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May 22, 2022

5 Strategies You Can Implement Today to Boost Your Recruitment Success Rate

*** SOLO EPISODE ***
Although most of the episodes are interview format, I decided to change this one up a bit and try a solo episode and see how it goes :)

No one wants to work these days across all industries and nursing homes were hit particularly hard. In this episode, we discuss 5 practical tactics you implement today to start moving towards a future that's more stable with more consistent staffing.


  1. It's time for a mindset shift. Recruitment needs to be as important as census and marketing. You can even use some of the same resources and people to promote your recruitment activities. 
  2. Go out to your local supermarket and stop anyone with scrubs and offer them an interview. Find out where else they're hanging out and develop a presence there on or offline. 
  3. Improve the interview process. Treat them like royalty and make them feel like they arrived home. 
  4. Have a user-friendly application process, and please, go easy on the paper. Nobody loves filling out tens of pages of the same information over and over again. 
  5. Ensure your rates are competitive. 

Need some help? Reach out to Quality Recruit and see how we can help you with this --> shmuel@qualityrecruit.com 

 

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Transcript

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That we have the responsibility to provide the

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same attention to recruitment that

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we're providing to censors of take that same person

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who probably can't even go into the hospital these days.

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Take those people and send them out to the the local supermarket. Let them stop

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anybody in scrubs and say,

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would you like to work for this facility? What makes a good job for you?

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Welcome to the nursing home podcast. Your goto source

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for professional insights in the longterm care industry.

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You're from leaders and experts as they share current and practical insights

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to help make the most of your day. I'm a longterm care financial specialist.

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What that means is I help people plan for the inevitable.

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Nobody wants to think about getting old, but it's possible that someday we might need

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a little bit of care. Here's your host. Nursing home Administrator Turnpodcaster

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Schmoel, Septimash.

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Welcome to the nursing home podcast. Welcome to this live

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broadcast of the Nursing Home Podcast, a podcast

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where nursing home administrators, professionals and

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others go to to find up to date and current information about the

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nursing home industry. In this episode of

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the Nursing Home Podcast, we are going to discuss staffing

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and recruitment. Staffing and recruitment is

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a very painful, challenging subject here

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at Quality recruits is something that we deal with all the time. So great

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and I wanted to share some of the feedback

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from working with lots of clients and some

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practical things that you can implement today in order to be successful with your

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recruitment interstaffing in nursing homes. So let's start from

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the very beginning. We start just look

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at the problem, let's just clearly identify what the problem is.

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So we know that pre COVID a couple of years ago,

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staffing has always been a challenge, but we've never seen

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the challenge to be quite like it is today. Today.

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We, instead of CNAs coming in and

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being happy to have the opportunity to interview nurses and really,

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up until and including administrative practice of nursing, everybody,

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really, people would be appreciated if the opportunity to

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interview would prepare professionally. For that interview and

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would come in and would be happy if they're offered a rate

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and it's completely flipped, where a

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senior will come in and say, I want $25 an hour or I'm going down

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the block. And the reason

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why they can do this is because they will get more to down the block

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and if they end up working down the block and then you offer a little

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bit more, they'll come back to you. So it seemed like the loyalty is completely

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gone. The ability to afford consistent

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staffing seems to be almost unattainable.

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Many agencies have come in and although people have all sorts of colorful

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things to say about agencies and price gouging and all

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this and some unscrupulous agencies probably are guilty

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of that, at the same time they fill a need,

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they fill void because without them, many nursing

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homes would really not know how to staff their facilities.

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So the question is, where did all the staff

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go? Where do the CNAs go? Where do the nurses go?

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The same Senate that we're getting paid $15 an hour for decades

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and just slowly incrementally getting small raises,

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hopefully keeping up with inflation,

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where are they all right now? And it doesn't just

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apply to nursing homes because the same thing to supermarkets, hotels, any industry that you're

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in, we see that pilots, delivery people.

