Brookdale Senior Living to Hire Hundreds of Home Health Workers

Brookdale Senior Living Inc. (NYSE: BKD) is planning to hire more than 4,500 health care workers for additional support in its battle against the COVID-19 emergency. The company announced its hiring plans last week.

Registered nurses (RNs), licensed practical nurses (LPNs), certified nurse assistants (CNAs) are among the positions the Brentwood, Tennessee-based Brookdale is trying to recruit. Other roles include caregivers, plus additional staff to assist with housekeeping, dining and maintenance.

With nearly 750 retirement communities that serve roughly 65,000 residents as of February, Brookdale remains one of the largest senior living owners and operators in the country. Its expansive health care services department, which includes hospice and home health care, also provides services to about 20,000 patients, according to the company.

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As part of its recruitment push, positions in home health care — a segment that has struggled to perform financially for Brookdale in recent quarters — will make up about 10% of the 4,500 hires.

“Brookdale home health roles have [remained] consistent with the yearly recruitment cycle and trends during this time of year,” Lucy Leeming, senior vice president of talent management at Brookdale, told Home Health Care News in an email. “We recently have shifted our focus to different roles and to add additional recruitment resources to increase the demand for our full time and PRN clinical roles.”

Brookdale’s home health business brought in $77.4 million in resident fee revenue in the fourth quarter of 2019, a 4.4% decrease compared to $81 million in Q4 2018.

While its home health business has fallen short of expectations, Brookdale’s hospice business has thrived. An increase in volume for hospice services resulted in $26.1 million in Q4 2019 revenue, compared to $21.3 million during the previous year’s same quarter.

In order to recruit new employees, Brookdale has implemented a number of creative initiatives, Leeming noted.

“[We expanded] our social media and job board advertising, and direct marketing campaigns,” she said. “We launched a new university networking tool, which reaches students, undergrads and alumni. We have also customized our job board posting, text messages and email campaigns to inform our candidates that [we’re hiring nationwide].”

Additionally, Brookdale began conducting outreach to accredited nursing programs that have students looking for work and seeking potential partnership opportunities with schools in multiple cities.

Apart from beefing up recruitment, the company is also offering opportunities for existing associates to travel and assist in other locations across the country, where demand is currently higher for clinical workers due to the COVID-19 virus, according to Leeming.

Brookdale will maintain its commitment to following all applicable state and federal training requirements, she added.

“We are following all required protocols for training, by position,” Leeming said. “In some states, waivers are in place to help expedite hiring while still ensuring the safety of our residents and patients. In every case, we follow state requirements and continue to provide new hires with the onboarding and training necessary to perform in their specific position.”

In other news, Brookdale CEO Cindy Baier recently contributed the equivalent of more than two months’ salary to the company’s Associate Compassion Fund, HHCN sister site Senior Housing News recently reported. All members of the executive team and some board members have also made financial donations or donations tied to paid time off.

Baier earned a base salary of about $782,000 in 2018, according to the most recently available definitive proxy statement for the company. She became CEO in February of that year.

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