Senior care is a fast-growing niche in the U.S. and global markets, and it’s also one that requires particular care when hiring. Jobs in senior care require medical expertise, a dedication to caregiving, and a passion for the work that helps offset frequent stressors. Here’s what clients should know about the state of the industry today and how to land top talent.


Key Statistics on Senior Care

According to the World Health Organization, one in six people in the world population will be at or over the age of 60 by the year 2030. Between 2015 and 2050, the proportion of the world’s population over 60 years of age will most likely increase from 12% to 22%. This represents an enormous shift that not only affects these aging individuals, but younger generations too, as people find themselves having to make more decisions about care for parents and other older loved ones.

It’s no surprise, then, that the senior care market is growing, too. The market for assisted living in the U.S. was valued at $91.8 billion in 2022 and is expected to keep expanding at a compound annual growth rate of 5.5% between now and 2030. This number only covers specific “assisted living,” not the broader senior care field, which includes other factors (such as in-home nursing, medical devices, disease care, and more) and is likewise soaring.


Senior Care and Specialized Segments

Some areas of senior care are getting even more attention in recent months and years. For instance, new avenues of research in dementia and memory care, paired with the overall aging of the population, have led to an increased demand for specialized memory care units. Grand View Research estimated the value of the U.S. memory care market size at $5.82 billion in 2022, and it is expected to keep expanding at a compound annual growth rate of 5.1% between 2023 to 2030.

This growth, however, can also come with hiring challenges, particularly in specialized segments of care or in regions that are harder to hire for. By 2050, the number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s is expected to reach almost 13 million, and so far, as many as 20 states have been identified by the Alzheimer’s Association as care “deserts,” with a severe shortage of specialized care providers. These shortages can be for a number of reasons, including inconvenient locations, lower pay, fewer local support resources, or the sheer emotional toll that senior care and related specialties can take on professionals.

To meet the demand for growth in specialized segments, it’s important for clients to fully understand the hesitations that candidates might have so that they can be addressed. Candidates worried about burnout might be swayed by evidence of strong coverage policies, adequate staffing, and support resources for employees. Those who are worried about moving (alone or with families) to a “less-desirable” area might be more likely to accept a role if the recruiter highlights things like lower cost of living or easy commutes.


Caring for the Caretakers

Senior care and assisted living professionals spend their days caring for vulnerable populations and ensuring clients are given the medical care and personal dignity they deserve. Those same professionals, however, often find themselves without the care they need in turn. In April 2023, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported around 512,000 healthcare workers quitting their jobs, which comprised about 2.4% of the workforce. Those numbers are slightly down from previous months, which saw between 550,000 and 570,000 individuals quit each month, but they still represent a clear sign that the healthcare industry is struggling with retention.

As with any industry, there are plenty of reasons why individuals might quit their jobs, move to a different company, or leave the field altogether. All facets of healthcare, however, seem to have some commonalities among them. They’re burnt out, overworked, asked to compensate for understaffing at inadequate pay levels, and tired of hostile or even conspiratorial interactions with members of the public.

Hiring for senior care today requires having plans in place to take care of those professional caretakers. Ask yourselves:

  • What are we doing to ensure adequate staffing levels?
  • What are we doing to ensure employees can take breaks (that are actually restful) and days off?
  • Does our culture encourage overwork, or does it encourage teamwork and care for our employees?
  • Are there clear policies in place to provide support for employees, both internally and externally?
  • Are our salaries and benefits competitive and appropriate for the work being performed?


Hiring for senior care and assisted living can also require the assistance of an expert recruiter. When you work with a recruiting firm, you get access to their breadth of knowledge and experience in the field, plus a vast network of contacts and prospective candidates that you might not have been able to access on your own. They can also streamline the process by pre-screening candidates for key qualifications and by confirming in advance that top candidates will accept an offer if it’s made.

Staffing senior care and assisted living organizations will require more and more strategic decision-making, especially with an aging population on the horizon. With a thoughtful, people-first strategy, organizations can successfully attract top talent while continuing to provide the best possible service to their clients every step of the way.

By Tom Zeleny, NHA