How are assisted living communities addressing staff turnover and vacancy rates?

The most popular way is through retention bonuses, according the 18th annual “Assisted Living Salary & Benefits Report,” just published by Hospital & Healthcare Compensation Service; 22.71% of those answering questions for the report said they give such bonuses. The average amount is $607, and the average length of service needed to collect the retention bonus is three years.

HCS received responses from 1,286 assisted living communities, 1,153 for-profit and 133 not-for-profit. Other ways respondents said they try to improve hiring and retention: 18.33% said they give recruitment bonuses (average: $572), 12.87% said they provide tuition reimbursement (average: $2,108), 5.46% said they conduct a staff recognition program and 3.44% said they offer a mentoring program.

The research reveals annual turnover rates for nine job categories. The position experiencing the highest annual turnover in assisted living is resident assistant/personal care assistant, with a rate of 39.35%, according the report. Top-level executives had the lowest annual turnover rate reported, 20.54%. The average across all categories was 31.75%.

The position of RA/PCA also had the second-highest average vacancy rate, 14.45%, surpassed by registered nurses (15.18%) but beating certified nursing assistants (14.39%), medication aides (11.28%) and licensed practical nurses (9.93%).

The report also provides compensation data related to 64,362 employees in 20 management and 29 nonmanagement positions nationwide. Data are reported according to for-profit and not-for-profit status, revenue size, unit size, state, county and geographic region. Also covered are 18 fringe benefits and projected salary increases for 2016. Data are effective as of October.

Available for purchase for $325, the report is published in cooperation with LeadingAge and is supported by the National Center for Assisted Living.