Archive December 2023

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7 Senior Living Workforce Trends for 2024 By MedBest Recruiting

Today’s workplace and workforce are constantly evolving. With it, the way we recruit, hire, and retain top talent. To keep up with these changes, senior living and long-term care leaders must rise to the occasion and make changes where necessary.


With that in mind, here are 7 senior living / long-term care workforce trends that you may want to focus on as we go into 2024!


AI Helps Senior Living Talent Crunch
Artificial Intelligence (AI) will play a significant role in addressing staffing shortages in the senior living industry. With AI powered tools, organizations can sift through resumes faster and help to identify suitable candidates quickly. AI driven chatbots and virtual assistants can guide new hires through the onboarding process and reduce the HR workload. In addition, look to AI for staffing optimization, shift planning, robotic caregivers, and more virtual consultations.  While AI can address staffing shortages, it’s important to remember that technology should complement, not replace, the human touch in senior care.


C-Title Gains Ground
Since AI has been rapidly evolving, industries including senior living, are exploring the possibility of adding a fairly new C-Suite title of Chief Artificial Intelligence Officer (CAIO). This CAIO role is now required at all federal agencies and likely coming your way.  Duties of the CAIO include creating a strategy for using both Generative AI such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT and traditional AI, determining where AI can transform business processes, finding ways to drive new business, ensuring staff is properly trained to use AI, and staying current with AI ethics as well as any regulations and compliances coming down the pike.


Leadership Skills Emphasized
This past year revolved around change due to AI advances, return to office policies, talent recruitment hiccups, political challenges, and economic uncertainty. As we gear up for a new year, senior living leadership will require these 6 honed skills sets to inspire their teams for greatness: adaptability, tech savviness high emotional intelligence, communication, authenticity, and conflict resolution.
-Adaptability to navigate the ever-changing business landscape especially with AI
-Tech Savviness to drive business transformation
-Emotional Intelligence to understand one’s emotions as well as recognize and manage others’ emotions and perspectives
-Effective Communication Skills to communicate the long-term vision for the organization and create a good rapport with teams. Also, part of communication is being a good listener. Your employees want to be heard
-Authentic Leadership is a modern approach that emphasizes genuineness and honesty. Authentic leaders build trust relationships with their staff
-Conflict Resolution to solve conflicts in the workplace that could lead to decreased productivity and staff turnover.

Interim Talent Still Popular Solution

Interim work and hires in the senior living and long-term care industry increased significantly during the pandemic.  Now that the health crisis has receded, we can clearly see that the demand for interim staff has not diminished. In fact, it’s grown! Interim professionals are helping senior living and long-term care organizations to bridge the talent gap, control costs, add specialized skills, work on short-term projects, remain flexible without a long-term commitment, and try before they buy. The most popular senior living interim executives placed are Nursing Home Administrators, Executive Directors, Assisted Living Administrators, Directors of Nursing, MDS Coordinators and Resident Services Directors.


Average Hiring Process Taking Longer
It’s been reported by Business Insider that the average time for an organization to fill a role is taking longer than previous years and stands at 44 days. In the senior living / long term care industry, it may take even longer due to the specialization of roles, current talent scarcity, skills shortages, and more selective job seekers. That being the case, it’s time to review and reassess your interviewing and hiring processes. Do you have the right tools in place for talent acquisition? Have you considered adding AI?  The ability to speed up your hiring process improves your chances of acquiring top industry talent before they accept an offer from a competitor.


Return to the Office Demands vs. Hybrid Work
Organizations want to restore in-person work collaboration. According to Resume Builder’s survey of 1,000 company leaders, 90% of companies plan to implement a return-to-office policy by the end of 2024 and 30% say they will threaten to fire employees who don’t comply with in-office requirements. However, employees have a difference of opinion.  It’s reported that 68% of employees prefer hybrid work and flexible schedules. Our prediction is that hybrid work and flexibility will win out. Millennials and Gen Z are creating more demands for adjusted schedules and reimagined  roles.  Consequently, leaders will have to manage a team of scattered workers; some they see every day and others once or twice per week. Leadership will place high value on managers who can get optimum results from hybrid teams.


Purpose-Driven Work Continues to be of Great Importance
Purpose in work predicts whether your employees will stay or go. Per, purposeful work is the intrinsic sense of fulfillment that employees gain from doing work that’s meaningful to them. In other words, purpose in work connects employees with something bigger than themselves by helping them focus on a greater good. Purpose in the workplace is of great importance to Individuals who are concerned with purpose in life. It’s the “why” we do things and about finding our place in the world. However, more recently, purpose has become closely associated with jobs. According to LinkedIn, 70% of today’s employees see their sense of purpose as being defined by the work that they do. Performing purposeful work promotes employee engagement, improves individual’s well-being, strengthens workplace relationships, brings greater satisfaction at work plus a sense of fulfillment, and drives motivation. If your organization can connect your mission with employee’s jobs, you’ll create a culture that employees will not want to leave.


As senior living and long term care executive recruiters, we expect that 2024 workforce trends will emphasize a continued shift towards AI, leadership skills development, new strategies for talent acquisition, and personal career fulfillment.


MedBest is an award-winning national Executive Search Firm exclusive to the Senior Living / Long Term Care Industry. For more than two decades, we have connected senior living / long term care organizations with exceptional senior living executive talent for both permanent and interim roles. MedBest was named as a Top 10 Interim Services Provider 2023! In addition, we were one of American’s top companies by Inc.5000 and a Tampa Fast 50 Company in 2021! MedBest is a member of the National Association of Personnel Services (NAPS), National Investment Center for Senior House (NIC), and American Staffing Association (ASA).

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VALA is proud to offer upcoming events, webinars, and meetings for assisted living administrators, regional staff members, caregivers, nurses, and other staff members. Several of the events will offer a variety of continuing education credits dependent upon the topics (i.e. NAB, Nursing, Social Work). Check the VALA Events Calendar for upcoming opportunities.