Last month on our blog we discussed many different companies that provide consumer reviews of senior care facilities and how these reviews seemed to be the wave of the future for people searching for more information on a particular facility. A new article by Shelley Laurell confirms this suspicion; giving fact-based statistics about how important online consumer reviews are becoming in the marketplace and how these reviews are showing no signs of going away anytime soon. Read below to find more information about these reviews and how important they truly are to defining a facility’s strengths, weaknesses, and overall reputation among those who have come into contact with the facility.
Why online reviews are here to stay
The Internet has given consumers a voice. Sharing with one another online, they visit and revisit online sources when making decisions. The places where their searches intersect with information they want are known as the Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT). Online reviews are one such place.
In seeking reviews, families are looking for confirmation that your brand is what you say it is. They want feedback from other families who have experienced your brand. Even after they’ve made a choice, they revisit online reviews to confirm they made the rightchoice.
For many senior care providers, online reviews cause apprehension. It’s important to remember though, that conversations about your brand are already happening. Without you. Probably in places you can’t reach. Online reviews are one place where you can join the conversation.
Blake Hodges, director of digital media for GlynnDevins Advertising, encourages his clients to be involved. “Providers are reluctant to get into social media because of disgruntled employees,” he says. “But disgruntled people will find a way to tell more people, and submitting a grievance online is easy. Providers need to be aware of what people are saying about them, and at the time it is being said.”
Just How Important Are Online Reviews?
A company known for monitoring online review activity is Forrester Research. In a 2010 survey, it found that:
- People trust consumer ratings and reviews (62%) more than the ratings/reviews of industry experts (57%).
- Other than recommendations from a friend or family member, consumer reviews are the most trusted source of information.
A Caring.com member survey reinforces Forrester’s findings:
- A combined 94 percent of respondents feel that online reviews are worthwhile: 45 percent consider them trustworthy information, and 49 percent consider them helpful to their search for a senior care provider.
- Companies with reviews received 550 percent more inquiries online than those without reviews.
Providers find reviews beneficial to both SEO and conversions.
Sunrise Senior Living monitors online reviews. “We see value in online reviews as they help to share real stories from family members and residents with prospective family members and residents,” explains Abby See, senior manager of online marketing.
Danielle Cantin, director of marketing at American House, says, “Reviews have added a level of authenticity to our brand. It is hard to quantify whether or not inquiries have increased due to our review activity, but it’s fair to say our SEO is strengthened by the relevant and timely postings — making us more likely to turn up in a search — therefore more likely to get an inquiry.”
Family Feedback Helps With Continuous Improvement
Consumers’ growing reliance on reviews offers senior care providers a means of continuous improvement. Online reviews may help you identify a problem you weren’t aware you had. If families who visit on Sunday afternoons are consistently posting concerns about the lack of resident activity or an unfriendly front desk person, both are problems you can fix.
You may also learn through reviews that a family chose another provider because of something youdon’t offer. If you don’t have a dedicated memory care courtyard and that’s what families want for their loved ones, their reviews may help you justify that capital improvement.
The Positive Side of Negative Reviews
“Negative reviews are a great tool,” explains Cantin. “There’s a certain anonymity that comes with writing a review online. Writers feel safe and are able to share their thoughts freely, without fear of rejection or confrontation. Reviews empower people who felt disempowered at a particular moment.”
MaryBeth Dagg, public relations and communications manager at Emeritus Senior Living, adds, “Reviews are one way we can determine where we have unhappy families and try and resolve any issues. We have several methods that residents and families can use to express concerns, but many aren’t comfortable talking directly to staff. By responding to online reviews, we’ve been able to reach out to families and let them know we’re listening.”
Negative reviews lend authenticity. People are suspicious when every review is perfect. In fact, 68 percent of consumers trust reviews more when they see a mix of good and bad. The key is to quickly address the negatives:
- Thank the posters for their comments. Encourage them to contact you offline so you can resolve the issues.
- If it’s an issue you’ve tried unsuccessfully to resolve, ask your families who feel differently to post positive reviews.
How to Join the Conversation
Here are ideas to help you get started:
- Assemble a team to read and respond to reviews. Prompt response online is critical.
- Establish a process for tracking complaint resolutions. Part of the success of online reviews comes from posting the fact that an issue has been resolved.
- Fill out profiles for your communities on the most-reviewed sites, such as Caring.com, Angie’s List, and Google+.
- Bookmark profiles so you can easily monitor what’s being said. Some review sites will alert you when you have a new review.
