Resident Concierge Representatives

Challenge:

Elim Care wasn’t receiving enough applications from qualified nurses and nursing assistants to fill all the open positions in its organization. After talking with current workers, the organization concluded that most prospective employees don’t know they want to work in the field of aging until they actually start working in the field.

Solution:

Elim Care created a new position called a resident concierge representative (RCR). RCRs are paid workers who perform tasks that do not require a license. For example, they may respond to call lights, deliver trays at meal times, transport residents to and from meals and activities, assist families during move-in/out times, make beds, and straighten rooms. While they carry out these tasks, RCRs are also getting the chance to explore whether aging services and Elim Care, are a good fit for them.

Implementation Details:

  • Recruiting options:
    • Local workforce center: Elim Care works with a local workforce training center to recruit RCRs. The training center offers extra support to these individuals who are often at a time of transition in their lives or are new to the workforce. The workforce center may pay a portion of an RCR’s wages and may offer additional support if the individual decides to enter a nursing assistant training class.
    • High schools: some sites work closely with local schools that provide career or health care exploration programs to recruit students.
  • Provider responsibilities: Elim Care pays a lower wage to the RCR and does not offer overtime benefits, as the RCRs are limited to a maximum of 29 hours/week. The cost is generally $3-4 less than a nurse aide’s salary. If the RCR is hired, Elim Care provides scholarships so that they can train as nursing assistants.

Factors for Success:

  • Communicate role and responsibilities thoroughly to RCR, residents/families, and staff
  • Use a special uniform and/or name tag to identify RCRs.
  • Assign RCRs to the day shift or early evening for best supervision.
  • Since RCRs tend to be in transition, consider a coordinator who can do life/work skills coaching or use the Employee Assistance Program.

Outcomes:

  • RCRs are now working at 3 Elim Care sites.
  • Almost all (86%) of the 7 RCRs at one site became nursing assistants, and all those nursing assistants stayed with Elim Care for more than 6 months.
  • Three-quarters (75%) of the 12 RCRs at another site became nursing assistants and 67% stayed more than 6 months.
  • A third site is just starting the program.

Need more information?

Contact Angela Brown, VP of human resources at Elim Care.