Presbyterian Senior Living (PSL) was concerned about the impact of the current and projected severe labor shortages for their community. As part of a strategic planning process, the community included a new strategic objective: including employee relations in its philosophy of person-centered care.
Applying the perspective of person-centered care to employees completely transformed how Presbyterian Senior Living viewed its employees. As a result of this change, the community restructured the recruitment, employment, and onboarding processes into a more holistic experience.
MaryAnne Adamczyk, Senior Vice President, Corporate Relations and Cindy Fox, Vice President of Employee Relations began by reevaluating the employee experience from application to onboarding. They involved Human Resources professionals and Operations managers in all aspects of the project.
Using results of the group’s work, the annual PSL employee survey results, exit interviews, and retention statistics, Adamczyk and Fox did the following.
- Restructured the recruiting process to cut contact time from application to interview.
- Changed the recruiting process so that it was done regionally by recruiting professionals.
- Implemented an electronic Applicant Tracking system that not only facilitated recruitment, but allowed managers to participate/track the process.
- Implemented the use of a pre-hire assessment tool to assist managers with questions based on the applicant responses.
New Employee Orientation
- Restructured new employee orientation to concentrate more on mission, purpose and meeting key people, rather than on routine tasks. This change engaged new staff, along with all key managers at a community.
- Included the CEO in new employee orientation at the corporate office.
- Implemented a new employee monitoring system with regular, documented check-ins to assure that the new team member was achieving competencies set forth for the job, as well as learning the PSL culture. This system includes mentoring, supervisor interaction and skills assessment.
Factors for Success:
- A partnership between HR and Operations is critical.
- A mutual understanding that recruitment is important, but retention on the job is the key to success.
- Taking time to analyze an entire process and look at how all pieces fit together.
- An understanding that retention only can be achieved when supervisors and managers are invested in the new employee.
- Using Marketing concepts to re-orient the hiring process, i.e., changing the process of recruitment to a sales approach. With the scarcity of good candidates, reaching out to people rather than waiting for them to respond to a posting is critical.
- C-Suite support.
- Using new systems to facilitate the process and eliminate “human time” on routine tasks.
- Reduced first contact time with an applicant from 1 week to 3 days.
- No new human resources were added to HR or Operations - existing positions were reconfigured.
- Managers spent less time in recruitment due to better screening tools and questions structured to elicit information rather than just “responses.”
- Streamlined orientation mads the first impression one of people -- not policies.
- Supervisors routinely monitored new employees and competency achievement to prevent turnover due to lack of understanding or need for training.
- Retention in the first year of employment increased from 53% to 84% in two years.