ALEXANDRIA, Va., Jan. 29, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Sunrise Senior Living reports that Arena's artificial intelligence solution has increased employee retention at its 265 U.S. senior living communities and lowered the cost of recruiting new staff and hiring temporary workers. Sunrise reported the results during a webinar hosted here by Argentum, the nation's largest senior living association.
Mike Rodis, Sunrise's Senior Vice President of Human Resources, said that Arena's data analytics helped his company improve 90-day employee retention by 27%, a significant statistic in an industry that experiences median turnover of more than 40% annually. Sunrise's one-year retention rate improved by 14%.
"We keep track of how much we spend recruiting new people and the challenge of covering shifts when we have turnover, whether through overtime or temporary labor, and all of that has gone down since we have been working with Arena," Rodis said. "More important is how it has affected our ability to provide great patient care by having experienced people in place for a longer period of time."
With a healthcare unemployment rate of just over 2%, only half of the industry's 1.2 million job openings are being filled, data from the U.S. Department of Labor shows. Argentum surveys have found that recruiting and retaining employees are by far its members' biggest challenges.
Rodis described the scale of that challenge for Sunrise, which has 32,400 employees. Each year it needs to hire about 12,000 workers, most of them to replace staff who leave. The company processes 350,000 applications to make those hires. Many of the jobs are fairly low-skilled, and the pay reflects it, so Sunrise must compete for workers with industries outside of healthcare, such as retail and fast food. It succeeds when it finds people who want meaningful work; Sunrise surveys find that 90% of staff report feeling engaged in their jobs.
The problem, Rodis said, is finding those people most effectively, which is where Arena comes in. The company pulls data from Sunrise's applicant tracking system, from third-party sources and its own online, interactive tool, which tests applicants' reaction to various scenarios. Arena applies proprietary algorithms to all of this data to provide highly targeted recommendations on how well a prospective employee would do in a given job at a specific senior living community on a specific shift.
"We don't walk away from reading resumes and the behavioral based interviewing process; those are very much a part of our recruiting process and very important to us," Rodis said. "It's just that now we have this addition of predictive analytics, which just gives us a much better read on retention and how long someone is likely to stay at Sunrise."
Sunrise Senior Living operates 326 senior living communities in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. It offers a full range of personalized senior living services, including independent living, assisted living, memory care, and nursing and rehabilitative services. Last year, Sunrise became the first senior living company to be ranked "Highest in Customer Satisfaction among Senior Living Communities" by J.D. Power & Associates.
Arena collects, analyzes and incorporates robust data to predict a given applicant's likelihood to succeed in a particular healthcare organizations' culture. Instead of individual judgements and hypotheses, Arena develops and applies models that align most closely with the everyday realities on which a prosperous and pleasant work culture depends. Its proven solutions lower turnover at client institutions by a median of 38%, resulting in better care and higher patient satisfaction.