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Connections - 04.30.20

Recruiting Displaced Workers to Careers in I/DD During the COVID-19 Crisis

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by Lisa Fordyce, OnShift

It’s hard to describe the feelings the past month have brought. The COVID-19 crisis has impacted our every way of life. Healthcare providers are being asked to work under extreme conditions, and despite the shortages of supplies and an overload of patients, they are continuing to show up on the frontlines of this battle. Families have been restricted from seeing their loved ones and “staying at home” has become a requirement for many.

This “stay at home” mindset is vital to overcoming this pandemic as a country. However, it has left many hourly workers without a paycheck. Restaurants, retailers, hotels and others have had to lay off or furlough the majority or all of their staff. As I write this, nearly 6.6 million jobless claims have been filed. And that number is on the rise every day.

Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, unemployment was at an all-time low of 3.5%. The I/DD industry saw increased competition for talent from outside the industry and struggled to remain fully staffed due to the growing workforce shortage. However, the unfortunate circumstances of this crisis give the I/DD industry a unique opportunity to help those in their community in need of work.

In many states with “shelter in place” or “stay at home” orders, including my hometown of Ohio, DSPs and many non-direct care positions for those providing residential services are considered “essential.” And the need for these positions in I/DD continue to be great.  

Here are three quick tips for how I/DD providers can better recruit those displaced from their jobs.

  1. Spread the word locally regarding open positions. When it comes to recruiting displaced workers, the best place to start is right in your own community. Contact local restaurants and hotels to let them know you have opportunities for those who have been displaced. Post a message on your local community Facebook group regarding available positions. Additionally, contact your local unemployment services office, as well as the chamber of commerce in your area to help spread the word that you are hiring essential employees.
  2. Show your support for those displaced by COVID-19. Add a message on your careers page showing your support of those displaced by COVID-19 and your willingness to help them find either temporary work, or an entirely new career with your organization. This same type of messaging can be used as you post opportunities on social media, job boards, etc.
  3. Update your jobs postings. Those looking for work may have never considered a career in healthcare, let alone one in the I/DD space. Use your job postings as a place to not only introduce the requirements of the position at hand, but to show how rewarding a job in this industry can be. This is our chance as an industry to show an entirely new pool of talent the amazing contributions they can make working in this space.

These are just some of the best practices you can implement to better reach those displaced by COVID-19. To help providers better equip themselves to recruit during this hectic time, we’ve put together a Recruitment Toolkit, complete with more best practices, sample job postings and even social image templates to help you spread the word about the rewarding careers available in I/DD.

Click here to access the Recruitment Toolkit.

These are extremely difficult times. But together, we can make a difference and, potentially, help others discover a new, rewarding career path that they never imagined.

Lisa FordyceLisa Fordyce is the Executive Vice President of Enterprise Development for Senior Living at OnShift. Having started her career as a caregiver and expanding into operations leadership, Lisa has held senior executive operations positions at national healthcare organizations, leading overall business strategies and day-to-day operations to deliver quality resident care and services. Prior to joining OnShift, Lisa was Chief Operating Officer at Senior Lifestyle Corporation, leading the overall operational strategies.