- Set up Google Alerts for your brand name and your community names.
- Encourage families to post reviews, and make it easy for them by sharing a list of the sites where your profiles are in place.
- Reputation management services can help. GlynnDevins offers one that aggregates what’s said on the sites you want monitored, then sends you a daily alert e-mail.
The bottom line is that reviews are here to stay. Actively monitoring and responding to them are must-do strategies for protecting your brand. MaryBeth Dagg of Emeritus explains it well by saying, “We know that if we quickly address problems identified in reviews, our resident and family satisfaction will remain high and people will continue to see Emeritus as a quality senior living option.”
Knowing What You’re Recruiting For
-Atash Najafian, Govig Senior Care
Sourcing and placing the right individuals in jobs is becoming an increasingly important priority in any industry, especially as more and more businesses expand and talent acquisition departments are formed. The talent in your organization can really make or break your return on investments and profitability; therefore, executives really want to ensure that their top hires are the right people doing the right job. In order to correctly fill a position, however, that position must first be defined and hiring managers must outline what they want an employee to accomplish in that role.
What’s the Problem?
A common problem currently plaguing most recruiters and human resource professionals is a lack of understanding of the jobs they are required to fill. Many staffing professionals face the challenge of trying to place candidates in a position when they generally don’t even know what they’re looking for. This not only prohibits them from sourcing the right talent, but also from finding quality passive candidates as well. Let’s create an example to put this dilemma into perspective.
Sally is an HR director working for a long-term care company who is about to acquire several properties. She is in charge of placing a “Director of Education” who will eventually hire and train all of the staff in the new facilities. So Sally scans through countless resumes for candidates with this job title and puts up several job postings to attract applicants. What Sally hasn’t considered is that this role probably requires someone with skills that aren’t on a resume—such as an entrepreneurial attitude and experience with start-up operations. A big reason that Sally hasn’t accounted for these additional skills is that senior management hasn’t translated all of this information to her. And this isn’t the only job Sally needs to place, so now she has wasted a lot of time and effort on this particular job searching for candidates that are not a good fit for the position. How could Sally and her company have avoided all the excessive costs in time and man power? By simply defining the position before the search began and making sure that Sally was educated on the position and qualifications.
Define the position.
Getting a clear definition of all different aspects of a position from hiring managers at the beginning of a search can have a huge impact on costs for recruiters in the long run. On the recruiters end, really understanding the position and what is crucial to look for in a candidate is just as important to the success of finding the best candidate for the job. This may seem like a time management issue, but having a clear definition to work with from the start will aid in avoiding obstacles later on down the road and will really save time in the end for all parties involved.
Why do we care?
At Govig Senior Care, we’ve really focused on addressing this issue and place a big emphasis on specifying job descriptions with our clients. We can offer expertise you won’t find elsewhere and like to work alongside Human Resource departments to place those hard-to-fill positions—especially in the senior care industry. We have a clear understanding of each role that exists in the market and also make sure we get to know candidates on an individual basis to so that we’re able to place the right people in the right positions. If you’re looking for the perfect person to take your senior housing organization to the next level, or have a difficult position to fill in the long-term care industry, please reach out to us so we can start a search for you today—with the end goal clearly defined from the start, of course.
Here at Govig Senior Care, one of our core beliefs for business is to take the “search” out of recruiting. By that, we mean through the teams that we have, the resources at our disposal, and the relationships that we have developed over the course of our 24+ year history, we can remove the hardships of most recruiting firms and our clients by having those professionals who are going to be the right fit, already in our pocket. Before our clients come to us, there is an expectation that we not just have the right person in mind, but that we have become acquainted and come to know them on a personal level as well.
Our team structure is our strongest advantage in this regard, and in our Southern Region, Business Developer Spencer Coon, and Client Account Manager Kyle Kenney have seen the evolution of their business and team over the years, first-hand. Listen to them as they talk about the subject in our latest video…
The article below from Senior Housing News discusses how A Place for Mom, a senior living referral service, recently developed a consumer review website for senior living facilities across the country. The service allows consumers to give detailed feedback about facilities they’ve visited and rate them on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. This is a service that could be utilized by both candidates and clients that employ Govig Senior Care for their staffing needs. Candidates can use the site to verify that a facility they’re actively pursuing employment with is a place they would feel comfortable working in. Clients can always use this service as well to ensure their facility is receiving positive feedback, and if it is not they can take suggestions and address any concerns that are given on the site. Overall it the site appears to have many benefits that can help anyone looking to get insider details on a senior housing facility. Read on to get more details, and make sure to comment on your feelings about the website!
