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The senior living industry has a voice. You can hear it on Bridge the Gap podcast!

#ActivitiesStrong 19

In this Executive Edition webinar featuring Katie Churchill and Max McNamara, of Full Spectrum Search Group, learn how your organization can build its brand by improving your recruitment strategy. You will be able to hire passionate people with a sense of purpose who will improve resident engagement and satisfaction. Improving storytelling and enabling choice for residents and staff will help your organization become a better employer, partner and provider.

Learn how a better recruitment strategy can help develop career growth, leadership, feedback, and skills development so that residents will feel heard, empowered and connected to a sense of purpose. Your business will be connected to your vision and grow by doing good!
• Learn storytelling strategies for marketing and outreach so that you can hire the best person to fit with your company.
• Understand why people may be leaving your organization so that you can be proactive in creating professional and personal growth opportunities to keep people on the team.
• Outline how improving recruitment strategies can have a positive impact on your brand and improve resident engagement

Charles 0:20

I’m pretty excited actually of today’s session. I think that we all know of the current challenges related to staffing in our industry. And I think it’s impacting us all, right. It’s impacting our operation. It’s impacting our team members because very often there’s just less of us to do sometimes more work. And so it’s definitely impacting also the people that are that matter the most to us, which are our elders. So today’s session is about people, passion, purpose, and how we connect recruitment to brand strategies. And so I’m very excited in a few seconds to introduce Katie and Max, but I also want to share that this executive edition is done in partnership with Bridge the Gap. And I do want to share, and thank again, our friends that Bridge the Gap for allowing this initial introduction to Katie a few weeks ago, a few months ago, now, Katie, I think. 

Just a little bit of background very quickly, and then we’ll get started in today’s session. And as a reminder for everyone we love when the audience is chatty, that’s great. We really want that. For your comments to be seen by everybody. When you use the zoom feature chat feature, make sure you select everyone because sometimes people by default only send the comments or the questions to the panelists. If you have specific questions for today’s panists please use the Q&A feature. Like Megan shared, my name is Charles de Vilmorin. I’m the CEO and co-founder of Linked Senior. I started at Linked Senior 15 years ago for a lot of different reasons, but some of them you might be familiar with. One is at Linked Senior, we have a firm belief that old people are cool.

This is an initiative we started six years ago, just on the premise that we don’t like segregation based on any segregation, but specifically based on age. And so we think that everybody is cool, including elders, and Activity Strong is our way to give back. It’s the product of our team sitting down when the pandemic unfolded, and so many different things to empower and acknowledge and educate activity professionals. Some of which, our webinars like we’re here today together. For background, Linked Senior is a resident engagement platform for senior living. We touched the lives of 47,000 elders in the US and Canada. And we work with amazing organizations. Essentially what we help do is further engagement. We like to say that we’re only here to augment engagement that you’re trying to do every day. So some of it is technology. Some of it is education, but we like to think that we are here to augment human touch. Our work is evidence based, feel free to reach out if you have any questions about it. But we did a full blown clinical study that was published in 2019. So that’s a little bit of the background. 

Charles 3:21

Let me jump into today’s session. And again, I like to think of, you know, when we think about these sessions, we obviously spend a lot of time preparing for them. But I think that in the end, the one common denominator with everything that we do is the fact that in the end a person’s a person, no matter how old and I like to be reminded of this, because I think that often, as we’ve seen, especially through this pandemic are team members show up at work, so our elders live a good life, live the best life they can, and as much as possible find purpose. So sometimes I like to say that our purpose in senior living is their purpose. And as it starts just by recognizing that these elders, like anyone else, are people, they’re persons, like we all are. So that’s my kind of quick little introduction. I’m sure that Katie and Max are gonna kind of dive right into this. 

Just a little bit about Katie, everyone on the line, I want everybody to know that Katie loves bingo. Katie Churchill is the Division Director, Senior Living for Full Spectrum Search Group. And she’s accompanied today with max McNamara, who is the CEO of the firm. So I’ll unshare my screen, and I’ll let you both take it away from here. Again, thank you for joining. Thank you for being with us.

Katie 4:57

Thank you for having us.

Max 4:59

Thank you. We appreciate that and, and we appreciate the opportunity to present in front of all of you today. I’m gonna kick us off Katie and I are going to pass the Baton back and forth throughout the presentation. And if you guys have any questions, we will try our best to budget some time for that at the end. So feel free to put any questions you have in the chat box. At the end of the presentation, we are also gonna provide our contact information, Katie and I both operate from a mindset of abundance. We feel like there is more than enough to go around in terms of support and resources and everything in between, in this industry. And so feel free to reach out to us. If anything, in the conversation today you wanna talk about privately offline or, or budget some more time for, we will make that a priority.

Max 5:44

So today’s session. We’re gonna talk about this concept of people, passion and purpose to start the presentation. I want to just give you guys a little bit of context on full spectrum, who I am, who Katie is, what we do really just to give you the context needed to explain how we have a seat at the table when it comes to these topics, if you will. So the first thing that I want to go over is really just to talk a little bit about what we do. We are an executive search firm in the search business, there is something called a fill profile, which is function, industry, location, and level. We are a retained executive search firm that has three very distinct verticals. We have a senior living practice, of which Katie is the division director over. We have a skilled nursing practice, which is what I really started my career in here in the search business nine years ago. And then we have a home, health, and hospice practice. We work nationwide, and we fill really executive director and above roles, occasionally filling sales directors and you know, health services, directors or wellness director positions, but primary focus being on the executive level.

