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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. 

 

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4 Reasons to Pursue a Healthcare Career Right Now (Even Without a Degree!)

In a job market characterized by instability, opportunities in the healthcare field abound and offer candidates a stable, long-term career path with better benefits, full-time work and greater growth potential. Let’s explore these benefits further.


1. Steady and Stable

Healthcare is an essential industry required to sustain our society, therefore, the industry and its associated occupations are here to stay. While many industries struggle to stabilize, healthcare remains steadfast and is poised for exponential growth. In fact, the number of healthcare jobs is projected to grow 15 percent from 2019 to 2029. The growth is mainly attributed to an aging population, leading to a greater demand for healthcare services. 

When paired with existing shortages, the increasing demand for healthcare workers creates a prime opportunity for candidates seeking a fulfilling, long-term career to enter the industry.

2. Flexibility is Key

The healthcare industry doesn’t stop. It needs workers around the clock, on holidays, overnight, etc. This creates a continuous need for staffing no matter the circumstances of the world. However, this also allows caregivers to have flexible hours that work within the parameters of their lifestyle. With shifts available 24/7, 365 days a year, healthcare workers can still work a full schedule outside of traditional nine-to-five hours. 

3. Room to Grow

The demand for healthcare workers is imminent and expected to grow, which works in the favor of candidates seeking full-time employment. Candidates working full time will also have access to company benefits such as 401K programs and health insurance, in addition to paid training and schooling opportunities. Additionally, employees are exposed to endless opportunities to seek continued education, on-the-job training and resources to expand their knowledge and skill set. 

4. Every Day is a New Adventure

Healthcare is fast-paced and filled with changes, celebrations and challenges on a daily basis. This environment continuously keeps things interesting and ultimately rewarding for professionals in the field.

 

ProsperCare Helps Bridge the Gap

Even though the healthcare industry is resilient, it still needs a steady influx of frontline caregivers to keep up with the projected growth. So where will these caregivers come from to meet the demand? How will healthcare companies recruit to meet their staffing demands while juggling their day-to-day responsibilities? Both questions can be answered with ProsperCare.

Although many people serve as caregivers for family or friends, they may not think they are qualified to work in the healthcare field. However, ProsperCare is here to help candidates realize and nurture their potential to start and build a career in healthcare. 

Many candidates are unaware there are caregiving roles available to people with a GED, a Ph.D and all of the accolades in between. The graph below shows that in 2020, 26% of people entered into important care roles with less than a four year degree. This gives candidates with or without advanced education the chance to join the field and climb up the healthcare ladder of opportunities. 

Let’s look at someone considering a shift into healthcare from the food service industry as a server. Their strengths include delivering an exceptional experience, anticipating customers’ needs and prioritizing tasks during a busy meal shift. However, their upward trajectory within the company is limited, along with their benefits. ProsperCare facilitates a move for these types of candidates and helps them realize their potential to translate their talents into a career in healthcare with better benefits, a more stable future and greater growth potential.

Identifying, nurturing and growing candidates’ potential to serve in a caregiving role, especially without a professional care background, is how ProsperCare helps support the healthcare industry growth and paves the career path for candidates from other industries into a career in care.

 


 

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A Big Boom!

Who will care for 80 million seniors in the next decade?  The total number of senior citizens will exceed 80 million by 2030. Furthermore, with an average increase of at least three years in life expectancy per person, one person needing 24-hour care in their elder years could create a need for 3,000-plus healthcare shifts for themselves alone.

What does this mean?  This increase in the number of seniors needing care has led to forecasts of around 1.2 million new employees being recruited to the industry by 2025. This points to an overwhelming need for a more robust pipeline of frontline care workers in an already scarce pool of candidates.

The need is not limited to doctors and nurses, but includes candidates, often from other industries (hotel, restaurant, etc.), who may lack an extensive healthcare background but who have transferable customer service or personal care experience. If not addressed, this issue will lead to overworked employees, a decline in retention rates, and ultimately, seniors not receiving the quality of care they deserve.

Moreover, COVID-19 has disproportionately taken a toll on the senior population, resulting in an added strain on their caretakers. As the number of cases among seniors continues to rise, so does the urgency to have the necessary staffing to keep seniors healthy, especially since 60% have two or more underlying conditions.

The pandemic also elevated the importance of health safety standards across the healthcare industry, adding further value to those in caregiving roles. When married to the projected growth of an aging population, COVID-19 creates even more pressure for healthcare facilities to stay fully staffed, while sustaining their recruitment efforts.

The Solution. ProsperCare provides recruitment automation and workforce solutions to pre-qualify and engage candidates from apply-to-90 days on the job. Identifying, nurturing and growing a candidates’ potential to serve in a caregiving role, especially without a professional care background, builds strong candidate advocacy to increase their success through onboard and helps reduce “early-hire” stress to improve retention rates.

With ProsperCare on their side, healthcare facilities can focus on the health, safety and smooth operations imperative to serving those under their care, rather than the distracting process of the “hiring hamster wheel.” ProsperCare provides the processes, technology and content needed to help meet a growing demand for invaluable caregivers.

Ready to learn more?  Contact us–we want to help!