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It seems like people just don't have to work. Now, we know

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during COVID there were all sorts of stimuluses and

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benefits and checks that were unemployment, all sorts

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of programs that were going out to many, many people. And that helped

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and gave a lot of people the ability and the flexibility that they

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probably needed at that time in order to sustain themselves

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when they couldn't work or they couldn't get to work when they were sick and

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they couldn't go to work, or they're going to work anyway and deserve to be

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compensated for going to work, whatever that is. There were

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mortgage delayment systems where you didn't have to pay

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a mortgage, other big bills that were pushed off.

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And that's all fine and true, but the question is,

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that stuff really is yesterday.

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That stuff is something that happened,

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but it's not something that is still current. That's not something that still

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happens now. And to the best of my knowledge, and I

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spoke to a lot of people about this, most of these things are done.

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So how are these people making ends meet? That is something,

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as I say straight out now, something we are not going to resolve in

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this conversation. But I would love for feedback on this if

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you have any ideas of what the solution to that

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would be, even just not the solution to understand how that is the way it

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is, love to hear about it.

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Okay, moving right along. So now practically none

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of that really matters because at the end of the day, we got to staff

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nursing homes regardless of we understand why we have

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the challenge or not. So how do we

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be successful in staffing our nursing homes today

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with this current challenge?

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So the number one thing at least that I hear

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when I ask potential clients or prospects

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about what they're doing and how they think they're going to be different is culture.

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COVID. Everybody reevaluated. Life is short.

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It's not worth working in an environment, it's not healthy. It's not worth doing

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something they're not passionate about. It seems more important than just a good job.

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So people are very into culture. We want to make sure that we are

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working and doing something that we care about in

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the environment, that we care about an environment that we feel cared for.

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So it's true. It's easier said than done. If there was a

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culture that truly valued

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every single employee and really took the time to understand

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each person's trajectory and what they want to do professionally,

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it would certainly help. But at the same time,

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is that really happening? Is that even practical? Do people even know

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what that means? Is there any are there any facilities that are doing this

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correctly right now? Probably some, but not too

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many. That's certainly not an easy fix, and that may require

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an outside agency

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or a company or somebody to come in and take a hard look,

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understand the core problems, and implement some changes.

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But you can begin slowly, one step at a time.

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Meet with your team and see what do you think the culture

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is. And don't armchair analysis this. Call in three

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CNAs and ask them how they feel about the

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culture. You could speak to the ones that will be honest

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with you. The same thing with nurses, housekeepers, find out from them what they

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think, because what we think is going on and what they think is going many

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times is not the same thing. But if you can get that down pat,

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you're giving people a reason to want to stay. They feel like they're

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family. They feel like they're supporting each other. They feel like they're there for each

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other. That's number one. Culture is a real thing.

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Okay, second point rates. When we talk about rates,

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everyone's adjusting their pay rates and everyone has to be competitive.

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You don't have to be paying the most. You have to be paying at least

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similar to other places so that they can't say, I'm not

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going to work for you because your rates are terrible. Your rates really are terrible.

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Then unless you have some other very strong reason why someone should want

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to work for you, why should they want to work for you? So really taking

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an honest look at finding out if your rates are competitive, how do you do

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this? I found that most facilities,

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at least on like the business office level or HR level,

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if you share their rates, if you share your rates,

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they'll share their rates and it would be honest with them. Listen,

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we understand that we're competing for the same staff or you don't even have to

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speak that out. You can just say, we're doing an analysis of staffing

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in the area and we want to make sure that we're paying

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competitively. Do you mind sharing your rates? And I'll tell you what we're paying and

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you share as much as you want to share in order to find out if

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you're really paying the rates that you should be paying.

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And then if you find that you're not, you may have to make an adjustment

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across the board that could be significant investment, especially if you have a

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decent sized staff. But if you're really

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underpaying them what they deserve, then that

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it probably won't go overdue. This is just going to force you to get to

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where you need to be. Now the painful part of this

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is that even if you're paying your staff more, first of all,

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it's not just senior staff, it's going to be very difficult and

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you'll have to ask your legal team if it's even legal. But even

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if it was, it can be very difficult to hire new employees

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at a higher rate than your current employees. They get a preferential

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treatment. Just because I'm working here for 20 years, why do

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I get paid less than somebody who's straight out of high school?

