Florida Presbyterian Homes Cut Staff Turnover by Half Using symplr Hiring

Florida Presbyterian Homes is a small, nonprofit organization dutifully serving the community of Lakeland, Florida. The continuing care retirement community offers housing for independent seniors as well as on-campus assisted living accommodations and skilled nursing programs.

As a small company, Florida Presbyterian Homes' hiring process looks much different than the multi-facility corporations often found in bigger cities. In addition, its applicant pool is smaller, as is its advertising budget. The organization's HR function is a department of one, making the processes of hiring and onboarding new employees lengthy and demanding.

Combine those challenges the fact that Florida Presbyterian Homes was using paper applications and onboarding forms, and it's easy to see why the organization began searching for ways to improve the hiring process.

Switching from paper to digital, and never looking back

For HR Manager Kim Roberts, the decision to switch from a paper application process to one that was 100% online and automated was an easy one. "I'm a one-person department, and there was just so much to do," she said. Between sorting through a stack of paper applications, organizing employee files, and manual data entry, the paper-based process was both outdated and cumbersome.

Within one month of officially signing up with symplr Hiring, Florida Presbyterian Homes was posting jobs on its new career web site and on some of the most popular job online boards in the industry. "The rollout was so easy," said Roberts. "I was able to just jump in and start using it."

As a result of implementing symplr Hiring, applications from job postings automatically flowed into Roberts' symplr dashboard, ready for review and ranked by best fit. Once Roberts selected her interview candidates and completed face-to-face interviews (with the help of the software's proprietary interview guides), she selected her new hires and emailed job offers to them with just a few clicks.

Once the candidates accepted the job offers, the new employees could fill out their new hire paperwork online before their first day, saving valuable orientation time for more important things, like beginning training and getting to know the residents. Further, Roberts could now instantly access all of the employees' pertinent data—including tax forms and other required documentation—via secure cloud-based online storage.

On the other side of the process, applicants could now fill out job applications from their home computer, or even their mobile devices. The mobile component is an important one, as indicated by a recent survey conducted by Censuswide on behalf of job board superpower Indeed. In that survey, 78% of people indicated that they would like to apply for jobs on their mobile devices. symplr enables job seekers to do just that.



  • Cumbersome, outdated paper application process

  • HR department of one made it challenging to handle walk-in applicants

  • Applicants varied in quality



  • symplr Hiring was live within one month

  • Turnover was reduced from 29% to 15%

  • Higher quality candidates led to better hiring decisions due to symplr Assessments


Cutting turnover in half in a matter of months

High turnover can be devastating for senior care provider organizations, including small businesses and nonprofits. New hire turnover (when an employee is terminated within the first 90 days) is particularly troubling, as an organization sees little return on the time and money invested into recruiting and training that employee. While Florida Presbyterian Homes' turnover numbers were not high by industry standards, any reduction in it would just mean more funds that could be allocated to other areas of the community.

Before Florida Presbyterian Homes partnered with symplr, its staff turnover rate was about 29%. While far below the median turnover rate of 41% for skilled nursing care centers, according to the most recent American Health Care Association Quality Report, Roberts and symplr still saw room for improvement. Upon implementation, improvement is exactly what they saw.

Since going live with symplr Assessments, Florida Presbyterian Homes reduced its employee turnover rate to 15% from 29%. By switching to an all-digital system with built-in assessment and interview tools, Roberts was able to change the organization's hiring process and find candidates who were not only a good fit for the position, but also a good fit for the company culture. 
Using assessments to improve hiring decisions

When you know exactly what you're looking for, you're more likely to find it, especially if you have the right tools. Before partnering with symplr, Florida Presbyterian Homes relied on local advertising and word of mouth to get applicants in the door. Unfortunately, those strategies were inadequate and the resulting walk-in applicants varied in quality.

After implementing symplr's software, Roberts noticed a distinct difference in both the quantity and the quality of applicants. symplr helped Florida Presbyterian Homes cast a wide net by blasting job postings across popular job boards, such as Indeed and Glassdoor.
But the real difference, she said, came from the assessment tools. "You can't train someone to have a good attitude and people skills," she said. "The assessments have provided our organization with additional information on applicants, which allows us to make better hiring decisions."
The assessment tools included in the symplr Talent Management suite take bias out of the selection process. Instead of relying on potentially misleading resumes or unverifiable references, applicants complete a couple of basic assessments, which then rank them based on how well they fit the requirements of the position. Hiring managers can then use the platform's provided interview guides to ask follow-up questions based on the assessments.
If a candidate scored poorly in a certain category—dependability, for example—the system would suggest a few questions to help the interviewer dig deeper into that particular area. "I love the interview guides," said Roberts. "They help to ensure a consistent hiring process." And when you're a department of one, a consistent (and consistently easy) hiring process is an absolute necessity.

The symplr Hiring solution was built specifically for senior care providers. It can be custom-tailored to meet the particular needs of its users. Whether you're a small business, a nonprofit, or even a multi-facility network of providers, symplr has a solution that helps you make better hiring decisions. 

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