Welcome to Bridge the Gap with hosts Josh Crisp and Lucas McCurdy. A podcast dedicated to inform, educate and influence the future of housing and services for seniors. Bridge the Gap aims to help shape the culture of the senior living industry by being an advocate and a positive voice of influence which drives quality outcomes for our aging population.

How Applicant Tracking Systems Improve Your Business with Procare HR Founder Brett Landrum

Listen to Brett Landrum, Founder and Co-CEO of Procare HR, share how it’s important to partner with an organization that’s invested the capital to find the best HR solutions.


Senior care is an industry where incremental people improvements can have outsized impact on all the stakeholders.

Brett Landrum

Guest on This Episode

Josh Crisp

Owner & CEO Solinity

Josh Crisp is a senior living executive with more than 15 years of experience in development, construction, and management of senior living communities across the southeast.

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Lucas McCurdy

Owner & Founder The Bridge Group Construction

Lucas McCurdy is the founder of The Bridge Group Construction based in Dallas, Texas. Widely known as “The Senior Living Fan”.

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Brett Landrum

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The industry as a whole is craving more efficiency and better use of technology.

Quick Overview of the Podcast

Attracting employees and providing support through human resources is key. Listen to Brett Landrum, Founder and Co-CEO of Procare HR, share how it’s important to partner with an organization that’s invested the capital to find the best HR solutions.

Procare HR is an exclusive sponsor of Bridge the Gap.

Become a BTG sponsor.

Listen to more episodes here.

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Welcome to season six of Bridge The Gap, a podcast dedicated to informing, educating, and influencing the future of housing and services for seniors. Powered by sponsors Accushield, Aline, ProCare HR, Hamilton CapTel, Service Master, Patriot Angels, The Bridge Group Construction and Solinity. And produced by Solinity Marketing.

Lucas 00:50

Welcome to Bridge The Gap podcast, the senior living podcast with Josh and Lucas. A very important topic and guest on today that you are sure going to get a lot out of. We want to welcome Brett Landrum, the Founder and Co-CEO of Procare HR. Welcome to the show.

Brett 1:05

Thanks guys. Excited to chat today.

Lucas 1:08

To our listeners that have been following us for so long and even to our new listeners. As you know, Bridge The Gap is a big platform where we're putting out content every single day that the industry can access freely. And the way we do that is by great supporting partners. And so we're very thankful for ProCare and for you and your team, Brett, for coming alongside Bridge The Gap as a partner and a sponsor to help us bring this great content out to our industry. Very excited to bring you guys on. Appreciate it.

Brett 1:38

Thank you. Hey, we're honored to have the opportunity.

Lucas 1:42

Well, we're excited for our audience to get to know you because we're actually going to be putting out a series of podcasts dedicated to ProCare and a variety of topics around HR, PEOs, and a bunch of other things and how to better run your business. And today we're going to talk about from a high level business systems and the challenges that operators face when they're trying to just implement these systems across a platform. You've been at this a long time and I love the fact that you are 100% focused in on senior care and senior living because that hyper focus, I think is what helps bring specialized products and services to the industry. Unpack some of that for us.

Brett 2:23

I tell people a lot that we kind of like got good at senior care on accident. It started out as, "Hey, this is kind of an interesting thing and it's kind of an interesting niche." And then as we started hiring operators, they would tell us like, "No, like you don't understand, like you have something really special here." Like if you can really figure out the basics of the people game, I mean, not even more strategic areas, but like if you can really get this people thing figured out in senior care, you can have a really broad impact. And our mission, like eight years ago we started the company. It wasn't like some like flash bang idea that was like, "Oh, we're going to change the world with HR and senior care." It just has kind of evolved. And now today when we step back and look at it our thesis is senior care is an industry where like incremental people improvements can have really outsized impact on all the stakeholders. Like more than a lot of other organizations where like if we do the people stuff well, our resident satisfaction is higher, the quality of care is better, our financial outcomes are stronger. Like everything's better off if we can actually like figure out how to do this people game better. And so it's continued to snowball as we've gotten deeper into it and brought on great partners who frankly a lot of our clients are the inspiration for a lot of what we do. So it's been a lot of fun to get in and continue to kind of try stuff and iterate and have some wins and have some failures and iterate again. And that focus allows us to like kind of have that constant evolution because we're just so kind of laser focused on serving this industry.

Josh 3:59

I'm excited for our listeners. I am selfishly excited myself to get your insight because you touch so many different organizations and so many different groups in the industry that gives you guys a very unique perspective of the opportunities, obstacles, challenges, and also some advice on how to attack that and how to overcome challenges. And as we talk about people now and I would say over the last 10 years in particular, our industry has kind of gone through some radical changes. Technology has just absolutely bathed our industry. So many new systems, so many new softwares. And while it's a great opportunity can also present some real challenges when you start combining that with people management and deploying systems and managing systems. I'd love to dive in for a few minutes on your unique perspective on that and what you see as some of the obstacles and solutions and how to deploy that.

