Best Practices to Improve the Hiring Process and Attract the Best Candidates


Rishabh Parmar, Head of Strategy and Operations at Vivian Health

In July, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released guidance about the nursing home five-star rating system. That guidance includes 50 points that can be awarded for annual total nurse turnover, RN turnover, and administrator turnover, while 100 points can be awarded for adjusted total nurse and RN staffing. The guidance also emphasizes weekend staffing levels, highlighting the importance for skilled nursing facilities to focus on effective hiring and minimizing staff turnover. 

Rishabh Parmar, Head of Strategy and Operations at Vivian Health, shared advice and best practices to help senior care organizations improve their hiring processes and attract the best candidates. 

Strategies to Improve Job Descriptions

Attracting top talent starts with job descriptions, but many organizations’ job descriptions fall short. Parmar explains that using basic job descriptions that lack necessary information job seekers need can cause an organization to miss out on quality candidates. “With limitations on the number of specialties associated with senior care, job descriptions are often focused more on general descriptions of the company and high-level details on the position posted,” explains Parmar. “Those descriptions are less specific about the day-to-day duties and responsibilities within the role.” 

That lack of detail and clarity can cost an organization potential quality candidates. “Job seekers want to understand what tasks they’ll be responsible for on a daily basis and need more insight into the patient populations being cared for,” says Parmar. While it can take time, it’s important to ensure that every job description includes the details and essential information that are specific to that unique position, so job seekers are well-informed. 

It’s equally important to provide details about compensation, the training process, and scheduling. “In general, improved transparency into pay, benefits, and schedule flexibility can help a senior care organization increase the engaged candidates by 15-30%,” reports Parmar. 

Additionally, Parmar notes that an effective job description needs to include several key elements. Those elements include a specific title, as opposed to a generic title like “senior care provider.” The post should also include a clear description of caregiver responsibilities, as well as required educational and experience qualifications. 

Creating a Hiring Process to Retain Strong Candidates

The overall hiring process also affects whether a business can attract and retain strong candidates. According to Parmar, businesses make several key mistakes that cause them to lose out on strong candidates. 

A slow turnaround time from application submission to candidate interviews and job offers may mean that top candidates find employment elsewhere. Senior care organizations also need to be upfront and clear about on-the-job benefits like mileage reimbursement. Staggered or limited numbers of orientations can cause businesses to lose out on quality candidates, as can their inability to match the right jobs with staff preferences. 

Instead, Parmar recommends that senior care organizations provide a high level of engagement during the application process and reduce the amount of time between the application and the interview. Businesses might consider pushing the application step to after the interview process, too. 

Using a mobile platform to receive applications can facilitate candidate communication via chat and email functions. It also gives candidates clear visibility into where they are in the hiring process at any time, reducing confusion and uncertainty. A business should focus on reducing the number of touchpoints for candidates during the hiring process, which could include a sourcer, recruiter, and hiring manager. With fewer touchpoints, candidates will be better able to reach out to the correct contact with any questions. 

When it comes to the interview process, considering opening interview availability outside of normal business hours, especially for candidates who already work in the field. 

By strategically evaluating an existing job description and hiring process, senior care organizations can better attract and retain top talent. Given the staffing challenges facing the industry and the CMS five-star guidelines, there’s no better time to revisit and improve your hiring process. 

Topics: Administration , Featured Articles , Medicare/Medicaid , Regulatory Compliance , Staffing , Training