Promising Practice Monthly Feature: Resident Concierge Representatives

Workforce | October 21, 2019 | by Susan Hildebrandt

Thinking of ways to expose potential employees to your community for possible recruitment? Give the prospective employee – and you – a chance to try out older adult services by creating a new position called a “resident concierge representative” (RCR), like Elim Care did in Minnesota.

RCRs are paid workers who perform tasks that do not require a license. For example, responding to call lights, delivering trays, taking residents to and from meals and activities, making beds, etc.

Where to start? Reach out to your local workforce training centers. These organizations assist people who may be in a transitional period of their lives, or, are new to the workforce. Some may pay part of an RCR’s wages and offer support if the individual decides to enter a nursing assistant training class. High schools are also an option: work closely with your local schools that provide career or health care exploration programs to recruit students.

What would your community need to do? Elim Care pays a lower wage to the RCR – usually $3-4 less than a nurse aide’s salary – and does not offer overtime benefits, as the RCRs are limited to a maximum of 29 hours/week. If the RCR is hired, the community provides scholarships so that they can train as nursing assistants.

How can our community make this work?

  • Communicate the role and responsibilities thoroughly to RCR, residents/families, and staff.
  • Use a special uniform and/or name tag to identify RCRs.
  • Assign RCRs to the day shift or early evening for best supervision.
  • Since RCRs tend to be in transition, consider a coordinator who can do life/work skills coaching or use the Employee Assistance Program.

The program has been successful! RCRs are now working at a number of sites, a majority of them become nursing assistants, and most stayed for more than 6 months.

Find out more about this program here