Strategies to Guide Your Communications
Informed by our research findings of potential employees’ views, LeadingAge prepared a suite of tools to support your recruitment efforts. These research-backed strategies should guide members’ workforce recruitment communications and resource development. These strategies, along with message frames, messenger insights and “How to Talk to” information will help drive responses from potential employees.
Lead with the jobs; not the field.
Many potential employees may not be seeking a job in aging services, but are open to it. What attracts potential employees may not be the field—it may be that sector jobs fit into their life or offer the ability to apply their skill set. That’s why to pique the interest of potential employees we recommend leading your communications with details about the specific jobs you seek to fill.
Focus on the characteristics of “good jobs.”
Potential employees view “good jobs” as those that meet their core needs and offer the practical attributes they seek. Ensure that information is front-and-center in your ads, recruitment language and job descriptions. For example:
- Got part-time roles? Half of potential employees desire part-time positions. Emphasize that option, when available.
- Practical attributes like stability and flexibility are important to many potential employees.
- Paid time off is highly desired.
- See How to Talk to Potential Employees for the attributes that are most important to potential employees by job type.
A note on wages: Two-thirds of potential employees will accept jobs with lower pay than desired—if other priority benefits and attributes are available. Given current challenges around increasing wages, aging services providers should use a combination of attributes and benefits to showcase the “good jobs” potential employees seek.
Crafting your materials this way will help entice unemployed potential employees who are searching for jobs with their desired attributes. It will also be alluring to the 70% of the potential workforce that is already employed to consider making a switch.
Speak to both unemployed and currently employed potential employees.
Seventy percent of potential employees already have a job, so it is important that your job announcements appeal to and reach them. Those who are already employed need to see your job as a better job, and lifestyle attributes and benefits are core to motivating them to make a switch. Ensure your job announcements convey this.
Enlist your most effective messengers: current employees.
Professional caregivers and others working in aging services are the most trusted messengers about jobs in the field. Current clients/residents and their family members are also highly trusted.
Infuse the words and images of these respected messengers throughout your communications, especially about job opportunities. Show what team members do. Let them tell how rewarding and meaningful they find their job. Include clients/residents and family members expressing appreciation for the team member. They are so valuable as messengers incentivizing employees to recruit staff will likely be beneficial.
Communicate with authenticity: real information; not slogans.
Perceptions among potential employees are generally positive, but awareness is lacking. Be transparent and informative in your communications as you essentially are introducing your organization and the scope of your work.
Direct, information-based communications about the job duties, benefits and rewards of working in an organization that shares potential employees values are the most effective. Limit the clever marketing taglines.
“Open your doors” to show the range of employment opportunities in our field.
Potential employees are most likely not aware of the variety of jobs available at your organization (and across the sector). Give them information about the opportunities aging services offers, the people who conduct this essential work, the benefits to older adults and the rewards of carrying out meaningful work.
Individuals already charting their career will see opportunities for themselves in aging services. Those looking for jobs that fit their lifestyle will see the range of jobs that offer the flexibility and other attributes they seek.
Let your heart shine through. Many potential employees seek not just a job–but a job with a purpose. All potential employees should see an opportunity to carry out fulfilling, meaningful work that makes a difference at your organization.
Pair the practical attributes with messages that communicate your organization values.
Many potential employees value a job that they can feel good about doing. Pair the practical job attributes with messages that convey people can find rewarding jobs/careers in your organization. If you build your communications to reflect your organizational values, employees can envision themselves making a difference–on your team!