More than 36 million Americans have filed initial claims to collect unemployment insurance in the eight weeks ending May 9, according to the Department of Labor. To attract workers from other sectors displaced by the pandemic, Argentum and the American Seniors Housing Association last month launched a new resource powered by Arena, entitled Senior Living FastMatch.
Although FastMatch provides only one entrance point for Arena’s hiring platform, Arena has reported that more than 2,000 people a day are coming to the platform. Argentum President and CEO James Balda notes, however, that he has been hearing that there is a strong applicant flow among members.
“Daily life and service in senior living communities has been altered, and they require added support for dining needs, housekeeping needs, caregiving needs and more,” Balda told McKnight’s.
LeadingAge also has been working to bring displaced hospitality workers into long-term care facilities, partnering with Marriott, Marriott Vacation Club and Hilton to post jobs through the LeadingAge Career Center. The association notes, however, that it is not able to track applicants and placements.
To date, results of these career placement efforts have been mixed. Andrea Griesmar, senior vice president at Brightview Senior Living, which has taken advantage of posting jobs on FastMatch, told McKnight’s that the operator has seen limited initial results, although they’re hopeful that it will pick up. Genesis HealthCare, however, reported that it has hired approximately 450 temporary help/aides from the restaurant, hospitality and retail industries since April 1, according to Lori Mayer, a spokeswoman for Genesis.
It’s also possible that some displaced workers are still holding out hope to return to their old jobs, and hesitant to apply for a new one while collecting unemployment benefits that match and sometimes exceed regular wages.