Even in good times, hiring qualified frontline workers is problematic for many skilled facilities.
But when unemployment rates are at a 50-year low and the economy is roaring? That’s what’s known in the business as a game changer. And not in a good way.
To give you an idea of how serious hiring headaches have become, consider this: At least one major association is touting staffing sessions as a main reason to attend its fall show. The American Health Care Association has even set up a “Workforce Solutions” track.
At the facility level, we’re seeing perks and other hiring incentives as never before. The latest offerings include things like health insurance, partly- to fully-paid tuition, shopping discounts, wellness programs and more. Some operators are even going so far as to offer a living wage.
To be sure, many of these inducements seem a bit out of place. Especially for a sector that traditionally viewed the Burger Kings and Walmarts of the world as the competition. Clearly, times have changed.
But will this shift actually help get the, er, job done?
Perhaps. But if a new report is to be believed, the key to fruitful hiring sounds a lot like the generally accepted keys to success in real estate: location, location and location.
The study by Blue Crew examined the top reasons why hourly job offers are turned down. And coming in at No. 1 … yep, location. More than one-in-three job offers (38%) were rejected because of a problematic venue.
The study suggests hourly workers will actually accept jobs that pay less in exchange for a shorter commute or better access to public transportation.
“Wages will, of course, always matter, but we see this more so when it comes to retaining workers — not hiring them,” said Adam Roston, CEO of BlueCrew. His firm studied more than 10,000 job offers that were turned down.
In case you are wondering, here are the other top reasons candidates respectfully declined:
• Schedule (rejected by 26%)
• Job type (rejected by 24%)
• Pay rate (rejected by 10%)
• The firm itself (rejected by 2%)
(In a related note, the recent McKnight’s Mood of the Market survey found that 9.1% of existing long-term leaders said that “a shorter commute” would be the “one change that would most improve job satisfaction.”)
For operators, the news here would seem to be a mixed bag.
On the plus side, a less-than-stellar reputation and below-market wages may not be a deal killer.
However, if finding your building requires multiple bus rides and a 90-minute commute, rotsa ruck.
So here’s the key hiring takeaway: Your firm’s address might matter more than what your firm addresses.
John O’Connor is McKnight’s Editorial Director.