I, myself, I’ve been in the industry for nine years, really came into this industry as a previous private elementary school PE teacher. Knew I wanted to start my own business, knew that I wanted to be in the people business. Just wasn’t really sure what that was but really saw recruiting as an opportunity to help people while providing a career and a lifestyle that I was wanting. Even when I was teaching physical education, I was always the teacher that was facilitating PE coaches or, you know, summer program, you know, whatever camp directors or, you know, flag football coaches. And the joy that I got from it was really, there was no financial reward to it. There was really no other reward then, when I would come on campus and I would see that football coach up on the field that was a friend of mine or someone that I played football with. I just had this emotional fulfillment of, I did that. I made that connection. I was the facilitator that made that happen. And so when I was introduced to the search business, I was really experiencing that exact same emotional fulfillment. And so nine years later, we started Full Spectrum in 2016 and been the business nine years on the screen, it’s just some of the industry accolades that, that I’ve been able to obtain, but love this business really addicted to the post-acute space and really live and breathe it on a, on a daily basis.

Katie 8:20

And I’m Katie Churchill and very excited to be here. So I actually started in senior living when I was 12 years old, calling bingo at a local community, and I was instantly hooked. I went to college at Chico state for health administration in gerontology during school, I worked as a life enrichment director overseeing two smaller communities and went into an internship and Prestige Senior Living actually hired me out of that internship, relocated me up to battle ground Washington as a sales director. So, worked my way up becoming a sales specialist, then a regional and ultimately relocated back to California. I’m a California kid through and through, and had an opportunity to work for a little bit of a smaller operator working in sales, but then also working in operations, overseeing part of the independent living of the community. I joined Max at Full Spectrum here about two years ago, after I had my kids, and instantly fell in love with connecting professionals to other organizations and encouraging them to grow, develop in their career. I love having the opportunity to fulfill a client’s needs for a professional and a new team member while simultaneously supporting that individual in their career growth and their career aspirations. So with full spectrum, I’ve grown and developed in ways I didn’t even know was possible. Couldn’t even imagine it and stepped out of my comfort zones and been part of two podcasts. I was a pace set qualifier, my first year, with full spectrum. And over this past year, really grown as an industry leader within full spectrum recruiting and senior living.

Max 10:08

Awesome. And so I wanna just give a little bit more context on the firm. We have 10 recruiters and really different producing level individuals within the company. We have four office locations. We have one in Laguna Hills, which is really our corporate office. I’m actually, even though the owner of the firm, I’m actually here in Dallas, Texas as of six months ago. We have a satellite office in Nashville and a satellite office in Seattle Washington. Just to give a little bit more context in color. These are the last 10 placements that we’ve made and the last 10 searches that we have started, this was updated even as of this morning. And so just for, if you wanna peruse that list, just to get you an idea of the type of stuff that we are involved in on a daily basis.

Katie 10:52

So just some more facts and stats about our team. 95% of our offers lead to placements about 50% of our candidates that we prescreen. We move forward to our clients. This is mainly due to the fact that we get very detailed information with every submission, every conversation we have, and it needs to make sense for both the client and the candidate. We don’t wanna waste anyone’s time, right? So our average time of taking in a new job or a new search order to placement is about 32 days. Total for our team, we have 44 years, collectively, of senior living and search industry experience. And all of our division directors come from the long term care industry. We are a member of the Stanford Rose Associates, International Network of Search Firms, which has ranked us in the top 10 US America search firms by Hunt Scanlon.

We are featured in Wall Street journal, Fortune, Business Week, CNN, and six of our 10 recruiters last year, qualified for pace setters out of 160 plus search firms in our network. Over the past two years from 2020 to present time, we’ve had 274% production growth, and our team has doubled in size in 2021. So it’s really important to recognize that we have a very unique perspective on senior living and the search business. 

We have the dual perspective within Full Spectrum where we walk two lines, right? We walk the senior living industry as well as the executive search business. And having that unique lens allows us to have a view on some of the best and some of the worst recruiting practices and attracting, retaining, and recruiting top talent. And with our division directors working in the long-term care industry or coming from the long term care industry, it certainly allows our team to have a deeper understanding and insight in senior living communities, how they operate, at a corporate level and at a community level. Our recruiters are making roughly 1500 calls a day to senior living operators and leaders. Now that’s just, you know, practical, nuts and bolts of recruiting operations in general. So we have more theory based and image based things. We see where our operators are excelling or struggling. We also work in our executive search business as a professional service firm. And our number one asset in our business is people. 

We talk to professionals like yourself, day in and day out, discussing opportunities for career growth or desires that they have for their future. People are literally the purpose of our entire firm, just as it is in senior living. Most of our process actually mirrors senior living sales and marketing. So just like your team is moving in new residents into the community, by giving a tour, you know, ours would be a prescreen. We are diving into the needs and wants of our candidates very similarly to how you’re diving into the needs and wants of your residents. And we’re following up with our candidates after interviewing just like your team is following up after a tour, right, or a deposit. We stay connected with our candidates throughout the entire interview process to offer, first day, six months, three months, one year down the road, just the same as you would in your community. Once a resident moves in to ensure that they are happy with the community and satisfied, I would say. 

