Seniors Housing Business

OCT-NOV 2017

Seniors Housing Business is the magazine that helps you navigate the evolution of the seniors housing industry.

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Page 20 of 47 21 October-November 2017 n Seniors Housing Business National Facilities Maintenance Overwhelming? Let Merit provide the solutions. Snow Removal Lot Sweeping Landscape Site & Deicing & Porter Maintenance Enhancements Contact Merit Today: 24/7 Hotline 844-74-MERIT (63748) Drawing Workers to 'Non-Sexy' Industry Is a Challenge By offering paid internships, educational programs, community events and flexible hours, seniors housing leaders hope to combat the well-documented labor short- age and entice younger work- ers. There simply aren't enough employees to keep up with the pace of development, and the industry is plagued by high turn- over rates as well. That's according to speakers dur- ing an operations update at Inter- Face Seniors Housing Southeast. Lisa Welshhons, senior vice pres- ident of human resources com- pany Aureon, noted the distinct gap between the number of work- ers needed and actual employees working. As moderator, she asked the panel of operators how the labor shortage is changing the way they are staffing their communities, as well as recruiting and retention strategies. "We're often asked by our peers and partners what number of com- munities is our goal, but it's not about a number of communities. It's really about continuing to develop as long as we're able to attract the best-in-class employ- ees," said Sarabeth Hanson, COO at Harbor Retirement Associates, a regional senior living development and management company in Vero Beach, Fla. Already a concern, the demand for new workers will only grow in the coming years. Argentum, a national trade association serving companies that own and operate senior living communities, projects that the seniors housing industry needs to recruit 1.2 million new employees before 2025. Hanson said that Harbor Retire- ment's strategy of rethinking its recruiting efforts included hiring in-house recruiting teams and a talent coach. This mentor works closely with employees and develops succes- sion plans. Harbor Retirement is also now looking at recruiting Mil- lennial employees. Paid internships and training programs help combat the "non- sexy" industry image, according to Hanson. "When you go speak at colleges or universities, it [seniors housing] doesn't seem very sexy or excit- ing to them [Millennials]," she explained. "We are committed to training and education in hopes that we'll be able to retain young, top-talent leaders into our commu- nities long-term." Beth Cayce, founder and CEO of Roswell, Ga.-based CaraVita, a home care service, echoed the same sentiment. CaraVita will pay for online education in hopes that Millennial workers will stay and grow with the company. "If they [Millennials] are excited about the culture I'm building and it's a learning environment based around what they want to do, that gives me good bench strength," she said. Other qualities Millennials look for in employment, according to Hanson, include a sense of pur- pose and flexibility. — Kristin Hiller —— I N T E R FAC E SENIORS HOUSING SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE C O V E R A G E ——

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