While turnover rates are notoriously high in the senior living industry, it’s important to focus on what companies can do to mitigate the damages of key personnel leaving. Interim staffing is a great way to combat the negative effects of turnover.

Beyond the intangible losses, it costs money to lose employees. The cost of time and money can leave a community with reduced productivity until the right team member is found, which can often take several months. Interim staffing gives you the ability to concentrate on the core business and allows you to use a professional and knowledgeable staff member that is fit to your needs with no training costs. This approach also results in: renewed attention on your internal processes; additional resources; and enhanced value to your organization.

Some studies, such as from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), predict that it costs six to nine months’ salary to replace a salaried employee. For a manager making $60,000 a year, that’s $30,000 to $45,000 in recruiting and training expenses. Other studies have discovered that the cost is even more significant and can be up to twice an employee’s annual salary—even higher for executive-level employees. Turnover also varies by wage and role. A 2012 Center for American Progress study found average costs to replace an employee as follows:

  • Sixteen percent of annual salary for high-turnover, lower-paying jobs (under $30,000 a year).
  • Up to 213 percent of annual salary for highly educated executive positions.

In addition, Entrepreneur published an insightful article in September 2011 on the hidden costs of employee turnover, including:

  • Slippage—Cost of the work that isn’t getting done when an employee is missing.
  • Ripple effect—Coworkers not being able to work to their full potential because they’re picking up the slack from the missing employees.
  • Customer loss—Impact on customer satisfaction as employees take their experience and customer service ability with them when they leave.
  • Lost credibility—Loss of credibility for management when a work environment has a reputation for excessive turnover, and employees grow discouraged about their ability to thrive.

It’s clear that employee turnover is a problem for any business and its effects can be devastating. To fix the gap of recruiting and finding the right person to fill the seat, consider the benefits of using interim staffing.

The use of effective interim staffing to fill these critical positions is a significant factor in the success of the company. The key word is effective—not just a license to hang on a wall but an interim with the expertise, skillset, knowledge, and reputation to run the building for a temporary period. This requires recruitment and staffing agencies to play an integral part in the company’s recruitment process. They must ask questions to understand the culture and needs of their client in order to search for and find a qualified interim to serve that organization, as well as to provide support and resources for the interim during their assignment.

Effective interims are the solution to assist in transitions resulting from turnover and to help improve morale. Interim staff for directors of nursing, administrators, MDS coordinators, and more have the ability to work with the communities in which they are placed to get them back up and running, thereby regaining employees’ trust that management sees their work as meaningful and values their time. It also emphasizes the importance of having the right leader in the right seat and not compromising current staffing by leaving a position open.

For more information about interim and permanent staffing, visit us online at healthdimensionsgroup.com, contact us at info@hdgi1.com or 763.537.5700.


Authored by: Sarah Friede, MBA, Executive Recruiter, Health Dimensions Group