly worker looks drastically different at a supermarket than it does at a home care facility. The weekly struggles and challenges of someone working retail may be completely different than those faced by a food service employee. But there are a few truths of the hourly workforce that transcend industry, position and level. As the world of work continues to evolve, understanding these truths is crucial to successfully navigating as an hourly employer.

Truth #1: Focus on Retention

Anyone who has worked on a team comprised of hourly workers knows that losing team mates is a negative feedback loop: one person quits, so the remaining team members work longer hours and more shifts to pick up the slack. Which can lead to frustration, burnout and more resignations. Employees again must take on more shifts and subsequently longer hours to fill the gap, which leads to frustration and eventually resignation.

On it goes, with burnout and short-staffs pushing them to make the difficult decision to look elsewhere. Thus, retaining current employees should be every company’s first order of business. Is it easy? No. It requires dedicated resources and attention–which isn’t a luxury many employers have. Until there can be a focus on stemming the tide of resignations, more time and energy is required for recruitment and hiring of new candidates to keep up.

If recruiting efforts could be simplified to free up resources, a greater focus can be directed to retention and maintaining a sustainable headcount. That means that they can turn their attention toward the second truth: hiring requires resilience.

 

ProsperCare has proven that speed equals trust from “apply-to-offer” for high volume hiring. Its solutions and services reduce process friction to yield instant candidate matches to interviews. ProsperCare buys time for employers to focus on engagement with their teams, to promote career pathing and to reduce turnover.

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The Priority: Occupancy or Care?

Is occupancy or care the top priority? For those in the senior living industry, now more than ever, it can be a tough question to answer. 

Financial success — or even just keeping the doors open — hinges on occupancy. At the same time, personalized care is crucial for positive outcomes in both short-term and long-term companion care. Add the complexities of medical needs with aging and the elderly, along with active lifestyles for the vibrant boomer, and we’re suddenly in a pretty complicated business. It can feel like trying to run a Disney Cruise Line with Florence Nightingale as the cruise director, while competing market leadership philosophies battle for the captain’s seat. The ripple effects of the pandemic have brought these struggles front and center, with the hard truth that the traditional system simply falls short.

While public confidence is moving toward an increasing sense of normalcy, including making decisions about the role of senior living communities in care, there are still challenges of low occupancy. With ranges in some locations as low as 30-50% and added health safety regulatory compliance, maintaining adequate staffing to provide resident care is a delicate balancing act.

In the nursing home world, the lens for problem-solving has always been “root cause analysis.” What is the root cause of this issue? It’s time to take a long, hard look in the mirror. Senior living communities are spending endless hours spinning their wheels trying to adapt current systems, when what is really needed is an entirely new outlook and updated processes. The answer to filling vacancies is not a resident market issue, but rather, a leadership and caregiver issue. The secret is partners and people. Now more than ever, survivors will be those who can think outside the box, while finding trusted partners to bring reliable resources with innovative solutions. Covid-19 has proven that traditional models and philosophies are simply not sustainable.

The state of today’s care industry begs the question: how are we recruiting, training and retaining the individuals who are key to delivering essential services? When the conversations around the leadership table prioritize a new perspective on  workforce issues and begin exploring breakthrough solutions needed to elevate care roles, occupancy challenges can be put into their proper context.

Enter: ProsperCare. Our team spends their time working to save time for hiring managers and candidates interested in roles in care through people-first technology solutions. With 3x the number of interviews scheduled versus traditional recruiting methods, let ProsperCare smooth the friction for staffing your frontline.

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How Does Your Hiring Process Rate?

Your Candidates Desire Quick, Efficient and Personalized–How Does Your Hiring Process Rate? Study Finds More than 50% of Qualified Applicants Drop Off Due to a Slow Response

The past year has brought challenges and opportunities for the healthcare industry. Although the industry has made many strides in the right direction, our team of healthcare hiring experts has found 3 main areas of growth for the recruitment process in this industry to truly thrive:

1.Speed 

Keeping candidates “warm” is a recruitment fallacy, but truly moving them to complete the process in a timely manner is key to hiring valuable, qualified employees. The longer it takes to complete the hiring process, the less likely it is for candidates to find their way to your open job, because they typically have several other opportunities in the works as well.