A Place for Mom, the largest senior living referral service in the nation, announced on Monday the launch of an online consumer review component.
SeniorAdvisor.com allows visitors to submit and review consumer feedback on more than 100,000 senior living communities and care services across the country. The site currently features more than 17,000 reviews, and about 82% communities currently have a three-star-or-better-rating.
The launch comes after other senior care resource websites, including Caring.com, Silver Living, and SeniorHomes.com, have announced, launched, or grown similar initiatives.
“Choosing a senior living community is an extremely important and emotional decision, and people want to feel confident they have made informed choices. In support of this, we are consistently asked if we have consumer reviews and ratings of senior living communities,” said Sean Kell, CEO of A Place for Mom, in a statement. “Based on this demand, we’ve created SeniorAdvisor.com, designed to become the nation’s largest and most comprehensive source for senior living and eldercare reviews, ratings and unbiased information.”
Before publishing reviews, SeniorAdvisor.com plans to verify them using a variety of sources, including the 200,000 families A Place for Mom helps each year to find senior care options, and the company’s network of senior care partners that includes more than 18,000 senior living care and services providers. When a senior living community or service listed on the website claims ownership of its profile, it will have the ability to invite consumers to review its business.
The reviews will be on a five-star rating scale system covering five categories: care, cleanliness, activities, value, and friendliness. Consumers will be able to view a community or service’s individual scores on these categories along with an overall rating.
Reviewers will also be able to post personal comments explaining their ratings, or give general insight or feedback about a community or service.
The website’s search tools will allow users to search for listings with designated geographic locations and specific desired amenities. Consumers will also be able to use SeniorAdvisor.com to request tours of communities, organize scheduled tours, and send text message reminders of favorite communities.
“Today’s savvy consumers are proactively seeking the opinions and experiences of others. Many shoppers read reviews of movies, restaurants, hotels and other products before they buy, so it’s not surprising that they expect this kind of information to be available for senior living services,” said Eric Seifert, President, SeniorAdvisor.com. “In line with other service industry reviews, we’re seeing about 82% of our ratings on SeniorAdvisor.com land at three stars or better. It will be exciting to watch how this progresses as the number of visitors to the site increases.”
Senior living provider trade group the Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA) also recently announced the launch of a consumer web resource, powered by Caring.com, for consumers searching for senior care.
Caring.com says its 2 million monthly visits makes it the Web’s number one source of senior care reviews, while SeniorHomes.com and Silver Living both have more regional operations on the West and East coasts, respectively.
While some senior living providers are apprehensive of consumers’ ability to post unscripted reviews of communities, a few are using it to their advantage and taking the opportunity to respond to reviews and demonstrate their willingness to address issues.
by Alex Gillaspie
First off: What exactly is a Granny Pod? A Granny Pod is a self-contained building that is a combination of a hospital room and a small home. These 12×24 ft units contain a single bedroom, single bathroom, and a kitchenette. These pods are typically installed in a family’s backyard in order to offer a closer destination for a relative in need of long-term care. The Granny Pod offers technology that allows the monitoring of a family members vital signs, boasts a rubber floor designed to pad any falls inside the unit, and features heating and cooling systems in order to keep the inhabitant feeling comfortable in all climates. Supporters of the Granny Pod say this is the future of long-term care—offering a resident the functionality of long-term care while still allowing them to live close to home with their families. Win-win…right?
Many in the senior care industry disagree with this assessment. For starters, the units are particularly pricy—totaling over $125,000 once the installation of the pod is complete. For this price you would expect the investment to pay for itself over the course of time, but it hardly does. Standard long term care facilities (such as nursing homes, assisted living communities, and CCRCs) offer a great deal of medical care that is included in the cost of living; while outside practitioners would need to be called in as needed if a pod resident required medical attention. The regular cleaning of units, completion of laundry, and other housekeeping issues are also not included with Granny Pods—which requires additional time and care to be given by family members, or even additional expensive outsourcing of these responsibilities. While pod activists feel that the unit provides a unique and safe housing option that allows family members to build an even stronger relationship as time passes, critics say these pods don’t allow inhabitants to build relationships with their peers through social interaction—let alone that not all care givers will be able to give the full support and attention to a family member they may actually need. Detractors readily concede that Granny Pods are a potential alternative to long-term care depending on the health status of an individual, however they still feel strongly that customary skilled nursing facilities offer the best and most complete form of care.