Katie 14:35

So let’s dive into what we actually came to talk about the entire topics, I would say. We’re gonna dive into being a better storyteller. So, of your organization, and of your community specifically, we’re gonna talk about the recruiting and the impact it has on your brand as a company, as well as staying ahead of people’s wants and desires in your company and those you recruit for your team to join your company.

Max 15:02

Awesome. So let’s jump in. We’re gonna talk first about just this concept of being a better storyteller. A lot of times this, you know, storyteller description can sometimes have a negative connotation. We definitely don’t want it to be that way for this meeting, but really just wanna draw the correlation between recruiting, brand strategy and as they, especially as a hiring manager what being a storyteller means. And so this is gonna kind of just set the stage for that. The first is as a recruiter, we really view this business as we are impacting every single individual that we speak with, we are impacting their life journey. And one of the things that is written on the, we have 10 commandments in our, in our firm. And one of the things that we live by is if the story makes sense to us, then the story needs to make sense to the candidate and to the hiring manager.

And if the story makes sense to us, that is when we will continue to push for that journey to take place for this matchmaking to take place. Even if a candidate wants the job, even if the client wants to hire the individual, if, as the storyteller, as the matchmaker, if the story doesn’t make sense to us, we just, we’ve gotta either get clarity on why it doesn’t make sense to us, or we need to make one of the two people aware of why it doesn’t make sense. 

And so I wanna just draw this correlation between recruiting and impacting people’s life journey. There’s a storyline that goes along with this journey. There’s a storyline to the organization on where it’s at in its growth. There’s a storyline on the candidate and where they’re at in their career development. And there’s an intersection that’s potentially taking place, when we are looking to potentially recruit someone for our community. You have the opportunity to be a storyteller for the organization where we’re at, where we’ve been, where we’re trying to go as an organization, and you have an opportunity to be potentially even a co-author of a candidate’s career path and what their journey looks like. 

Max 17:10

I think it’s important to recognize that as a good recruiter, as a hiring manager, you’re a good storyteller and a good co-author, but simultaneously this comes with a certain level of responsibility. The decisions that we make, the things that we say, the growth potential that we depict for candidates, that impacts their decision. And if we are potentially not painting an accurate picture as to what the opportunity looks like or what the future opportunity looks like, we’re potentially augmenting someone’s journey in a way that maybe it shouldn’t be, if that makes sense. And so it’s important as a hiring manager and as an executive in this business that we’re painting a very realistic picture for the candidate and that we’re trying our best to paint a very vivid understanding of what the organization is doing and where the organization is going. And so some of the, just the basic questions that we want to go over, we’re gonna start real basic here, folks, but I want you to seek true answers to these questions for your organization. Why do you work for ABC senior living? Why should somebody consider joining ABC senior living? 

Max 18:34

Now a more of an opposing story to this question, I actually just placed a Regional Director of Operations in Southern California. And as I was talking to him about why he was looking to leave his organization, he said, Max, I was filling an executive director role for one of my communities in San Diego, and I knew that my company was going through divesting communities, there was change in executive leadership, there was just things happening in the organization, especially at the executive level that I wasn’t comfortable with. And I really wasn’t sure what the future of the organization was gonna be. But at the end of the day, I was still employed by this company and still doing my job on a day to day basis. And I interviewed an executive director for one of my communities, and he asked me this question, why should I consider joining ABC senior living? And he gave this person the answer that he has typically given over time when people ask what’s so special about ABC senior living. And he said, max, as soon as I finished my statement, I knew in my heart of hearts, that I lied to this individual, and that I was already kind of looking to leave the organization, but it was the same answer that I’ve always given. 

And I give you that story because, most of us have pretty cliche responses to these two questions. What brings you to work every day? And why should I consider joining this company? And I want to encourage everybody to seek a deeper understanding that is unique to your organization that is going to resonate with the potential candidates that we are looking to hire. Even furthermore, why do your peers work for ABC senior living? One of the things that we do internally at full spectrum when we’re looking to bring on team members is I will ask them to call at least two other individuals that work for the company.

And I will let the person inside the firm know, Hey, I have a perspective person that’s gonna reach out to that’s considering the recruiting business. But I usually give no additional context because I don’t want to curate the environment that that person’s about to have with the candidate. The reason I do that is if someone is considering joining the search business, it’s a very unique industry as is senior living. I need them to have a very realistic picture as to what they’re walking into, and I need them to understand what are my motivations behind why I work here, but simultaneously the people that work alongside me, why do they work for the organization? And I’ve had candidates call me after those conversations they’ve had with, with my peers here at full spectrum and say, you know what? I don’t think this is the business for me, or, you know what? I don’t think this is the opportunity that I wanna pursue. And as much as I might have wanted that individual on my team, I just saved both of us an augmentation of our journey that potentially should not have taken place. And so I would encourage you to not just look at these questions as cliche questions, but to really seek unique understanding as to how these questions are answered for your organization. 