In fact, Glassdoor reports an 80% candidate drop-off rate through the application process and 45% drop off due to a complicated applicant tracking system (ATS). Clearly employers are at a disadvantage, who aren’t willing to make changes to create efficiency and streamline their recruiting. The issue is magnified when factoring the remainder of candidates, who may or may not be qualified, but require resources to define for fit.

2. Efficiency

The volume of candidates from various online sources, paired with numerous open positions, can overwhelm healthcare companies’ ability to provide each applicant the time and attention they need throughout the recruitment process. With a “deskless workforce” being the typical life of a healthcare hiring manager, attention lapses are not surprising with many competing daily priorities.

Recruiting Daily reports that only 38% of applicants receive communication with interview details before going into the interview itself, and according to Talent Board, 56% of candidates do not receive feedback following their interview. This lack of communication, direction and follow-through creates more friction toward a successful outcome, and again puts the hiring company at a disadvantage in the market. 

3. Personalization

Although an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) has its efficiency benefits, it treats an applicant like a trackable SKU moving through a supply chain, rather than a human job candidate needing interaction. Companies that put “applicants” through a generalized, automated process are losing the person-focused aspect of recruiting, so crucial to making a connection, establishing a rapport and converting the candidate to an engaged employee. Talent Board also reports an alarming 70% of hiring companies force job seekers through complicated career sites, but then fail to even acknowledge their application through an email or letter. Meaning, candidates go through the application process and don’t receive a single message from the employer.  

Success comes when candidates feel like more than just a number, and when an organization strives to make a personal connection. In a nonstop industry like healthcare where people play such critical roles this proves to be a challenge, but highlights its importance. 

 

ProsperCare Can Help

Where there are shortcomings, there are opportunities. ProsperCare is the healthcare partner that companies need to address the key issues of lack of speed, efficiency and personalization in the recruitment process.

ProsperCare conducted a June 2020 study revealing that more than 50% of qualified candidates dropped off due to slow response. Our model is built to improve the speed and efficiency in the recruitment process to improve candidate matching to open roles, handling repetitive communication steps, and picking up the slack for busy healthcare hiring teams. 

We treat each applicant like “the customer” and the job opening as “their product” to attract the type of “candidate customers” the company is seeking. This allows their individual experience to be unique–based on candidate interests, skills and schedule, down to the interview time. 

The recruitment process impacts more than just a company’s employee count. Studies show that 67% of job seekers are more likely to buy from a company that provided them updates throughout the process, and 65% of job seekers are less likely to buy from a company that they did not hear back from after their interview. On the flipside of the equation, 52% of organizations that took the time and effort to prioritize candidates going through their application process saw a revenue increase of 10% or more. 

Healthcare companies need to start prioritizing candidates for the sake of staffing and their bottom line, and the ProsperCare team and technology is here to help you do just that.

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Automation’s Role in Healthcare, A Human-Centric Industry

As automated solutions infiltrate the job market and threaten once human-held positions, candidates are left seeking jobs in industries where human contact remains a top necessity — ultimately meaning job security. One such industry is healthcare, where human interaction remains an essential part of the service model and where certain technologies are targeted to support processes or create efficiencies. While widespread automation may be a welcome advancement in industries such as food and beverage, construction or cleaning, it is not an ideal for the healthcare industry. How can technology have an impact on healthcare? Let’s discuss.

Tech Driving Candidates Towards Healthcare

In many industries, automation is replacing humans in the name of efficiency. This has driven candidates toward the healthcare industry, where human interaction remains at the center of its operations. While healthcare is by no means an automation-free industry, it is resilient to advances in technology that drive out human labor because no machine can replace the value of human care. The industry will continue to thrive and need a pipeline of candidates to care for an aging population with a high demand for quality healthcare services. According to the following graph from The Economist, automation potential is seen as low for the healthcare sector.

Senior Care: Automation-Resilient 

One healthcare sector in particular remains relatively untouched by the shift towards automation: senior care. Artificial intelligence and machine learning will never fully replace two essential qualities related to senior care: human touch and the ability to cater to the needs of individuals. In the senior care industry, it’s crucial for caregivers to embody basic human attributes such as touch, personality, compassion and care in order to successfully serve their patients. Even if automated tools were trained to do everything a caregiver, licensed practicing nurse or a registered nurse does, the human aspects will always be missing. For candidates seeking to capitalize on the demand for caregivers in the senior and healthcare professions, or looking to make a career jump from an automation-driven industry, ProsperCare exists to help with the transition. 

