Finding enough applicants who are qualified for an open position is the biggest workforce challenge facing member organizations responding to a recent survey by the LeadingAge Center for Applied Research.

LeadingAge sent surveys to 2,778 assisted living community, nursing home and home- and community-based service providers and received 470 responses.

By far, the most common workforce challenge cited by participants, at 52.7%, was insufficient quality applicants, according to LeadingAge. Registered nurse was the position that respondents most commonly said was “very difficult” to fill, with 30.6% characterizing it that way. Aide (27.5%), director of nursing (24.7%) and licensed practical nurse/licensed vocational nurse (22.2%) positions also were said to be difficult to fill.

A total of 86.4% said they are experiencing consequences because of worker shortages. The most common consequence they cited was increased workloads, at 64.1%.

Online ads were by far the most common strategy survey participants said they use to recruit staff, with 93.5% of them reporting placing such ads.

When it comes to retaining staff, more than two-thirds of respondents said they conduct employee satisfaction surveys, and 45% of them use the survey results to focus on the top identified needs and to make targeted improvements.

LeadingAge has posted additional survey results and information online.