Experts weigh in at 2022 NIC Spring Conference. Rebuilding occupancy is a top priority for the senior living industry. But the old roadmaps to success don’t necessarily apply in the wake of the pandemic and quickly changing market conditions. The labor shortage and shifting consumer preferences only make the task to fill units that much harder.
More than 1,700 attendees gathered at the 2022 NIC Spring Conference in Dallas last month, surpassing turnout expectations as participants expressed a bullish outlook for the senior housing and skilled nursing sectors after a few challenging years.
Just over one-quarter of respondents noted that the severity of their staffing shortages across their organizations was severe, while two-thirds indicated the problem was moderate. Of significance, one-quarter of respondents had more than 20% of full-time positions currently unfilled. Regarding tenure of full-time employees, on average, just under one-half of organizations retained more than 80% on the job after one month. However, after one year, only 17% of organizations still had over 80% remaining on the job. Staffing shortages are often due to the inability to fill nursing aide positions, but wage competition and the inability to hire nurses also factored highly.
As the economy continues to move back toward normalcy and away from the pandemic, the Labor Department reported that nonfarm payrolls rose by 431,000 in March 2022. The data suggest that the war in Ukraine and the surge in oil prices has not dampened hiring activity.