Max 21:37

Every operator is unique and excels in specific areas. What is that for ABC senior living? One of the things that we say internally is if we could take the, the best of what Katie’s good at this, in this business, if we could take the best at what Max is good at in this business and all the other recruiters at full spectrum, and we could combine them into one juggernaut recruiter, we would have the best recruiter on the planet. Similarly to the senior living industry. If we could take the best of ABC senior living and LMNOP senior living and XYZ, senior living, we would create one juggernaut senior living company. Obviously, that’s not an option. And so there are areas that your organization excels, and there are areas that your organization is unique. Specifically, what are those things? Because if we don’t really dig deep for authentic answers to these questions, we are inclined to give the cliche answer, and that will absolutely impact our ability to attract the right people.

Max 22:33

When you’re looking to fill a role, are you looking to stop the bleeding of turnover or stop the bleeding of what that position provides to the community? Or are you actually seeking to create a true match? Now, these concepts are not mutually exclusive, but one has to be the priority. And if you are filling a role to stop the bleeding and that’s the priority, and while you have an intention of creating a true match, you’re going to have more turnover than if the antithesis was true, which is you have both of them in mind, but you have to have the priority be on creating true matches. We need to get to the root of why someone is even entertaining this conversation with us.

Why are you interested in a new opportunity? Why do you wanna leave your current job? Or if you were to leave, what specifically are you looking for in your next opportunity? This needs to be applicable and unique to your position. Let me give you some examples here. 

When we’re talking to candidates and a candidate says to us, well, I’m looking for more money. Okay. Well, what happens if you take our opportunity and then your current employer counters offers and gives you the same amount of money they’re gonna stay. Well, I’m looking to you know, I’m looking for growth. Okay, well, what specifically does that growth look like? If a candidate says, well, I’m in a completely independent living building and I’m, I really have a passion for memory care. And they’re interviewing with your opportunity, which is a memory care building. Okay? That is a opportunity specific motivation that even if their current operator tried their best to say, wait a minute, we can’t afford to lose you. This person has a career. This person has a journey, a story that they’re trying to pursue, and it involves memory care. 

You have to have motivations from candidates that are specific to your opportunity and cannot be solved by their current opportunity or from potentially your competitors in the marketplace. While I’m looking to get closer to home, and this opportunity allows me to walk to work. If they’re not passing another senior living community on their way to your opportunity, then that is an exclusive motivation to your community that cannot be solved by any of your competitors. This is where we are able to create true matches. 

If you could take certain things or attributes with you from your current job into your next job, what would they be? Do these things resonate with your community, with your opportunity. They could be something as simple and as well, I’m looking for better benefits. It could be certain things like, well, I don’t think my company has the right philosophy or approach to care. Their approach to care doesn’t resonate with the way I have an approach to care. Well, let’s dig into that. Okay. Well, our approach to care and your approach to care are similar. They resonate with each other. We need to validate answers to these questions. If you could take certain things or attributes with you, what would they be? If the things they would take with them, don’t align with your opportunity, we’re setting ourselves up for turnover. We could potentially stop the bleeding for the next 90 days, or potentially even year, but turnover is expensive. And what is that gonna look like in 12 months?

And if you could change certain things or attributes, what would they be? Same thing. Well, my, you know my boss is only in the community a couple days a week. He’s golfing most of the time. All right. Well, I know that I’m a hands-on leader, I’m in the community every single day. I’m in the trenches with my team. I’m rolling my sleeves up and getting my hands dirty in the standup meeting. If I know that that’s the type of leader I am, I know that I can potentially solve that for this candidate. And this is where that storytelling piece is. 

We are at an intersection where we’re potentially going to augment people’s careers. Are we doing it for the right reasons? And are we setting ourselves up for true matches or are we potentially just setting ourselves up for future turnover and impacting someone’s career journey where we might not need to be or we really shouldn’t be?

Katie 26:57

Yeah. And just to kind of even more so, piggyback off of what Max is saying, when we talk about the candidate, are they a true match for us? Meaning is this person culturally going to fit in with our team that is already in place? Do they share the same mission, vision, values? Are they maybe used to smaller mom and pop operators and we’re a nationwide operator, right? There’s a huge difference between the two and skillset. Can they speak to numbers or actual facts on their accomplishments thus far? Can they effectively explain their talent and their profession in what they’re doing? Do they want career growth, right? Are they happy with a lateral move or would it mean opening doors for future career growth and future building upon their professional career growth? Do we solve that problem for them right now with this current opportunity to make a change from where they currently are? We need clear answers to this. This cannot be a oh, maybe, or I think that would work. You know, it needs to be a yes, I’m in, kind of deal. If the candidate is wanting to pursue higher career goals, being promoted, is this opportunity going to effectively solve what we’re trying to accomplish? Or are we simply putting a bandaid on, are we solving the problem for right now or are we solving the problem for longevity in the future?

