Post-It Note with "Now Hiring" on it

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Sign-on bonuses and pay raises undoubtedly are appreciated by staff members at assisted living communities, but they appear to be doing little to stem the industry’s high annual turnover rates, according to data in “2021-2022 Assisted Living Salary & Benefits Report,” published by Hospital & Healthcare Compensation Service. Results were released Tuesday.

Annual turnover of all employees in assisted living communities in 2021 (management and non-management) was almost half (48.51%). The turnover rate for resident assistants and personal care aides was 68.09%, the highest rate among nine general job groupings tracked in the report, despite hourly pay rates increasing in 2021 by 10.61% for RAs and 10.66% for dementia PCAs. Those pay raises increased pay at the national 50th percentile for RAs to $14.85 and to $15.90 for dementia PCAs.

Other notable turnover rates included 51.74% for registered nurses, 45.45% for licensed practical nurses, and 46.27% for certified nursing assistants. The high turnover rates persisted even among positions not directly responsible for hands-on resident care, such as administrative support staff (37.86%) and dining services personnel (47.47%).

During the COVID-19 pandemic, sign-on bonuses have become a common method to attract new employees to the industry. That trend continued in 2021, with 62.72% of survey participants reporting offering sign-on bonuses. Key positions receiving such bonuses included directors of nursing, RNs, LPNs, CNAs, RAs and kitchen staff.

Despite the challenges, nearly six out of 10 (59.59%) respondents said they planned on hiring new employees in 2022, with the other 40.41% indicating that they would maintain their current number of employees. 

This year marks the 24th annual edition of the report, which is conducted with LeadingAge and supported by the National Center for Assisted Living. The report covers 20 management and 30 non-management positions. More than 1,100 assisted living communities participated in the study and provided data for more than 65,500 employees.

The 250-page report is available for purchase at the HCS website.