Hiring for healthcare – especially the senior living industry – is challenging. Not only are you looking for an individual with the right set of skills and experience, but who also has the right personality for the job and would be a good fit for your team.

This is an industry that can be extremely taxing, with burnout and turnover rates that are much higher than average. You do not want to make a mistake and hire someone too soon, only to realize that they cannot handle the emotional weight of the role. But by the same token, competition for quality talent is fierce, and if you wait too long, you risk missing out on a great candidate.

This is a very fine line to walk. In this article, we will go over a few of the biggest hiring mistakes in healthcare. By avoiding these, you can greatly improve the quality and longevity of your hires.

Focusing too much on the resume

Obviously, there are some skills and certifications that are absolutely critical for a new hire to have. But there is much more that can be learned on the job. If you are waiting for an applicant to come in who checks every single box on your list, you will probably be waiting for a really long time (read: forever).

Certain personality characteristics are arguably much more important than your standard “resume points.” instead of waiting for the perfect candidate, look for someone who shows initiative and a willingness to learn. Things like empathy and compassion are a much better assessment of how successful a new employee will be at your senior care facility.

Forgetting to check references

When you think you have found the perfect applicant, you will probably be anxious to get him, or her started as soon as possible. But before you pull the trigger, make sure you do your due diligence. It is all too easy to lie on a resume or give a good impression during an interview. You want to make sure that the candidate actually has the work experience they say they do, and following up on references is probably the most efficient way for you to check.

Not fully onboarding the new hire

Okay, let’s say that you actually did find the perfect applicant: great work experience, excellent personality traits, and stellar references. You hire them, and your job is finally done, right? Wrong! The onboarding process is critical if you want to make sure that the new employee understands the responsibilities and expectations that come with the job. It is also important that they feel welcomed and comfortable with the team. By continually engaging with the new hire, you improve their overall job satisfaction and increase the likelihood of staying for the foreseeable future.


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