Max 28:24

Yeah. And I think just one thing I wanna add here is, and just to give application to our business, and again, you can just figure out how this resonates in your industry when we’re, when we’re looking at perspective, hires back this concept of stopping the bleeding versus creating true matches. We have no problem finding searches from our clients, right? The reason we exist is because there’s a shortage of good talent in this industry that has a passion for being in senior living that has a story behind why they wanna serve the elderly population. And that’s why we exist. And so there’s no secret behind the fact that, you know, there’s more than enough jobs out there than there is for qualified, passionate people to take them. So if we can hire a recruiter, then we can simply provide more for our clients. But when we sit down with recruiters or prospective recruiters and they don’t see, or we cannot see a clear path from where they are today to where they want to be. That is my responsibility as the storyteller, as the potential co-author in someone’s career to tell them either A, I think you can do amazing in this business, and here’s why here’s your attributes that I think can contribute to that. And here’s what it’s gonna take to get you from point A to point B. Point B being the career growth they’re looking for. Or it’s my responsibility to tell them, look, there’s probably an amazing opportunity out there for you. There’s a place for you to thrive in the senior living business, in the recruiting business, in the talent acquisition industry, but it’s not here, and here’s why. And it’s important as leaders, it’s important as hiring managers, it’s important as storytellers and co-authors of the journey of our company, of the journey of these candidates. We have a fiduciary duty to telling them whether we feel like what they’re looking for is obtainable or not. And as a candidate, it is our job to identify can, is what I wanna achieve in my career obtainable here, or is it not?

Katie 30:14

So one of the foundational building blocks for us at Full Spectrum is who else is part of this decision in changing careers or changing companies. Buying a car, your family’s involved, your spouse is involved, your partner’s involved, but as recruiters, we don’t take great care in that concept. And it’s arguably one of the most overlooked components to recruiting is recruiting the key decision makers in that candidate’s life, digging in deep to find out who else is involved in this decision. It’s equally important to get to know your peers and your leaders, as it is to get to know your residents and their family members. We work with our coworkers 40 plus hours a week. They are our family away from our personal family, right? Having a clear understanding of the previous slides questions and self-reflecting and asking ourselves, have we done a good job recruiting the key decision makers in our candidates life.

Katie 31:15

We have a client who does a very good job at this. For key leadership roles, they actually take the candidate and their spouse or other family member or that other, you know, support person out to dinner. They have a conversation with them surrounding their family, their life, their hobbies, their interests. They take great care in getting to know the candidate. And personally, as equally as professionally, and their skillset wise. They have the family involved in the decision making process by getting to know them and essentially recruiting their family or their key decision makers for the opportunity, and the organization as well. Deals, fall apart. Most of the time they fall apart because I talked it over with my spouse and I’m just gonna stay where I’m at. Even if we feel like, as a team, we’ve done a good job at recruiting the candidate and understanding their key reasons, why to move to a different opportunity. When they fall apart because of, I talked it over with my spouse and I’m just gonna stay where I am. That means we did not do a good job on recruiting those key decision makers in their life. We’ve had them come back to the table, right, by having a conversation with that partner in their life or that other person in their life about maybe they didn’t understand the benefits package or the commission or bonus structure or the culture of the company, or maybe that other key decision maker just needed to be part of the process and on board before a career change took place for their loved one.

Max 32:53

Awesome. This next topic of staying ahead of people’s wants and desires is key for creating long term mutually beneficial employee operator, employee employer relationships, where the employee is continually filling the cup of the company, and the company is continually filling the cup of the employee. And so let me, let’s jump into this. This is, this is really about retention. 

The problem is people don’t just wake up one morning and decide I’m gonna leave my job today. There’s a fermentation process that takes place right in front of leadership’s eyes, for that person to have a desire to continue to invest into the organization.

Max 33:48

I would go as far to say that if a hiring manager, if a leadership individual is surprised by a resignation, they did something wrong along the way. Also important to recognize, and we’ve probably, a lot of us, have heard this, but people don’t leave jobs, they leave bosses. And it’s important to see the correlation between turnover and what role we play in that. And nobody should ever be blindsided by these things. Turnover is inevitable, cause people have a journey that they’re pursuing. But if you are blindsided by the turnover, there’s something that you’ve done wrong, as a leader. I’ve had that happen to me a couple times in my career, but most resignations, most turnover that’s happened is not a surprise.

Max 34:42

Our job as a leader is to be well informed and well equipped to keep people on our team, engaged rich conversations, continually building on that storyline, creates a environment between someone like Katie and I. Someone like Katie and people potentially on her team in the future, whatever that is, it creates an environment that that person feels comfortable approaching you to say, Hey, this is what I’m looking for. This is where I want to be. Even after they’ve joined the company. But the, at the key, I’m sorry at the core of this is people must feel empowered and autonomous so that they feel comfortable coming to you and having these discussions. One of the concepts that we live by at Full Spectrum is that we are the CEO of our own desk. Yes, sure, on paper, there’s a W4, and there’s a offer letter, and there’s a payroll and there’s, you know, structural set up to where there’s an employer employee relationship, but we don’t live it out like that on a daily basis.

