Specialty positions are on the rise within senior living and care companies, according to a recent issue of Ziegler’s e-newsletter

“The prevalence of these specialty positions is definitely greater among the larger, multi-site provider organizations. They simply have greater resources to bring these subject matter experts in-house,” Lisa McCracken, director of senior living research and development at Ziegler, told the McKnight’s Business Daily. “This does not happen overnight, though, and is often incremental as an organization grows in breadth and depth. There are some smaller or more mid-sized organizations that are gearing up for more aggressive growth, and they will devote resources to building their team of specialists to be in the ready position for that forthcoming growth.”

Ziegler began tracking specialty positions about five years ago as part of the annual LeadingAge Ziegler 200 survey, according to McCracken.

“We observed that there were increasingly these specialty positions at the corporate office to provide greater support throughout their network of communities,” she said.

Common specialty positions increasingly found at providers:

  • Chief information / technology officer
  • Talent officer / director of recruitment
  • Chief of clinical / health
  • Chief strategy / growth officer

Other up-and-coming specialty positions include director of capital projects/development, director of philanthropy/fund development and regional operations positions, according to Ziegler.

“Leaders often ask how large one needs to be in order to afford some of these positions, or whether to staff up prior to growth or hire positions as the organization hits certain size thresholds,” McCracken said. No one-size-fits-all answer exists, she added.

“Growth without added resources can lead to staff burnout and challenges to executing effectively on growth,” McCracken said. “At the same time, hiring executive-level talent across multiple positions prior to having the sustained revenue to support those positions can be a tricky balance.”

The tipping point, according to Ziegler, can be when a corporation hits a $100 million or higher annual revenue threshold. Then, it might be possible to start adding specialty positions.

“The good news is that until those thresholds are met, there are many talented industry partners and consultants who can advise in that capacity until those positions can be created internally,” McCracken said.