ProsperCare Streamlines a Candidate Path into Healthcare

ProsperCare offers a path into the resilient healthcare industry to those who may simply have personal experience in care, but would be a valuable asset to the profession. As an advocate for candidates, ProsperCare is equipped to guide candidates from application to 90 days on the job, rather than having to go it alone. This starts with capturing a candidate’s strengths and experience and determining how those translate for a match into specific healthcare roles. With ProsperCare, candidates know whether they are pre-qualified and immediately invited to interview within minutes of applying. ProsperCare uses technology to serve the client hiring side of the recruitment process, by hosting a daily online job fair to speed forward the best hiring matches, which allows clients to be the “first-to-offer” — a key for winning candidates in the process.

ProsperCare Gives Clients the Time to Focus on What Matters Most

As a hiring partner to the client, ProsperCare software creates efficiencies in the recruiting process to ultimately give hiring managers the gift of time to focus on what matters most — providing for patient care. The platform is easy to understand, configure and get up and running and works alongside clients to eliminate hiring friction and give them an advantage in the marketplace. Want to learn more about ProsperCare software and services? Click here for more information and to learn how to streamline and elevate your hiring process with people-first workforce solutions. With no risk and high reward, what are you waiting for?

REFERENCES:

 

 

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It’s Time to Talk About Recruiting for Senior Care Centers in a COVID-19 World

With several permanent protocols in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, senior living communities have needed to shift their focus, time and resources. Rightfully so, these new requirements help to ensure that proper health safety measures are in place, enforced and running smoothly. However, the need to implement and track additional policies can mean that other critical tasks in communities such as recruitment, consistently stay on the back burner. 

More than 28% of nursing homes had direct care staffing shortages since the beginning of June 2020. Maintaining a full staff is critical to attend to all residents’ needs and to be proactive in health safety measures. It’s also imperative to be targeted in recruitment efforts to ensure new hires match the needs of the facility.

Let’s breakdown the current landscape of senior care facilities and the resources available to help fill the recruitment gap.

 

COVID-19 Impact on Senior Care Facilities 

After being one of the hardest hit communities by COVID-19, senior care facilities implemented several new policies such as testing, screening and contact tracing for residents, staff members and visitor management. They also adopted safer socialization practices such as scheduled dining, small group gatherings and frequent sanitation to maintain a comfortable environment for their residents.

These new policies and practices are many of the reasons why now is a good time to move into a senior living community. It’s more safe and sanitized than ever! In addition, these communities offer the added benefits of health care services on site and easy access to vaccines. 

Even with new safety measures in place, senior care facility occupancy has decreased by 6.8% since the first quarter of 2020 due to concerns around COVID-19. Assisted living and independent living occupancy rates have also dropped by 7.4% and 6.2%, respectively, since March of 2020. However, these numbers are expected to drastically increase with the steady vaccine rollout.

All of these changes have added to their already exhaustive workload.

 

Recruitment Goes Virtual 

At a time where focus needs to be on resident health safety, recruitment by department heads falls to the wayside. The only way to truly focus on new protocols is to have a full staff in place that matches the needs of the residents, and to shift the burden of their other responsibilities. 

Now more than ever, it’s encouraged to host recruitment efforts virtually, rather than invite candidates onsite, saving time and reducing the chances of unnecessary outside contact. Once the candidate passes through the interview process, guidelines state they can then screen, including COVID testing, or quarantine before starting in person.

Although short and sweet in length, these guidelines take time to implement and enforce. It’s not only important to be fully staffed with the right people, but to also have a dedicated person(s) for recruitment.

 

ProsperCare Helps Bridge the Recruitment Gap

Where can these facilities turn to find the right balance? ProsperCare helps their clients to fully shift their focus to protecting residents’ health safety. We lift the time and resource burden of the hiring process, while still consistently recruiting qualified candidates, that leads to better retention and more hands to help residents.

While the overall number of senior residents in care facilities is currently down, the resident population is forecasted to greatly increase due to the progressive rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine. Now is the time to prepare for this influx by getting qualified staff in place — and that starts with a hiring partner like ProsperCare.