Brett 5:05

Senior care, maybe like everybody in the industry, like maybe gives ourselves a lot of crap for not being great adopters of technology and I actually don't think that's accurate. I think the industry as a whole is trying very, very hard to adopt technology more rapidly and broad. Like I think as an industry, while the adoption is broad, we haven't been able to go deep. So like there's a lot of organizations using 30% of a systems capability. Two reasons. One is an organization's internal bandwidth and ability to like go the distance on the other stuff. We tend to get like the mission critical stuff set up first. Like in the HR side of the world it's like, "Hey, we want payroll, maybe benefits administration, employee system of record time and attendance. We're not using it for succession planning, we're not always using it for performance management, advanced scheduling capabilities, reporting dashboards," like there's all this capability within these technology systems and we're stopping when we get 30% of the way in. Like I said, some of that's internal bandwidth. And then the other issue that that we see a lot is it is user adoption up and down the organization, right? Like how do we get persistency of use with our EDs and our BOMs and our DONs and our caregivers, etc. And I think that's a barrier to using more of the technology we're purchasing. The industry as a whole is craving more efficiency and and better use of technology. How do you really like drive adoption up and down the organization?

Josh 6:41

So two points, if I'm understanding correctly, there's the depth of the system, maybe just scratching at the surface of capabilities of what you're actually using, but then also that widespread equal adoption across the organization. So those two kind of areas, what do you see as potential opportunities and strategies to kind of overcome some of that? Because I know put myself in the listener shoes right here, I'm like, "Yeah, preach it brother, but do you have a solution for me?"

Brett 7:16

If there's not somebody that wakes up in the morning and if it's important and you don't have a leader or consultant or outside partner that wakes up in the morning, they wake up and say like, "This is my job is to nail this function," you will not be successful, particularly if it's important. And so what we have found part of our service offering is like, "Hey, we're that focused effort." Like we're the strike team when you're doing other stuff and you're focused on running the organization and putting out fires and growing, like we're waking up every morning figuring out how do you better utilize the technology, but that doesn't have to be us, right? It can be a third party consultant. It can be, "Hey, I'm going to take a key player and say, 'look, you're going to be a system, whether it's forever, we're a systems player or a temporary systems player, but look, the next 12 months we are going to get persistency and depth in this particular area for the next 12 months.' Like here's your three or four measurables, like this is all you do and you're gonna be laser focused on it. And so I think what I've found is that whether it's with us or in some of the organizations that we take over that have done a really fantastic job of employing technology, it is almost always because there is a focused effort for it. That doesn't mean that the executives and the key leaders have to be doing it, but like somebody's got to own it and have a numbered X to their name. That's like, if this isn't working and if we're not making progress, it's red.

Josh 8:44

I'd like to understand too, I mean we have such a huge broad group of listeners, but if we are talking about, let's just call it your average, if we could summarize the average of the senior living community population, and I think you said, 30, 40, 50% maybe the depth of what typically we're using, what's beyond that? What do you find that most providers are missing out on going that extra 10, 15, 20%, that could be an exponential difference. Give us some examples.

Brett 9:19

There's additional features and functionalities to drive like within the systems. And there's also I think the idea of depth within the system. We may or may not be trying to use like taking an applicant tracking system. A lot of organizations are starting to toy around with 'em, have deployed 'em, like from my perspective in senior care, like you got ro have the applicant tracking system like that. That is such a valuable tool that drives your ability to produce revenue, right? Like if we don't have employees, we can't produce revenue, we can't provide care, etc. A lot of times we're like just using the basics. We're not really like getting at the depth of persistency to say like, "Hey, how do we actually get the data? We have a lot of clients to use ATSs and they have no idea what their time to fill is." And it's like, okay, but you're using an ATS so you've got the system in place. We just got to go a little bit deeper to really like be able to track and understand what are some of those KPIs, what's our total time to fill, what's our response time to applicants? That one layer deeper would allow a senior living organization to like really understand what their levers and pulleys are to change their talent acquisition outcomes. I think another example of that is scheduling, where you kind of have some battle scars and on this one where you can roll out a scheduler and start getting adoption, but like what you really have to look at is utilization. One of the first things we do, we don't say like, are you scheduling well? We just say, "Are you scheduling?" What percentage of the overall shifts are actually scheduled versus like randomly people are showing up and punching in, which means they're not using the tool. The first step with like the scheduler is, hey look like let's get really good persistency of use. And then a lot of these schedulers, they have the ability to look at census and acuity and case mix and some really cool features to help really control your staffing costs. A lot of organizations are stuck at how do we get people to use it? How do we measure that? How do we encourage it so they never get to some of the advanced features to really move the needle on labor?

Josh 11:31

So I'm going to dare say that probably 50% of our listeners are sitting here tracking with you right now as they're listening and they're thinking, "Gosh, how do I do this? Like, I'm just trying to get people to use our system and learn how to use it. Going deeper is kind of painful to think about." And then there's the other group out there that they're sitting in their offices and they're getting 10 to 15 calls a week, or if they go to any expo or any event they're getting hit with 15, 20 different salespeople of various types of technology that are making amazing promises that are real easy to just bite the hook really quickly and be like, "Oh yeah, you can solve this problem. Oh yeah, you can solve that problem." And then they're buying potentially multiple systems or maybe one system that promises to do everything for 'em. But even just navigating what systems are best for my organization seems like such a daunting task. And I would dare say the majority of our listeners probably don't have a Brett or Brett's team to point to be like, help me figure this out. I mean, should providers make sure that if they don't have a big enough organization and the bandwidth to have someone on payroll that there's some type of strategic partner to help navigate all of these systems and information technology that's coming to the community level?

Brett 13:13

I'm biased, right? But I actually had this conversation with an operator yesterday and we were talking about our model in particular and one of the points that we were discussing was, I've used five schedulers in four years that we've worked with customers. The amount of money we have spent, energy, heartache, battle scars on scheduling. Just like the scheduling application because we get one, we roll it out with, we show clients, they get excited, we roll it out with a subset of customers, they love it and then they're like, "Man, like it's just not quite there, right onto the next." And then you do the next one and each one of those is like, you're putting money down, you're paying for implementation, you're training your team. 'cause then they have to work with our customers and we're literally on our fifth and we think we're, we got it like it's nailed or we got it nailed. But like that has been a massive investment to figure out like what's the best scheduler in senior care? Any one of our clients could do that. Like you, you could go decide like, "Hey, Josh wants to have the very best scheduling function on the planet" and like you could go figure it out and you could do the same thing I did. Why do that when you can go find a partner who's went through the pain, invested the money, like you're essentially getting to use our capital to find the best solution and our energy versus you guys. As strategic partners for what you don't want to focus on or resource internally. I think is critical.

Josh 14:42

Well you also I thought made a great compliment to our industry that we are adapting, adopting whatever that correct word would be, which I think oftentimes, senior living, I even am guilty of giving us and talking about myself, a bad rap that we're slow to adapt an other verticals have been doing things for years and that we're just now figuring out. You kind of give a more positive spin on that, that you're seeing a lot of adoption and effort to try to be cutting edge and implement new systems and so forth. Where is the opportunity that you see right now out of the majority of the systems? Because what we are hearing is staffing is our biggest issue. That's what keeps everybody up at night, but yet we are buying every kind of system in the world. Is there a a system or a process or an area that that leader that's out there listening right now, that's where they should be focused on. If they don't have anything else going for 'em, you've got to have these critical systems in place.

Brett 15:44

I mean, I could preach about having an HRIS and obviously a good decent payroll system and all that stuff, but like I really firmly believe, for lack of a better analogy, like the spears that we need to be using to fish in senior care is applicant tracking and scheduling. How we go attract, get those inputs and how we manage 'em is going to be our success. So like you could dump every, I mean I guess you would theoretically need a time and attendance system in order to like be able to look at some of your progress towards goals and scheduling, but we've really taken the approach that those are like the two areas that have to be absolutely best in class. Like if my benefits enrollment module is a B versus an A, like nobody knows, very significant impact to my ability to staff or be effective in providing care or turn over any of those other things.

Josh 16:36

Well, you know, Lucas, I'm sitting here just thinking me and you, I feel like get masterclass like every week from our partners and from our guests on the show and our listeners do as well and how valuable it is to be able to have partners that help us and our listeners navigate these challenges that come our way as we go about senior living every day. Right?

Lucas 16:59

Totally. And this topic around HR and around attracting people to come work at your business and then keeping them, this is the line in the sand. This is where many of the conversations have been going over the past several years and definitely years to come. And so I'm really looking forward to continuing this conversation over the course of this upcoming year with multiple shows, giving this type of content and also mixing in some data around it too. Brett, we're really excited to have you guys come alongside Bridge The Gap and help bring this educational content and really appreciate having you on today for this conversation.

Brett 17:37

I appreciate you guys doing this and having the conversation and being willing to push our thinking as well. This is how we all get better.

Lucas 17:46

Absolutely. Well, you know what, we're going to be seeing you very soon in Chicago at the fall NIC Conference. And so for our listeners out there that want to interact or meet Brett and his team, please reach out. We'll have all that information in the show notes and then Bridge The Gap will have our studio set up at fall NIC. We'll be doing live recordings there. We'd love to see you. If you're going to be in Chicago, come and connect with us. Write us a note, connect with us on LinkedIn. Also go to btgvoice.com, connect with all of our content there. And thanks for listening to another great episode of Bridge The Gap.

Lucas 18:21

Thanks for listening to Bridge The Gap podcast with Josh and Lucas. Connect with the BTG network team and use your voice to influence the industry by connecting with us at btgvoice.com.

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