Max 35:46

Everybody is truly the CEO of their own desk. We are the investors of their individual business and creating that environment and truly managing people that way should, if done the right way, create an empowerment and an autonomy at the desk level, at the individual employee level, that makes them feel comfortable coming to you and voicing their wants, desires and, and possible concerns. And so Katie, I think even before she joined us, talking to her about her background and where she came from and just throughout our storytelling and potential, you know, matchmaking process between the two of us, she shared with me just, you know, her journey as she went through her senior living career. And I think some of that has taken place here at Full Spectrum. Katie, I think there’s maybe a little story worth telling there just as to give case in point to this concept.

Katie 36:38

Yeah. And thank you. I, so when I actually started with Prestige I was talking to my boss, Carrie Parker. She was the VP of sales and marketing. And I’m like, I want more than being a sales director. I want your job. You know, just point blank. I made it notably clear to her that I always wanted to continue to grow, learn more and absorb as much as I could. And she made that happen. Right. She knew that with every opportunity she would talk to me about it and see if it was something that I would be interested in. And while working for Kisco Senior Living, I was up at their community, Byron Park in Walnut Creek in the bay area. And they actually have a beautiful career program. Where it’s more of, it’s pictured like a ladder, right, but it’s more of horizontal.

So if you are a, let’s say caregiver and you want to explore more in activities. You find a passion there. They’ve developed this program where you go through certain levels and development to work inside other departments to really determine what it is that your passion is for, and where you find, you know, that you wanna continue to flourish in. And for this program, they learn that yes, their job is also difficult, right? But they also learn that there’s other roles within the community that have their own difficulty level or their own issues that they have to overcome. And so with all of this, the departments and the different departments learn that they need to work together in synergy, right. For the satisfaction of the residents and the growth of the community, and it simultaneously leads to other associates having empathy for their peers and their colleagues that they work with.

And so you join the program, you apply. You get from all of the different departments and you kind of go through and, you work through different departments and learning what each level is. And there’s certain, you know, levels of the program where it goes through hands on working and maybe even developing a program or activity. And what’s really unique is that the additional hours to go through this is all paid for by the company, right. So they actually fit it into their work schedule. And you know, typically it’s about a six month program and, or longer, depending upon however you need to fix it out. But the residents and other associates see colleagues going through this and learning other parts or departments of the community and for the residents, at least, you know, it allows them to get to know people that maybe they wouldn’t really have as much face to face contact with.

Katie 39:34

So the program sparked a lot of different interests for other people. And there’s actually this one, this one woman who decided she wanted to have her passion be in life enrichment and the wellness program. And she actually then went to school, so she went and got more education on event planning and communication, and they have a scholarship program. So they were able to support that person in that as well, to kind of continue and develop and grow. And it reinvigorated that associate, that employee to actually stay longer with the company. Yeah, they’re no longer a caregiver and they’re in the activity department, but it’s still retaining that person to continue to work for the company and stay within the family. 

When I then think about where I am with Full Spectrum and one of the first conversations with Max, he’s like, you know, where do you see yourself within Full Spectrum in the next two years, five years, you know, down the road, what does that look like for you? And how can I be part of making that happen? Right. And it was such a powerful conversation where he’s allowed me to learn from him, from Gaston, from Josh, some more really senior recruiters in our company through SRA to get training. And holding myself accountable, holding him accountable, understanding our metrics. He’s nodding. Understanding our metrics of my desk, and how I can empower myself to drive it forward and be successful. The work that I put in, will drive the results for future, you know, clients, and current recruiters, and so forth.

Max 41:14

Man, we only have about 10 minutes, 11 minutes left, but this is probably the most impactful section of this entire presentation. And it’s this concept of recruiting and the impact on your brand. So I’m gonna try my best, Katie’s going to do her best to give this section justice. But from our perspective, this is the most useful perspective that we can give on the industry. 

Top to reasons that we see candidates decline opportunities with our clients, the operator’s reputation in the market, the experience that they had while interviewing with them in the past, and the experience potentially one of their friends had, or colleagues had, while interviewing with them in the past. Talk about storytelling, the industry talks, and some of it is not even justified, but operators need to work, especially in today’s labor market, harder at maintaining a brand and a reputation that is not working against their ability to recruit top talent.

Max 42:21

What I mean by that is there is a hyper local and by hyper local, I mean within five miles of your community. There is a reputation, especially in Metro markets. If you want to talk more rural markets, maybe make it a 50 mile radius or bigger, it’s all relative to the market. But in most Metro markets, there is a five mile hyper local reputation that your community has with your direct competitors. That a lot of times our operators are not even aware of. And it’s part of the role we play in feeding them some information back. I’m like, look, your competitors think that you guys have a lot of turnover for this reason. They don’t think you, A B, whatever those reasons are.

Max 43:03

Talk about an experience that a candidate had while interviewing with the company. I had a vice president of operations sit down with the CEO and owner of an operator here in California. They wanted this, they were pursuing this individual heavily. And during the interview, the CEO walked out of the interview three times on calls. Now the justification from the operator side was, well, I mean, he’s the CEO, he’s busy. He’s gotta take these calls from the candidate’s perspective. It was, am I not important enough for this one hour that we can sit together and not be interrupted? Because my phone’s in my car, I would expect that the three of us can have a conversation for an hour. Very valid statement. Not only did they lose the candidate, but you can only imagine that that individual is gonna probably share that story with a couple people.