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And that's a good point. I think about it from their perspective.

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That makes a lot of sense. The challenge with paying too much is

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that for the most part, the government has not adjusted reimbursement

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to nursing homes based on the cost that

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there is to adjust the rates. This has

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always been a problem, but especially now that it's been a major increase

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in rates and many people are just climbing and climbing and climbing, almost competing with

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agencies. That itself is

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a problem and you have to be very careful with it. You have to crunch

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numbers and make sure that it's sustainable.

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So that's the second thing about the risk. But at the end of the day,

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if your rates are garbage, if your rates are not what they should be,

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if your rates are worse than everyone else in the area, why should they

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want to work with you? I would say number three.

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And truth is I was saying number three is really number one. And this

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is there needs to be a mindset shift for

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any operator. When I say operator, I mean owner,

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regional Administrative Directive, nurses,

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HR, business office and anyone who's doing

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any hiring for nursing homes. In regards to the concept

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of recruitment, because recruitment used to be one of those things that

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HR or the BOM used to do and it was

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just leave of absence,

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legal stuff that has to be done and maternity leaves and payroll processing and scheduling.

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Another thing was recruitment because we know that the normal way a nursing

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home goes, people come, people go. So someone

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has to manage that process and always be constantly hiring so

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that you have enough people to take care of the residents.

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And it would use to be pretty much like a one person show.

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And whoever that one person is, maybe they work with the deal and work with

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the administrator. But that has to change. And I think the best way to

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explain it in nursing home terminology is we have to start

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treating recruitment like Census.

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What do I mean by that? What do you mean recruitment like census? Recruitment and

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two different things. Census is getting more residents in the building, keeping them

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there and recruitment is getting people to care for

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them. But if we look at census building, because census

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building directly equals revenue, there's a

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healthy budget usually for marketing.

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You have highly compensated individuals whose entire job

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is to develop relationships with the hospital case managers, to go

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to the local community organizations, senior centers,

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any other place where independent living facilities,

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assisted living facilities any other place

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where seniors or their adult decision makers may hang out

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in order to develop those relationships. In the hope that of course, if it's today

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or tomorrow, that's great. But eventually they'll remember that

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golden whatever.

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And the person who was there was very

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nice. Let me reach out to them, let me google their number and hopefully we'll

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get somebody with hops and kiss measures a little bit more direct.

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But that's the basic idea. And there's a lot of money, big budget for stuff

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like this, and a lot of time and attention. Many facilities have weekly

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marketing meetings in house and maybe even a regional marketing meeting,

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reviewing where all the referrals came from and all sorts of software and technology

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to track all this information has given a lot of attention,

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time and attention. So the time has come that

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we have the responsibility to provide the

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same attention to recruitment that

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we're providing to census development. Which means

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it may even make sense to take your clinical liaisons, your external marketers,

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whatever you want to call them, the people that would leave your nursing home

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and go to the hospitals to harass,

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beg, plead and sell to the hospital case managers.

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And they would ask them, do you have somebody for me? Do you have a

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Medicare patient for me? Do you have anybody for me? We'll take

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one hard one and then you give us five good ones, send us your challenging

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ones. Take that same person who probably can't even

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go into the hospital these days. There's limited

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access and limited ability because of COVID Even without

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COVID, a lot of hospitals are cutting down because it's just annoying and that

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people can't do their job. So take those people

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and send them out to the local supermarket. Let them stop anybody

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in scrubs and say, would you like to

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work for this facility? What makes a good job for you? How could we

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make this work for you? And really reverse engineer

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the process. Don't wait for them to click on your indeed ad that

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you pee through the roof for and then hope that they show up to your

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interview and hope that the process works well. And then they'll come and pick

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up shifts. Find them where they are. Don't go to another

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nursing home and coach from them, but find

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them in the community. Find out where they hang out, whether it means physically finding

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places where they gather, or whether it means local Facebook groups or

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any other places where they engage online. That can be

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a place where you can be really successful in

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getting new people. So again, we spoke about the culture,

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we spoke about the rates, and we're speaking now about the

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mind shift which is necessary and the budget which is necessary.

