In TALA’s February Blog, the recruiting question was asked, "Is the answer in senior living sales strategies?”
On March 8, 2022 a Senior Housing News article, ‘Sales People Could Recruit’: Juniper, The Springs Living Harness Sales Processes, Talent to Confront Labor Crunch, by Tim Regan and featuring TALA Member, Lynn Katzmann of Juniper Communities, the question was answered with a resounding YES!
The article describes the industry challenges to recruit and hire staff at the start of the pandemic. As salespeople were on pause to move residents in, Juniper realized an opportunity to leverage the skills in sales people in telling the story of senior living.
“What we learned was fascinating: that salespeople really could recruit,” Katzamann
The sales process in senior living focuses on the discovery of needs for individuals. By incorporating the sales process into recruiting steps, communities have an opportunity to better convert job candidates to new employees.
The Recruiting Sales Process
Generally, a sales process for recruiting can be described using a funnel.
Start with prospecting new applicants. As new applicants come through, quickly acknowledge the candidate. The best salespeople in senior living respond quickly to new leads. Whether it’s via a text message, a phone
call or responding to an email. The key here is to acknowledge interest and set the tone, the applicant is important.
Next is to begin the discovery process. Creating urgency to connect, the discovery process can be described as a pre-interview. Both the applicant and the community representative are asking basic questions if the community and role are a good fit for both. Good sales people listen more and ask questions, taking careful notes.
Job Offer is the opportunity now to tell your story. Here you match your community features and benefits that make it a good match for the applicant and the community, highlighting what’s important to the candidate. At this stage there may be a more formal interview process.
Follow up is very important. After all the stages to make a formal offer of employment are complete and this is the ideal candidate for the job, schedule follow up! One of the most frustrating concerns voiced by operators, is being “ghosted” by candidates who accepted the job. Reduce your risk of being “ghosted” by staying connected with the applicant through the start date. Keep the candidate engaged and excited about their decision to join your community.
Finally, create loyalty. This stage is the ongoing sales process of creating brand loyalty where now employees are engaged and excited to tell their story to others about working in your community. At this stage, everyone on the team supports brand loyalty in your community culture of a great place to work.
Operators across Senior Living are re-evaluating recruitment and retention strategies. The sales process works for recruiting new residents and now showing promise to help communities recruit job candidates.