This person flew down, took a day off work, sat down with these people. They wanted this person pretty badly. And not only is he not interested, but he’s probably gonna tell five or 10 of his colleagues over the next 12 months, I took a day off work, flew down, person walked in and outta the meeting. Four times that stuff is happening every single day. Maybe not to that severity, but this type of stuff is happening in our recruiting process all of the time. And what I mean is there is a wreckage path that we create, in our interview process, in our recruiting process that is affecting our brand. Here’s a couple examples, not following up with every single applicant, timing on the follow up communication during the interview process. Who are they meeting with? What’s the person’s name, what’s their title? How long they’ve been there, what will they, what will be discussed in these meetings? A high level of view of what the interview process is gonna look like. 

Max 44:38

I have a sister-in-law that is moving from California to Texas right now. She is an LPN in senior living, actively looking for a job with Dallas, Fortworth, Metroplex, senior living operators. To walk her through this process and hear how discombobulated the interview process is, for some big name operators, is very discouraging for the industry. And I hate to give such a gloomy perspective on this, but it’s what’s happening. Apply for the job. Talent acquisition reaches out, sends her an assessment. She fills out the assessment. She happened to apply for another community, for the same operator, sent her the same assessment that happened three times. Three times she was sent the exact same assessment for the same company that has three of the same exact open role within a, about a 25 to 40 mile radius, in the market that she’s looking to live in.

So they have openings, they need them filled. We have a turnkey candidate coming from a direct competitor. Who’s actively licensed in Texas. Moving there. This operator has a clean shot to put this individual in one of three buildings. And one hand cannot talk to the other into the fact that she has three resumes in, for three different opportunities. With the same company, three assessments have been sent out and not one person’s called her yet to say, we’re interested in you. She ended up taking another job with another organization, and they finally reached out to her, one at a time, from each community. Each executive director called her over the course of a week and said, Hey, we’re interested in sitting down with you about 10 days after she had accepted her other offer and close to two weeks after she had initially applied for the jobs. 

Now that may not be every organization, but there are components to this that exist in every operator, big or small. Every operator has inefficiencies in their recruiting process that are affecting their brand. I can tell you from a firsthand account, my sister-in-law will never take a job with the operator that she had this experience with. It has affected the brand from someone who’s turnkey in one of the most impactful positions that exist in a senior living community.

Katie 46:49

So secret shopping competitors is not a foreign concept in sales and marketing. I’m sure you all have either shopped your own community, shopped competitors to learn about how they’re answering the phones, their sales process, maybe what their calendars look like. Ideas, right, to get for improving programming. Have you ever watched the show undercover boss where the C-suite, one of largest companies in the US, right, maybe CEO or CEO, goes in and goes undercover to learn really the nitty gritty of their company, from frontline all the way up, right? I mean really think about doing this, and literally undercover boss, your recruiting experience. Create a fake qualified resume, literally create it, apply for the job within your own company. Put yourself through that interview process, and do some self reflecting on what’s actually happening as we’re recruiting these individuals to our company. 

During the process, are you satisfied with the speed to lead? Do they get back to you timely? Are you getting three assessments in one week of the same exact opportunity? How was your first impression? Was it a phone call? Was it an email? Was it a text? Was there communication throughout the process? Was it adequate? Was it professional? Do you get the amount of information you need about the opportunity? Meaning the schedule, the pay, the benefits, community details, really job details. Was the number of interviews and cadence of the interviews too much, too little. Did you talk to one person and get the job, or did you do nine interviews, and it was exhausting, and you know, now you don’t want the job? Were you interviewing not enough or too much? That can deter a candidate from the opportunity. 

Are we using our organization’s time wisely to engage with our candidate, for these opportunities, and possibly again, just to tie back in that reputation piece, one of the most important pieces to your brand is that reputation. The reputation that individuals during the hiring process are creating for your company. There is an aggregate reputation that is created for every individual in the company with every candidate that they have ever interacted with, or simply failed to interact with, ghost maybe. This industry, it seems very large, but it is also very small and people talk. So Max here is gonna flip over.

Max 49:22

Yeah. Consider this equation, and we’ve got, we wanna be done about five minutes early. We’re gonna, these two last slides are very important. So we’re gonna get through ’em. So, Katie, just keep that in mind. 

Consider this equation. Multiply your experience, if you do this secret shopping, multiply your candidate experience by the number of communities that exist in the portfolio of your brand or your company. Multiply that by the number of openings your company averages annually, across the portfolio. And then multiply that by the sum of the number of candidates that were interviewed and the number of candidates that were never even called back that exist in your industry. And you will get the aggregate reputation of the organization. 

I can tell you from firsthand experience that most companies don’t understand what the candid experience looks like. There’s a lot of tinkering that happens through the sales process and through the marketing process for the communities, but there’s not enough that is done for the most important asset to an entire organization, which is its people.

Katie 50:32

Mm-Hmm. Yeah. So considering the impact of the interview process, right? Do we have the right person reaching out first to schedule that interview? And is this person well equipped with answering questions about the opportunity. Meaning high level overview of the benefits, the company, the community, maybe they applied for. The number of interviews involved. We’ve seen it happen within two interviews, placements that fall apart after the fourth, you know, we’ve been part of a nine step interview process. Whatever your company’s process is right now, is it adequate in filling this opportunity? Are you evaluating that cadence of the interviews to the correct team members, timeliness of these interviews is critical. Showcasing the agenda to that candidate of what to expect in the process is equally important. And if you do assessments, think about the timing of these, is it happening right away? Is it a second step? Is it a tool or is it used to determine if we’re gonna actually move forward with this person? All of this plays into the candidate’s level of engagement with the position. 

