The demand for U.S. long-term care services has never been greater, largely driven by a rapidly aging population. Spending on nursing facilities and continuing care retirement communities is projected to grow at an average rate of 5.2% per year until 2024, reaching $274 billion in total spending.

To keep up with this growth, long-term care organizations need to hire qualified, compassionate employees who can provide top-notch care. But many long-term care providers face hiring challenges. In fact, the shortage of paid direct care workers is projected to reach 355,000 by 2040. Many factors contribute to these challenges, including a historically-low unemployment rate and limited interest in long-term care careers by today’s job seekers.

To hire top talent in today’s competitive market, many employers across industries – including long-term care organizations invest significantly in job boards. While job boards are a key piece of any employer’s hiring efforts, they often result in a high quantity but low quality applicants.

To attract the best possible applicants, it’s critical to expand your long-term care organizations recruitment efforts beyond job boards alone. Below, we’ve outlined some tips to get started.

Adapt to applicant trends

The most successful employers understand the current job market and key job seeker trends. One of the most prominent trends today is that more than 70% of job seekers start their job search on Google. Recognizing this trend, Google recently entered the hiring market with its solution, Google for Jobs, which helps prospective applicants find their next opportunity. Given this trend, it’s critical for your long-term care organization to ensure your open roles can be easily found by job seekers on Google.

To reach candidates on Google for Jobs, some best practices include: including refresh your jobs, optimize job posting for search and update your company profile. Beyond these best practices, it’s also important to maintain a compelling career site, so job seekers who come across your open roles get excited about the possibility of joining your long-term care organization.

Embrace your career site gives as an opportunity to showcase your employment brand and answer the “What’s in it for me?” question for job seekers by focusing on what your long-term care team has to offer employees – including your benefits, company culture and training opportunities and career paths. Recent Hireology data found that a strong employment brand boosts higher applicant-to-hire conversion tenfold compared to employers without an employment brand strategy.

Diversify recruitment channels

While job boards are an important recruitment tool, the costs of job board postings can add up quickly. Because of this, your long-term care organization needs to commit to investing in more than simply one or two job boards. Hireology data found that employers with a multi-channel recruitment marketing strategy drive 10 times more quality applicants than those who invest in job boards alone. Other than job boards, key elements of a diverse recruitment marketing strategy include: a strong career site (as highlighted above), programmatic advertising, search, a candidate network and referrals.

Optimize your budget
Not only does relying on job boards alone often lead to receiving a high quantity, but low quality applicants, but job boards also often have limited visibility into ROI. Once your long-term care organization has a diverse recruitment marketing strategy in place, measure the success of your hiring efforts by taking a look at your applicant funnel – applicant, quality applicant and hire – and the cost per hire across channel and job type.

Rather than manually measuring which applicant channels drive results, by partnering with a recruitment CRM platform, you can have clear visibility into the success of your recruitment marketing channels. If certain channels aren’t resulting in hires or the cost per hire is significant, you should eliminate these channels from your recruitment marketing strategy – and only invest in those that drive results.

Hiring quality long-term care employees is a challenge in today’s highly competitive job market. By understanding applicant trends, building a strong employment brand and implementing an effective multi-channel recruitment marketing strategy, you can secure qualified candidates, who will drive profitability for your organization.

Adam Robinson is the co-founder and CEO at Hireology.