Drawing from more than 15 years of experience in human resources and senior living operations, Sarah brings a unique perspective to the recruitment of senior living and care industry leaders and team members for both Health Dimensions Group, our managed communities, and our clients. Having served as an executive director of an assisted living community, Sarah understands the qualities essential for candidate success.

Sarah earned her master’s of business administration from the College of St. Scholastica and her bachelor’s of business administration in healthcare management from the University of Minnesota—Duluth. She is a member of the Society for Human Resources Management.

Sarah can assist your organization in:

  • Interim leadership
  • Executive search
  • Centralized recruiting

In this senior living leader spotlight interview, Sarah shares invaluable insights gleaned from her extensive experience in senior living operations and human resources, offering practical solutions to the widespread staffing challenges faced by industry providers.

Q: What do you see as the biggest challenge that senior care and living leaders will face in the next year?

A: Continued labor shortages. The number of nurses needed to care for our senior population just isn’t there and with the scrutiny and CMS staffing mandates, that will make it incredibly hard for nursing home and senior living operators to continue to survive. Owner/Operators will need to diversify their portfolios, adding the continuum of care, including active adult and other high-demand services so that the staffing dynamics can be shifted. Providers will also need to adopt automation and AI tools to be able to continue to provide quality care to our senior population.

Q: What advice would you give to providers struggling with staffing challenges?

A: We are in this together! Reach out to your competitors, state associations, and consulting companies for a roundtable discussion on what works and how we can work together to help overcome the labor shortage. Get creative, and know that there is not a one-size-fits-all approach! Anything goes. Listen to your staff and what they desire and value, and make small changes to get where you need to be. Then, once you are there, it will change again, so don’t let up!

Q: Where can you be found on your days off?

A: It depends on the season here in MN. I have 2 kids who are active in sports (hockey and dance), so I’m usually at the hockey rink, cheerleading for kid sports, boating on Lake Minnetonka, or at the gym! My personal escape is heading to the gym to enjoy a good GTX class which helps me maintain my energy to keep up with the demands of work, momming, and life.

Q: If you could change one thing about the senior living and care industry, what would it be and why?

A: The scrutiny of nursing homes. The focus needs to be on quality care and outcomes, but the amount of regulations in our industry is driving a lot of people to leave the profession due to burnout, which creates a domino effect of issues. Adding regulations to nursing homes isn’t the answer when there aren’t enough nurses to fulfill these requirements. We need creativity and more funding to make improvements in this industry to keep it attractive for people to continue in their professions as well as good operators/owners in the business.

Q: Dogs or cats?

A: Cats don’t exist in my world…Dogs! I have a Boxer named Nova and a French Bulldog named Beau.

Q: What advice would you give someone interested in a career in senior living?

A: There is so much opportunity in senior living! It is hard work but very rewarding, and it’s fun! If you want a profession that makes a difference in the lives of our senior population, then senior living is a great career!

Q: When did you know you wanted to work with seniors?

A: I was 16 years old, went $500 over my texting allowance, and my dad said, “Time to get a job.” I walked down the street and saw a ‘now hiring’ sign at a memory care building and decided to apply, and that’s when I was hooked on the industry! I held a lot of different positions while there, from reception to activities and serving. I then went to undergrad for healthcare administration and then pursued my master’s in healthcare management, and that was it!

Q: What one thing should leaders focus on when trying to increase team member engagement?

A: Treat your employees how they want to be treated. Talk to each of them to understand what motivates and excites them, and then deliver on that. Make work fun, and get to know your employees as people.

Q: What has been your greatest accomplishment in your career?

A: Continued growth in my career that makes a difference in this industry. If you had asked me seven years ago where I would be in my career, I would never have said recruiting. I took a chance and dove head-first into recruitment with HDG and have loved it! I am passionate about making the right placement for a company and getting candidates in a role that gives them a fulfilling and rewarding career experience. It’s motivating and exciting to see where people end up in this industry!

Q: What is your favorite of HDG’s values and why?

A: Humor! Having fun and laughing at work is SO important. It gives you some sanity on tough days, and no one can say they don’t like smiling or laughing.

How Sarah and HDG Can Help You

Sarah and the rest of the Health Dimensions Group team can support you through a variety of consulting services, including interim leadership, executive search, and centralized recruiting. With decades of experience as senior living and care community operators and consultants, our team is uniquely positioned to help you overcome staffing challenges. Contact us at info@hdgi1.com or 763.537.5700 to learn how our team can help your organization achieve success.