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. 

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.

A study by BlueCrew 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. 

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, lotsa luck.

So here’s the key hiring takeaway: Your firm’s address might matter more than what your firm addresses.