Don’t wait a week, free up your calendar to schedule interviews quicker, to ensure that candidates remain engaged. Right? When we’re in sales and senior living, we do tours, seven o’clock at night, right? The sun is off work at six and here we go, we’re gonna tour. So making time because people, like Max said, are the number one source of our business and letting them know right away, right? If we’re gonna move forward, don’t ghost them, follow up with them. After the interview, either move them forward, or saying goodbye, people talk. And that plays into the aggregate reputation of your organization. If you tell the candidate, I’m gonna follow up with you by the end of day tomorrow, do it.

Katie 52:21

Don’t let your candidates sit and think that they will get the next interview. Keeping them engaged by communicating regularly. And if you don’t keep them top of your mind, I will promise you, they are not keeping you at the top of their mind. This is the same with new residents coming into their community. You’re not gonna wait a week after they tour to say, Hey, what’d you think of my tour last week, right? You’ve already lost them at that point. Same thing. If they make a request at the community or note an issue, you’re not gonna have them sit and wait. 

It is the same with new employees. And keeping that length of time between communication short, laying the expectations out for them so that they know what is, what is to be expected and what is coming when it comes to the cadence and frequency with touch points, who on your team is responsible for ensuring that this candidate has a good interviewing process and experience with your team? Is it the hiring manager? Is it talent acquisition? The executive director? Whoever it might be, ask the question, how has your experience been with us thus far? Get that feedback, reflect on it. Hopefully they’re honest in their experience to be able to relay that information to you.

Max 53:36

Awesome. And then lastly, it’s just this concept of post offer. What happens the days immediately following the offers accepted are some of the most critical days in the interview process is somebody reaching out is, is anybody sending them next steps? It’s this climactic moment of, I’ve accepted a new job. I’m going to go resign from my current job. This is the journey I’m taking. 

We’re dealing with the second most sensitive topic in people’s lives. The first being their family typically, and the second being, how they pay for that family. And we, a lot of times don’t take it seriously enough. In fact, in the last 24 hours, we have lost two opportunities signed offer letters. One of which is the person’s supposed to start on Monday. This coming week gave a 30 day notice. And one, I don’t know when they were supposed to start, but we’re about mid time between offer accepted and start date.

Both of which in the last 24 hours have backed outta the opportunity. Why? Nobody from the company has called them. Nobody has given them next steps. They’re still waiting for paperwork. And this person has just decided to back out. We have to recognize that they still have to go to work and deal with the emotions of, I know this is probably the best move for my career based off of the story that’s been told and the co-authoring that’s taken place. But they still have to go to work for the next two weeks. And this is a very emotional decision that people have made. And the post offer experience the articulated strategy from your company, from the time the offer is accepted, until the time they start is the most critical part in the process, primarily because we’ve invested the most amount of time up until this point. We’ve involved the most amount of people

Katie 55:14

Max, since we’re so close to the end. I mean, we can kind of skip this or just leave it up and let Charles go ahead and speak. What do you think?

Max 55:23

Yep. And then here is our contact information for whoever would like to reach out. 

Katie 55:27


Charles 55:28

Thanks so much, Max. Katie and Max, thank you so much for an awesome presentation! Max, if you don’t mind unsharing my screen. Thank you. I have whole notes of kind of cool things that I heard you say, but at the very least, you know, the fact that, you know, you’re really hitting hard on this idea of filling in a cup, you know. Why people show up at work and why they should continue. So thank you so much for all of these, you know. I think, for the bulk of the audience, you know, some of them are involved in recruitment process, and if they’re not today, they will be tomorrow. So I’m sure that you’ve helped people in their career a lot. And I know that you’ve also partnered with us with a tip sheet. So I’d like to share this with the audience, just before we wrap up, which is that Katie and Max were also, you know, helped us kind of create a tip sheet that we understand. We all can have like a little roadmap for how we would apply that for teams, our department and our company, tomorrow. So again, Katie and Max, thank you so much for joining. The handouts will be distributed to the audience, as well, in the follow up. 

From the Activities Strong perspective, very quickly, we have two quick announcements to make, which is that we are continuing and we’re almost done filling up our schedule for our 2022 events. And all of this can be found on And we just finalized, actually today, there are one of our largest event of the year, which are these gatherings that we do. So please consider all our next gathering, which is in September, on September 20th. We have a lot of events before, again, every two weeks, but our bigger, our second biggest event of the year is the event that we have in September. And this one is gonna be held on Tuesday, September 20th. The link Megan is probably showing that in the chat, please feel free to join us. One of the reasons why you should consider it, is the fact that we will be focusing on decoding dementia from a resident engagement perspective. So everyone thank you so much again for joining us. Katie and Max, I’m sure the audience learned a lot. I learned a lot, so thank you so much for your time and obviously will be in touch, take care.


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