We understand that in the past year, hiring has been a workload challenge for senior care centers when compared with ensuring the health safety of their residents. Our people-first technology solutions help maintain seamless hiring efforts. Ultimately, we exist to save these communities time, resources and money, while improving retention rates and recruiting top talent to take care of their seniors in need. Now more than ever, we believe it’s critical to invest in solutions to prepare for the coming demand.

 

Resources:
  1. https://www.statista.com/chart/22591/confirmed-weekly-covid-cases-and-deaths-in-us-nursing-homes/ COVID Cases in Senior Living Communities 
  2. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1173436/covid-us-anxiety-depression-by-unpaid-caregiver-status/ COVID impact on unpaid caregivers 
  3. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1139812/changes-in-likelihood-of-pursuing-senior-living-pandemic-us-by-age/ The change of trusting the safety of senior living communities. There needs to be a change.
  4. https://www.todaysgeriatricmedicine.com/archive/MA19p28.shtml Caregiver Burnout ways to help 
  5. https://www.aarp.org/ppi/issues/caregiving/info-2020/nursing-home-covid-dashboard.html
  6. https://seniorhousingnews.com/2020/06/19/senior-living-providers-develop-new-move-in-protocols-as-nation-reopens/ 
  7. https://www.healthvermont.gov/sites/default/files/documents/pdf/COVID-19-Prevention-Senior-Living-final.pdf 
  8. https://seniorhousingnews.com/2021/01/07/senior-living-occupancy-hit-record-low-in-q4-2020/ 
  9. https://www.hebrewseniorlife.org/blog/5-reasons-why-now-good-time-move-senior-living-community 

 

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Future Care Solutions from a Current Reality: The Impact of COVID-19 on Female Workers

Women and Minorities: Current Caregivers to Future Healthcare Workers

According to a recent AARP report, the demographic characteristics of caregivers have remained relatively the same since 2015–and the conclusion? Caregiving is universal and remains an activity across all populations. One steady fact is that the responsibility of caring for a loved one disproportionately falls on women, especially minorities. It is common to assume women naturally fall into a caregiving role over men, but what does the research say? 

 

The Gender Gap in Caregiving

In 2020, 61% of caregivers were women. Furthermore, 27% of women compared to 20% of men cared for two or more adults.

The disparity between these statistics becomes more meaningful when considering the sacrifices, responsibilities and expectations associated with stepping into a caregiving role. The burden disproportionately falls on women. 

According to BipartisanPolicy, a Washington D.C.-based think tank, approximately 825,000 women and 216,000 men dropped out of the U.S workforce in September 2020 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, with nearly a quarter of the women doing so to manage caregiving responsibilities.

 

That’s nearly twice as many women than men choosing, or perhaps being expected, to perform beyond their title as — mom, teacher, nurse, cook, housekeeper, etc. — while sacrificing their paycheck, benefits and career goals. 

The lasting impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on America’s workforce have yet to be fully realized.

 

Unrealized Pandemic Impacts 

When the pandemic caused schools, daycares and businesses to close or go virtual, parents and family members had to stay home and take care of their families where societal institutions usually filled the gap. In most cases, women and minorities left the workforce to care for their home lives. 

Business has by no means been normal for anyone during the pandemic, but for women — especially mothers, senior-level women and Black women — it’s been particularly challenging. According to Yahoo! Finance, 100% of the jobs lost in December 2020 were held by women. Furthermore, the 2020 Women in the Workplace report states 1 in 4 women are considering downshifting their careers or even leaving the workforce due to the pandemic. 

If the path back into America’s workforce isn’t improved and expedited for women and minorities, many jobs could remain vacant and the strides made toward gender diversity may be jeopardized. How can we make sure this doesn’t happen now or in a post-COVID world?

 

ProsperCare Advocates for Women and Minorities in Workforce Development 

ProsperCare helps candidates translate personal experiences caring for family members or friends, as the gateway to a prosperous career in caregiving. We help candidates navigate the healthcare job market by smoothing the way from apply-to-90 days on the job. The ProsperCare process helps bridge the gap between candidates and clients who provide care, as a much-needed ally for women and minorities who will soon be looking to re-enter the workforce.

If you’ve been affected by the pandemic and have caring experience, we’d love to help you learn more about our process and how we can help guide you through a career shift to caring. 

 

Resources: