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Innovative referral program sees remarkable turn-around in aged care staffing

Peninsula Villages is proud to announce the remarkable achievements in its aged care staffing following a successful 12-month partnership with Care Friends, a leading employee referral platform.

As demand for aged care services rises in Australia, the workforce available to support the increasing demand is in decline. A projection by the Committee for Economic Development of Australia* claimed there will be a shortfall of 110,000 workers by the year 2030.

Peninsula Villages, a community-based not-for-profit organisation managing three residential communities on the NSW Central Coast, has witnessed significant improvements in recruitment and retention through the Care Friends platform.

Despite a national crisis seeing a shortage of aged care workers, Peninsula Villages has been able to engage with the referral program to hire more new positions to support its commitment to the Australian Government’s aged care reforms.

Since launching the partnership in May 2023, Peninsula Villages has successfully integrated Care Friends into its recruitment strategy, resulting in 57 new hires, including 40 Personal Care Assistants (PCAs), 4 Registered Nurses (RNs) and 13 Hotel Service staff members.

“For the first time in four years, we have virtually no unfilled positions and are now using referrals to fill holiday and relief positions,” said Colin Osborne, CEO of Peninsula Villages.

“The quality of our referral hires is noticeably better than those from job boards, and our staff turnover is significantly lower than the industry average,” he added.

The introduction of Care Friends has not only reduced the dependency on traditional job board recruitment but has also allowed Peninsula Villages to reallocate financial resources. The reduction in job board expenditures has fully covered the costs of the referral program, leading to a significant decrease in overall recruitment costs.

“We’ve seen a substantial reduction in our recruitment as well as reduced agency  spend and have been able to divert funds back to our staff through referral rewards. This program has enabled us to identify and retain local frontline and clinical staff quickly and affordably, ensuring our recruitment is stable and efficient,” continued Mr Osborne.

Peninsula Villages has achieved a significant milestone in service delivery by meeting and exceeding the care minute targets required for aged care facilities. This success is attributed to the consistent influx of qualified staff.

The organisation has reported an average of 30 new staff referrals per month, significantly contributing to its ability to meet the 200 care minute target and set a trajectory towards the 215-minute goal by October 2024.

“Our commitment to a positive workforce culture is reflected in our improved service delivery and reduced staff turnover,” he continued.

“The Care Friends program has been instrumental in maintaining a high standard of care through our consistent staffing levels, directly benefiting our residents and enhancing staff satisfaction,” concluded Mr Osborne.

As part of its forward-thinking strategy, Peninsula Villages is dedicated to fostering a dynamic and inclusive work environment. The organisation’s efforts contribute to the broader national agenda of promoting job security, enhancing workforce capability and filling skill gaps in the aged care sector​.