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WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT


Public Perceptions of Careers in Senior Living


Argentum in concert with national polling firm ORC International conducted a survey in September 2016 to explore public perceptions about jobs and careers in senior living. The online survey includes responses from 801 adults ages 18 to 64 who self-selected for participation from across the United States. The report summarizes key findings and identifies implications for moving forward.


A


professional, caring staff lies at the heart of senior living. In- dustry communities are poised


to serve the burgeoning population of older adults, but will need to craft creative solutions to attract, engage and retain workers in a competitive marketplace. Argentum has identified workforce devel- opment as a key issue impacting the senior living industry well into the next decade. The senior living industry is an engine


of job growth for the nation. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data indicate the senior living industry outpaced average U.S. job growth by 3.7% from 2001 through 2014. Senior living employment is expected to exceed 1.1 million by 2025, spurring the industry with a need to attract more than 1.2 million new employees by 2025 and cre- ate conditions favorable to retaining them. Ensuring that senior living is an indus-


try of choice for qualified workers will require effective, sustained action on a number of fronts including public policy and legislation, academic programming and certification, investment in training and development opportunities as well as professional credentialing to elevate the sta- tus of the profession and provide standard qualifications. Important to these efforts will be understanding, and eventually track-


ing, specific factors that drive employee satisfaction and engagement in the senior living industry.


Key Findings: Survey results indicate that interest in a ca- reer in the senior living industry is closely and directly linked with awareness and familiarity with senior living. Workforce development success will require an effective communica- tion strategy to raise awareness and create familiarity with what senior living is and what it offers, especially among the youngest cohorts entering the workforce. Millennials (ages 18-35) accounted for 40% of respon- dents, Gen X (36-51) represented 32%; and baby boomers (52-64) made up 24%. » Two-thirds of respondents who had firsthand experience with senior living would recommend it for a family mem- ber who needed assistance, while only one in three without that experience would do so.


» One in three respondents (32%) with firsthand family experience with senior living would consider a career in the in- dustry, compared with only 13% of those without firsthand experience. Nearly two-thirds (62%) of the latter group said they would not consider it, compared to 54% of those with experience.


“I would be afraid of getting too attached to the residents, and when someone would pass away, it would affect me.”


Survey Respondent 30 SENIOR LIVING EXECUTIVE / NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016


BABY BOOMERS FAIR PAY, CHANCE TO USE SKILLS


GEN X FLEXIBILITY


MILLENNIALS CAREER


ADVANCEMENT


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