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For this, I'll add a fourth

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point, maybe, which is fourth

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and fifth point is what happens after they

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are scheduled for an interview and they actually show up to the building.

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This means you maybe had someone go out to the community and meet them.

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You probably had sponsored ads. Maybe you found them in

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a Facebook group. Maybe you had

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your team screen them and perhaps even did a phone or

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a zoom interview already. And now they're finally walking in to

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the facility. And now they're coming in. And thank you,

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Lindsay, for weighing in. Find them in the community.

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Don't wait for them to click on your ad.

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And this is really true,

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but now they're walking into the building. I can't tell you how many times

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we get feedback. Again, Quality Recruit helps our clients

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do this process for them, and we find those applicants for them and we bring

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them into the facility, and then we follow up with them. And when we do,

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sometimes what we hear is not so pleasant, and we feel it's our responsibility to

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share that. And sometimes people are going to say, we came to the building

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and it was locked. We came to the building and I waited outside

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for a while, or I sat. So they told me to wait, and I was

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there for 45 minutes. Then finally they told me that there's no

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one there to interview me, or there was a 50 page application,

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which I just hate filling out application, my name on every single page

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over and over again. And all that was before that

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I could even answer my question, which was, how much what's your CNA rate?

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Because if it was less than 16 and I'm getting

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currently 17 or whatever, it's not worth making a move.

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And it's just we're still treating them the old way,

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and that doesn't work anymore. So in a practical

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level, if you have someone coming for a tour,

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right, everybody knows the same is coming for a tour. And just

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because you hope to get them as a resident, you'll have fresh cookies

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from the dining room, you'll have the administrator and DN wearing

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their finest, greeting them at the front door. They'll get the royal treatment.

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You pre plan the route exactly where they're going to go. You make

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sure the activity director passes by them during the tour so

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that they can have that positive interaction while they're holding something

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exciting. I don't know, some good smelling popcorn or holding a

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beach bowl or something that looks exciting. And you plan on every single step

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of the process to make sure that that tour works perfectly.

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And then we follow up with them and we give them the time

17:21.195 --> 17:24.417
of day. And they're important. They're like DBH walks in the building,

17:24.465 --> 17:27.737
right? Department of Public Health works in the building to get that type of attention.

17:27.812 --> 17:31.262
This is what we need to do every time an applicant walks in the door.

17:31.337 --> 17:34.452
Let them feel like they arrived home. Let them feel like they came to a

17:34.470 --> 17:37.917
place that actually wants them there. Let them feel like they came to a place

17:38.040 --> 17:41.907
where they can feel comfortable with the idea that they're going

17:41.910 --> 17:45.432
to be spending their time here and that they'll be working here every single day.

17:45.510 --> 17:48.522
And then when they come, they feel wanted. Again, this is even before you deal

17:48.555 --> 17:52.272
with culture. This is just dealing with what the

17:52.305 --> 17:55.707
actual experience is like. And unfortunately, many times this is where the

17:55.710 --> 17:59.097
ball is dropped. I'll say one more thing that we've seen

17:59.280 --> 18:03.147
is that when someone is finally hired and

18:03.180 --> 18:06.752
the interview went well, they offered the job, the job was accepted. Now they're waiting

18:06.782 --> 18:10.097
to be called for orientation. A lot of times the bulls drop.

18:10.142 --> 18:13.767
There just that extra communication if orientation is in a week.

