Senior living organizations across the country are feeling the brunt of the Great Resignation. Our sector already struggled with a 50% turnover rate pre-COVID-19, and the pandemic proved to be the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Attracting and retaining senior living staff has never been more challenging. But regardless, with the lives and wellbeing of senior residents on the line, shifts still need to be filled.

This is why staffing firms have become a commonplace remedy for the industry-wide labor shortage. Before you defer your senior care recruitment to a staffing firm, here are some helpful considerations to keep in mind about this arrangement.

Staffing firms help fill scheduling gaps, but present new risk-related concerns

Partnering with a staffing firm is a less timely solution with greater administrative efficiencies for senior living facilities to ensure all shifts are covered by skilled care professionals. This can make room for additional flexibility and better work-life balance for full-time staff, which can directly feed your community’s retention efforts.

With access to top talent in the industry, staffing firms provide you with the most qualified, pre-vetted candidates to ensure job fills are seamless and efficient. While this can ease the burden of the cumbersome talent search, involving a third party in your hiring process can bring up liability and risk management concerns that must be understood before a contract is signed.

It’s necessary that clients of staffing firms retain liability for their actions and ensure their temporary employees are properly trained, supervised and safe during their time of employment. Staffing firms are expected to provide clients with reliable, high end talent, but their clients are responsible for keeping them well and positioned for success in their workplace.

Balancing adequate staffing with high-quality resident care is crucial

Partnering with a staffing firm helps maintain continuity of care for your residents, but you will need to consider the type of employee you want to join your team. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the different placement options that a potential staffing partner offers.

Senior living organizations that haven’t previously worked with staffing firms may think that staffing firms only provide contractors for short-term assignments, which could be a barrier to developing strong relationships with residents. In fact, most staffing firms offer contract-to-hire and even direct placement, or permanent placement, opportunities to combat these fears of a short stay.

Whether you ultimately decide to bring in a short-term or long-term employee, it’s strongly encouraged to train, supervise and manage temporary employees similarly to your direct employees to ensure that continuity of care remains consistent across your organization.

Consider implementing robust communications strategies that streamline relationship and trust building between your residents, full-time staff and contractors. Doing this is especially important in a time when partnering with a staffing firm is more common than ever in the senior living sector.

Do you need guidance on getting the most out of your partnership with a staffing firm? A Marsh McLennan Agency (MMA) advisor is available to help.

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