My personal opinion is that nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities, CCRCs, AL, and IL campuses are still the future of long-term care and that the fad of Granny Pods will pass. That’s where Govig comes in. Govig offers the best recruiting experience in the senior care industry for all of these facilities and more—placing exceptional candidates in high quality jobs day in and day out. If you’re looking to make a hire, or looking to land a new position in the senior care industry, make sure to contact Govig through their Website or their Facebook page for all of your recruiting needs.
To see a satirical look at the Granny Pod (that more or less sums up my opinion) check out this video from the always entertaining Steven Colbert on his nightly show “The Colbert Report”.
*Note that the opinions expressed by the author do not necessarily represent the views of Govig Senior Care, its management or employees.
Jim Rohn, considered by many to be one of the greatest motivational speakers in history, presents four questions that you need to ask yourself everyday:
2. Why not?
3. Why not me?
4. Why not now!
Contemplating these questions will guide you towards accomplishing any goal you set. Start today and see success in your endeavors for the future.
First impressions are a big deal when it comes to interviewing, but most people believe that the issue of first impressions revolves solely around those going in to an interview. However, an article by Nancy Saperstone offers some great advice about making great first impressions to those who are conducting interviews. These are some really good tips and at Govig Senior Care, we employ all these in our recruiting practices to bridge the gap between candidates and clients to ensure that the first impression is their best.
-Nancy Saperstone, December 3, 2012
“We all know the importance of first impressions when we’re the applicant, but it goes both ways when you’re the employer trying to attract the talent. First impressions can mean the difference between closing the deal on a great candidate or losing them to another employer who did a better job of wowing them.
Employers who want to attract the best talent should not underestimate the importance of making a candidate feel special. This doesn’t have to mean spending lots of money on them or having an elaborate interview process. It can be as simple as not rushing an interview or following up with a candidate in a timely manner.
Keeping some simple tips in mind can sometimes make all the difference in helping to portray a company as an employer of choice:
- If you like a resume, follow up with the candidate promptly to schedule an interview.
- Keep the appointment, whether it is a phone interview or in person. Don’t be late and only cancel in an emergency.
- Be prepared for the interview by reviewing the candidate’s resume in advance and staying focused on the discussion.
- Don’t rush the interview.
- Provide the candidate with your contact information or a business card following the interview and let them know when they can expect to hear about next steps.
- Follow through and get back in touch with candidates by the date you’ve told them you will.
- Be honest and don’t promise anything you can’t deliver on.
Most candidates are not looking for royal treatment but everyone likes to feel welcome. Being a good listener and taking time to get to know a candidate shows that you are interested in them and who wouldn’t want to work for an employer who cares about their employees?”
Employing this advice will definitely cultivate a prosperous relationship between the right client and candidate, and having a good recruiter to facilitate the process can be extremely beneficial both to candidates looking for the right opportunity and clients looking for the perfect hire.
Don’t hesitate to contact Govig Senior Care to help you find your dream and make that seamless first impression.
73 Percent of Staffing Firms Reached Goals in 2012
By: Shala Marks
The staffing and recruiting report also revealed the following: Firms are planning to expand in multiple ways in 2013, 82 percent of staffing agency executives plan to add staff to their businesses in 2013- an almost 3 percent jump from 2012, 48 percent of respondents said their companies would expand into new geographies in 2013 compared to 44 percent last year, and that the demand for mobile access to recruiting technology has increased with more than half of recruiters saying it’s an extremely important factor for success.
“This report reveals some very encouraging news, especially coming out of the economic downturn,” Art Papas, founder and CEO of Bullhorn, global leader in recruiting software, said. “Hearing directly from staffing professionals that they expect 2013 to be a year of considerable growth for their firms should be a positive sign for not only the industry, but also for job seekers.”
The survey also showed that recruiters:
- Feel a lack of skilled candidates is their greatest challenge in 2013 while accessing passive job candidates through social channels is their greatest opportunity
- 98 percent of those polled used social media —LinkedIn (97 percent), Facebook (51 percent) and Twitter (49 percent) —for recruiting in 2012, a boost from 94 percent in 2011
- 38 percent of respondents said they plan on using Twitter and Facebook (37 percent) more in 2013, yet, interestingly, when asked which social networks produced the best candidates, 17 percent said Facebook and 13 percent said Twitter
Original Article at: http://www.recruiter.com/news.html/all
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