Creativity is key to recruiting and retaining quality workers in new era

LONDON: Employers must get creative to recruit and retain the best workers, executives at Paychex told National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care Chief Operating Officer Chuck Harry during a recent interview. The first step, they said, is to acknowledge that the workplace itself is changing.

“We have to think outside our comfort zone. In the past, a pay raise might have been enough to keep workers. But the new healthcare worker values experiences,” Kate Risa, strategic accounts consultant, told Harry.

Younger generations are less likely than their parents and grandparents to stay at the same job for 30 years. Gen Z and millennials are far more likely to move from job to job, they said, adding that the average job tenure for a millennial is four years. Gen Z stays about 3 years.

“Senior living has been a traditional industry. But that has created a situation where we’ve been left behind and we’re out of touch with what today’s healthcare worker needs and wants,” she said. “These employees want a career path. And they may want a variety of assignments to have different experiences every day.”

Brittany Riese, HR business partner at Paychex, said that senior living and care operators need to cast their nets wider than other industries when looking to hire new employees.

“If you’re only including those with prior senior living experience, you could be missing out on good candidates. Also, things are changing quickly. It’s important to give your workers the tools and training they need to succeed,” she said.

A positive company culture is essential to recruiting and retaining workers, the experts said.

“The new generation of healthcare worker is not going to be the burnout generation,” Risa said. “They don’t want to work overtime. They want flexibility and work-life balance.”

Presbyterian Home & Health Services is hoping to reach this new generation of workers by offering a benefit that allows employees the option to get paid “when they want and how they want.” Employees can download an app, view available pay and instantly load those funds to a prepaid credit card at any time without waiting until payday.

“This is a benefit whose time has come, and I am excited that we now offer this to all PHS employees. It is simple to use and puts employees in the driver seat,” PHS Vice President of Human Resources Dale Fruehauf said.