18:13.815 --> 18:16.902
So reach out to them two days later, four days later, six, whatever it is

18:16.920 --> 18:20.427
the day before orientation. Keep the relationship alive so

18:20.445 --> 18:24.147
that again, they'll continue feeling like they really

18:24.180 --> 18:27.507
want us. And again, some of these things could be automated. Doesn't have to

18:27.510 --> 18:31.397
be a whole overwhelming thing. I know how challenging it is on the operation

18:31.442 --> 18:35.202
side. Internally. That's a simple easier said than done. It's like you have somebody to

18:35.220 --> 18:38.667
sit there, which I know I said I'll say five

18:38.715 --> 18:42.102
things and I believe we're ready past that. But one bonus thing I'll

18:42.120 --> 18:46.362
tell you is maximize the

18:46.500 --> 18:50.425
receptionist. So many times receptionist is like

18:50.787 --> 18:54.167
awesome resource within the facility.

18:54.302 --> 18:57.522
The social worker is overwhelmed. You can

18:57.555 --> 19:00.852
really find time to get in all the mandatory documentation and

19:00.945 --> 19:04.077
mandatory 101 meetings. Everything that has to be done, getting the MDS is

19:04.095 --> 19:07.452
done. You have the admissions person, many times it's overwhelmed. You have

19:07.470 --> 19:11.552
the administrator at the on all the department heads. The nurses are overwhelmed. The receptionist

19:11.582 --> 19:14.732
many times has a lot of downtime,

19:14.897 --> 19:18.627
and many times they use that time wisely. And they

19:18.645 --> 19:22.377
are doing crossword puzzles and sudoku and instagram and

19:22.395 --> 19:24.250
all sorts of important things.

19:25.812 --> 19:29.397
They don't have blocks of uninterrupted time by the very nature of the job.

19:29.430 --> 19:33.032
They're answering the phone, they're opening the door, closing the door, taking out the smokers,

19:33.047 --> 19:36.102
and doing all different things. But there's a lot of downtime in between where they

19:36.120 --> 19:39.747
can get a lot of small tasks done and they can really be

19:39.780 --> 19:43.122
helpful with the recruitment process, whether it means calling people,

19:43.155 --> 19:46.287
making calls, reminding people,

19:46.350 --> 19:49.902
here's a list of people you need to call today. Even more importantly, they have

19:49.920 --> 19:53.282
to be trained that when somebody walks in and says, I have an interview,

19:53.372 --> 19:56.877
don't question them. Even if they're lying and they don't have an

19:56.895 --> 20:00.072
interview, give them an interview, they made a mistake. Whatever it is,

20:00.255 --> 20:03.422
they're there. They have to be treated like royalty. Stop. Sure. Have a seat.

20:03.467 --> 20:06.972
Immediately track down who's the person who would interview them. That person is not

20:07.005 --> 20:09.775
there. Please have somebody else interview them.

20:10.437 --> 20:13.932
Sometimes the HR person is sick. Okay, no interviews for a

20:13.935 --> 20:17.607
week. No way. Can't do that. Stuff the HR person can't do, but someone else

20:17.610 --> 20:20.922
is going to do their interview for them. Okay, there's a lot more to talk

20:20.955 --> 20:24.687
about, but just a quick recap here. And actually before we do that,

20:24.825 --> 20:28.097
we'll just say like this, other than creating

20:28.142 --> 20:31.612
people from thin air or bringing people in from overseas,

20:32.037 --> 20:35.125
just creating a bigger pool, a bigger, bigger pie,

20:36.537 --> 20:39.717
that would be a real solution here. But now that we're talking about managing within

20:39.765 --> 20:43.167
the crisis and being successful, even with the pool being what it is.

20:43.290 --> 20:46.817
So number one is really taking culture

20:46.877 --> 20:50.477
seriously, which it may mean bringing in some outside assistance

20:50.507 --> 20:54.047
for this, but it should start without that. Take a deep dive,

20:54.092 --> 20:57.447
understand what your culture is. Have some real honest conversations about

20:57.480 --> 21:01.662
that. Make one small change in the right direction so that people actually

21:01.725 --> 21:05.717
want to work in your facility. Number two, look at your rates.

