Growth of Jobs in Long Term Care

Healthcare jobs are in demand now more than ever. Over the past few years, there’s been tremendous growth in job openings within the long term care market. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, personal care and home health aide positions are projected to be the fastest growing occupations over the next 10 years with a growth rate of 70%. 

The baby boomer population has come into their golden years, and most of them are living a lot longer than the average lifespan of previous generations. Some of these elders suffer from chronic health problems that require around the clock care in a special facility. For a majority of families, a long term care community is their only hope, since they lack the time or the skill-sets required to provide care for their aging loved one. The growing need for long term care communities creates competition for top talent among facilities. 

Hiring the Wrong Staff Can Hurt your Community

Health aides and general staff working in long term care are responsible for helping residents and patients live independently, while providing them with the medical care they need. The whole purpose of a long term care community is not to inhibit the residents and patients, it’s to empower them and to be there to lend a helping hand as needed. Residents spend a majority of their time with the nurses, housekeepers, leaders and staff at the community. This means that your employees are literally the face of your facility as the people your residents see the most. If they do a great job with your residents, your community flourishes; if they don’t, the community suffers from bad press. A few publicized complaints are sometimes all it takes for communities to experience reduced occupancy, which means reduced revenue.

Meanwhile, the growth in the long term care job market might be causing you to receive more applications than you were 5 or 10 years ago. Long term care communities who don’t have the resources to manually manage their recruitment processes turn to applicant tracking software to help them automate parts of the application process. However, when you’re reviewing the applicants who appear to be more than qualified on paper (they have extensive experience with the right certifications), you can’t determine if their conduct with past residents was a match for your organization’s culture and values. Since some residents don’t publically come forward with complaints against their caregivers, you may never know — that’s where behavioral assessment software comes in. This software uses behavioral science to identify applicants who are truly service oriented. 

Identifying Service-Oriented Job Seekers 

In order to select the best candidates during a time of industry growth, long term care organizations need to think about what qualities matter most. One of the most important things to keep in mind is that long term care is a customer-oriented business. Recently, EMA Communities in Maryland decided to create initiatives around hiring and developing customer-oriented applicants. “We began a cultural transformation, changing from a service-based mission and vision to a mission and vision that we felt propelled us to the future and was more meaningful to our employees and residents,” said Jim Donovan, Director of Total Rewards at EMA. EMA realized that the best way to create a positive environment for their residents and fulfill their new “meaningful living” mission was through their employees. In order to inspire meaningful living for their residents, EMA decided they need to hire resident-focused employees to deliver relationship based care. EMA decided to implement behavioral assessment software to aid in their new hiring process as part of an initiative to link their hiring process to their cultural change initiative — to create and maintain a culture of service excellence, while promoting meaningful living for their residents. Using behavioral-based assessments, EMA is now able to make hiring decisions based on candidates’ inherent behavioral competencies that align with the culture and mission of their organization.  

Want to learn more about EMA’s initiatives to align their culture to their hiring process? Watch the McKnight’s Webinar Replay: Are you hiring the right people?


About The Editorial Staff

The Editorial Staff is a team of writers with a passion for helping healthcare organizations manage their biggest and most important investment: their employees.