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    Healthcare | 3 min read

    4 Factors for High Turnover Rate in Assisted Living

    When people think of industries with high turnover rates, they often assume that establishments such as restaurants, hotels, and convenience stores have the hardest time holding onto employees - but the real answer might surprise you.

    The senior living industry has a turnover rate of 50% according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics - and this number is quickly rising (source: CNBC). To put this figure into better perspective, if your facility has 1,000, you need to hire 500 new employees every year to maintain status quo. 

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    This high employee turnover rate is very detrimental to businesses, causing the following:

    • Burnout: Employees are overworked because facilities can't keep up with hiring. When assisted living employees leave suddenly, the remaining staff has to pick up additional shifts and training duties. 
    • Decrease in revenue: It costs centers $3,500 to $5,000 per hire when you factor in job board costs, onboarding, and training. 
    • Negative impact on employee culture: Employees are happier when they work with people they are familiar with. If there is a continuous cycle of people leaving, it can make for a stressful work environment.
    • Lack of consistency of care: Residents are more at ease being cared for by those they know. Constant changeover of staff can be very emotionally disruptive for assisted living residents.
    • Drop in the quality of care: When employees leave, they need to train people their replacements; some tasks will fall through the cracks, resulting in lower quality of care.

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    So what are the factors that often lead to high turnover numbers?

    Challenging workload 

    Working at assisted living facilities can be both physically and emotionally taxing. The daily tasks are hard enough. Add the inevitable burnout due to lack of staff, and the fact that employees often get emotionally attached to their assigned residents.

    Low pay

    Assisted living facility hourly workers receive relatively low pay considering the tiring nature of their work. Nursing assistants can get paid around $12 per hour, with nurses faring a bit better at $20. According to a survey performed by Indeed, Half of assisted living facilities believe the are not pair fairly. low pay rate has driven many workers to seek more roles elsewhere in the healthcare industry.

    What are nurses paid in the United States - assisted living - Workstream Indeed

    Lack of career growth

    Entry-level workers can struggle to break into senior ranks of employment in the senior care industry, particularly if there is a lack of training or other investment by the facility. Lack of staff development programs can be detrimental to an employee’s sense of belonging, leading to apathy among staff.

    Offering opportunities for career growth, as well as increasing engagement, can lead to better retention. Read more on how to drive employee engagement in this post

    Very competitive labor market

    As of August 2019, there were roughly 39,000 job openings posted by direct employers in the senior living industry, including those for assisted living facilities. Given the abundance of opportunities, workers feel less apprehensive going elsewhere when they feel unsatisfied with their current employment.

    Given the urgent need in the industry and the stiff competition for hiring in the field, it’s more important than ever to focus on the right screening process. Employee retention starts at the very first step of recruitment: making sure to find competent, dedicated candidates to match the qualifications of each job opening you post. 

    Workstream is committed to streamlining and automating recruitment strategies so that every employer can get the best solutions for different hiring challenges. Workstream has helped hire thousands of assisted living employees and care drivers for companies including Brightstar, Morrison Living, Nurse Next Door, Envoy, and Clarion Medical Transport. We reduce their time to hire by 72% and help them find 4x the number of qualified applicants.

    Let’s talk about how we can help you.

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    Desmond Lim

    Desmond Lim is co-founder and CEO of Workstream, an automated hiring platform for companies hiring hourly workers. He is a graduate of Harvard and MIT Media Lab, former product manager at WeChat, and investor at Dorm Room Fund. He is based in San Francisco and lived in Palo Alto with his wife and two young daughters.

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