Like anything in life, we are not born knowing all the answers to all the questions. In order for us to walk we have mostly fallen many times. The same is true in the real world, life as we know. As adults, the best we can do is learn from those that have done what you are trying to do.
Should you invest in an Assisted Living facility? I don’t know, should you? I mean investing in anything is personal choice of your objected, goals, and purpose in life.
Perhaps you do have a keen heart for the elderly and want to a voice and an impact within the senior housing industry or communities, but you still have not reached that point. No worries, with perseverance you will get there.
Aside from the legalities, licensing, and structural accommodations, how do you find the employees of your dreams?
From personal experience, I’ve had amazing employees just as I have had bad employees.
Here are three (3) tips for hiring if you have never hired staff before. It is not difficult, but this is something that you should never skip and be extremely diligent about. After all, the person that you hire you will also work with them and they will at times be the face of your business, nonetheless, be the caregivers for your Residents.
- Preparation – When you are starting you may be wearing many different hats within your organization. When it comes to hiring employees the preliminary is key:
- Have a formal job description outlining the role of the position, key responsibilities, and all qualifications required. You will be surprised how many people want to be caregivers without meeting the basic criteria to do such. Know your state rules and regulations for assisted living personnel requirements.
- Make sure that you have tax documents such as I-9’s and W-4 (for the respective year. The forms can be form on the IRS.gov website)
- Company policies such as pay schedule, time off policies, any health or other insurance offerings, employment terms and conditions, and any violations and termination policies.
Again, if you have never hired employees before the above the key items will help guide you on your path. Please consult with an attorney or advisor to better instruct based on your state needs.
There are also companies such as Paychex and ADP, that offer a variety of services ranging from Human Resources (listed above), Benefits, Payroll, and Taxes. Note, these services are not free. Pricing may range based on your company size or earnings. You would have to schedule a consultation with their sales rep.
- Probation Period – I recommend having a probationary period, like 30 days, 3 months, 6 months etc based on your company culture. This is like a trail period to see if the person that you have just hired is a good fit for the environment and culture that you are trying to create or establish.
Not to toot my own horn, but one of my pet peeves within my organization was that the ALF always smelled amazing. Why? When you visit a house or property for the first time all of your senses are heightened. If the house looks wonderful but smells like a dump I guarantee you that the visitors will not return and nonetheless, not place their family member there. All of this was made possible by my awesome staff. Simple.
At the end of the day, you want to make sure that if you are going to invest in someone, it’s going to be the right person for the job and the place.
- Never stop recruiting – You might be asking yourself, why if you have already found an amazing staff? Things happen (keeping it clean)! You need to be able to get ahold of people that are your “stand-by’s” if you wish. Some people love being on stand-by, it allows them the flexibility they need in their lives and its great for you. Stand-by’s are those caregivers that will work for temporary, short period of times. In most cases, this is exactly what you need.
There are agencies that provide this type of service, but be careful! These agencies normally charge roughly between $30 – $65 per hour! Yes, I said per hour. And you must be really specific of the tasks that these individuals are to perform. Many do not do basic cleaning, showering, or cooking.
Personally, I had about 3 caregivers on rotation at a given time as stand-by’s to fill in if the permanent had an emergency or any other personal errand. Try not to depend too much on staffing agencies as it can become quite pricey after a while and may interfere with your budgets.
Hope that you have gained something, from hiring the awesome person to join your organization. Paperwork is super important because it intercedes with Labor Laws in your state, Equal Employment Opportunities, and things of that nature that you really want to be mindful of. If you don’t know hire professional they’ll do it in half the time, for a small fee. Probationary periods are not required, but helpful that it is set a standard upon recruitment and that the incoming employees know what their responsibilities are to avoid miscommunications or mishaps. Recruiting for employees is golden. This should go without saying, but you don’t know, what you don’t know, and if you don’t how would you know to keep on recruiting? Always know of Murphy’s Law, “Anything that can go wrong will grow wrong.”
Always be prepared this way, you are not the one stepping in to fill a shift!