6 Ways Senior Living Communities Can Avoid HR Mistakes

You’re growing, building or acquiring new communities, hiring new employees, and expanding your operations. As you grow, it’s imperative to adhere to the increasing number of human resource compliance regulations. That means balancing all the roles within HR and ensuring the added stress of growth doesn’t push important tasks to the side.

So, how can your organization avoid HR mistakes? Here are six ways to help get you started.

1. Hire the right person.

The growth in the senior living industry means many markets are having issues finding the right people for their roles. This is an especially big concern in our industry where it is imperative your employees have not only the right skills, but the heart to care for your residents, who are the most important part of your community. Taking the time to understand who the right candidates are can save your community significant money in the future. In some cases the cost of replacing an employee is up to 150 percent of the role’s salary.

As you grow your communities, you will likely be adding significantly to your employee base. Take the time now to identify the key roles that you need to focus on and confirm what the right candidates look like for those roles. Employee assessments are a great way to identify the right candidate for your key roles. Assessments can speed up the hiring process by considering candidates that align well with your open positions. For more in-depth information about hiring the right person, read our blog post on looking beyond the resume.    

2. Record keeping.

Don’t let paperwork slide, period. Hasty record keeping can open your communities up to a number of regulatory issues, not to mention the time it will take to correct errors of omission later. Also, while you’re digging into your record keeping, ensure your wages and benefits options are up to industry standards to safeguard your community, not to mention confirming they are competitive while you’re at it.

3. Review policies to protect community.

Perform an HR Audit to confirm your communities are ready for growth. Focusing efforts now on your current human resource policies will provide the foundation needed for growth. Plus, laws and regulations are constantly changing, so before growth responsibilities add to your plate, take the time to plan for what you might run into in the near future.

Revisit your handbook to ensure it still meets your mission and will continue to meet those needs as you grow. Ensure your safety policies are up to date, especially if you are getting ready for construction or additions to your infrastructure.

4. Stay up to date on the latest health care changes.

Keeping up on what’s happening with the health care legislation is a challenge during normal business operations, not to mention during a growth stage. Whatever is decided on the health care plan will affect all your properties, so do your best to stay tuned into the news and follow the proposed legislations. Right now, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is still the law of the land, which means that you should still familiarize yourself with all the current ACA regulations.

5. Rewarding employees.

As growth initiatives are added to your plate, it can be easy to neglect a very important piece of your core business—your employees. Confirm your evaluation, training, and communications policies are up to date, and you are adhering to them, so your staff know you take their efforts to heart. Remember, rewarding your employees does not mean you need to reward them with cash. There are many other ways you can reward them and keep them engaged to your mission.

6. Know all of your options.

With growth comes more responsibility, and more responsibility comes more regulations to deal with. At times, it can get to the point where it’s too much to handle, and you realize that you need more experienced help with figuring out which regulations to comply with and how to comply with them. If you get to this point, it’s helpful to know what you can do about it. First off, there are organizations, like a Professional Employer Organization (PEO), that can handle all of the regulation and compliance details for you. You could also use a reliable online resource, like regulations.gov. Or, you can hire a lawyer to look everything over and help you out. It all depends on your situation. Whatever you choose, the important part is to ensure you’re compliant and not at risk of being liable for any fines.

In the end, we hope these tips steer you in the right direction. It’s important that your organization considers Human Resource compliance as the right foundation for any future growth plans. Don’t let these areas get swept under the rug while your growth takes center stage. Instead, address these issues up front, so that your organization and communities can grow without being hindered.

Which HR issue could your organization need the most help with?


Becky Buttermore

Becky has been with Oasis, a Paychex® Company, as District Sales Manager - Senior Living, Senior Living for 7 years. She has over 10 years' experience in servicing the Senior Living industry. Prior to joining Oasis, Becky was with a regional PEO where she helped launch the PEO division. Becky is the former President and CEO of a large staffing provider in north Alabama with over 20 years' experience in the staffing industry.


July 28, 2017

Posted by

Becky Buttermore