21:05.852 --> 21:09.677
Don't adjust your rates to agency rates, but make sure you're not below average,

21:09.707 --> 21:13.152
because if you're below average, you have to give a

21:13.170 --> 21:16.557
very strong reason why someone should want to work for you. Number three,

21:16.635 --> 21:20.762
mindset shift. Understand that recruitment

21:20.912 --> 21:24.752
is as important as census. Some facilities are more important than census.

21:24.782 --> 21:27.902
Some facilities have to close that admission because they don't have the staff

21:27.932 --> 21:29.725
to care for those people.

21:31.662 --> 21:35.592
There's a budget for census. There should be a budget for recruitment going

21:35.640 --> 21:39.325
outside the supermarkets, finding people.

21:40.962 --> 21:44.397
Number four, when they come in, treat them like royalty. No 200

21:44.430 --> 21:48.387
page applications. They should be waiting for hours on end to get

21:48.450 --> 21:51.972
their application. And please call them back if

21:52.005 --> 21:55.352
you would like assistance with any of this. Here comes the shameless plug.

21:55.532 --> 21:58.997
First of, you going to be in Chicago and Topgolf, and you need assistance

21:59.042 --> 22:02.832
with this process. Maybe you don't have someone in house that

22:02.835 --> 22:06.027
can do this or you're trying and it's not working. I'll be there

22:06.045 --> 22:09.777
in person. Please. Let's speak and let's see if

22:09.795 --> 22:11.875
we're a good fit. We're not a fit for everybody.

22:12.687 --> 22:16.467
If this is all perfect for you and you have a great system in

22:16.515 --> 22:20.112
house, we have a lot of new things coming down the pike and some

22:20.175 --> 22:23.652
interesting ways of increasing the

22:23.670 --> 22:27.627
pie. But again, a lot of that is not yet ready. But if you

22:27.645 --> 22:30.777
need us to help you really revamp your recruitment process and really take it

22:30.795 --> 22:34.097
over and deliver qualified candidates to your door,

22:34.217 --> 22:36.642
you definitely need to hit me up. So if you can see me there live,

22:36.690 --> 22:40.002
great. If you're on LinkedIn, you can send me a direct message or

22:40.020 --> 22:42.632
you could just send me an email. It's Schmull,

22:42.722 --> 22:45.972
S-H-M-U-E-L as you see on the screen,

22:46.005 --> 22:49.032
I believe@qualityrecruit.com,

22:49.185 --> 22:52.317
and we could hop on a call,

22:52.515 --> 22:55.602
zoom teams, whatever, and we get

22:55.620 --> 22:58.977
to discuss it. Thank you for tuning into this episode of the

22:58.995 --> 23:02.432
Nursing home Podcast five practical solutions

23:02.447 --> 23:06.417
that you can implement today to help with your recruitment and

23:06.540 --> 23:09.852
staffing challenges in your nursing home. I would love

23:09.870 --> 23:13.347
to hear some feedback. You could hit me up on LinkedIn about that as well

23:13.530 --> 23:17.112
or leave a comment if you like this format or not. This is

23:17.175 --> 23:20.882
interesting for me. Sure to know what your feedback

23:20.897 --> 23:23.817
is on that as well. Alright, awesome. Thank you so much.

23:24.015 --> 23:27.775
Interesting for now. Have an awesome, amazing day.

23:31.887 --> 23:35.427
Now that you've enjoyed this episode of the Nursing Home

23:35.520 --> 23:39.482
Podcast, I'd really appreciate if you'd rate this podcast

23:39.647 --> 23:43.142
and let everyone else know what an amazing resource

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this is for those wanting to learn anything and everything about the

23:46.545 --> 23:51.732
nursing home industry. So head on over to ratethispodcast.com

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nursinghome. Again, ratethispodcast.com Nursinghome,

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leave me a review and let the world know what an amazing show

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