Civitas Senior Living is driven by a love of people. It’s embedded in the organization’s mission: “Passionate service. Passionate cleanliness. Passionate care.” It’s reflected across its 50+ residential communities, located in Texas, Florida, Kentucky, Colorado, Arizona, and Oklahoma.
And as Anthony Ormsbee-Hale, Civitas’ VP of People Operations, makes clear, this love starts from within. The organization has grown rapidly since its founding in 2013, thanks in large part to a world-class team of caretakers, chefs, and other professionals.
With seven new senior living communities planned for 2020, the org has tasked Ormsbee-Hale with scaling its hiring efforts. At the same time, he’s had to support an existing Civitas team that is 2,500 strong, all while adapting to the disruption of COVID-19.
Amid such radical change, Ormsbee-Hale has used PI’s talent optimization platform to lead with clarity—and confidence.
“How do we balance the needs of our customers with their safety, but also manage 2,500 employees, all with different needs and behaviors?”
When COVID-19 struck, it forced many organizations into survival mode. But for Civitas, it underscored a growing need for excellent caretakers and frontline workers.
“As an organization that is rapidly growing, we had an opportunity to hire more aggressively,” said Ormsbee-Hale. “Unfortunately, people lost their jobs in hospitality. But those roles are really similar to the positions we have here.”
He continued, “We partnered with associations to offer temporary jobs to displaced workers. So, in a matter of weeks, we were able to fill over a hundred positions.”
For many organizations, filling 100+ seats in such a short time span would be challenging. Ensuring these hires were good hires would be next to impossible. But Civitas had an ace up its sleeve—something that would improve efficiency while cutting down the time to hire.
It had PI’s objective people data.
“I reached out to a group of HR leaders that I work with on a daily basis at other organizations. The group consensus was that I should check out PI.”
Armed with PI, Ormsbee-Hale and his team hit the ground running. First, they updated their job listings to better reflect the behavior needed from someone in the role. For example, one job description called for the ability to “effectively manage change at a rapid pace.”
From there, the team had candidates complete the PI Behavioral Assessment™. A two-question, six-minute survey, the BA provides insight into a person’s workplace behavior. One candidate might be an outgoing, big-picture thinker, while another is more reflective, with an eye for detail.
By comparing BA results to the job’s behavioral target, the team navigated a competitive talent pool with relative ease. As Ormsbee-Hale explained, “Instead of doing 10 interviews for a position, I might only have to do four. And that’s a huge time saver for our managers.”
“PI has helped us ask, ‘Where can we add a new skill we haven’t had before?’”
Not only did PI streamline the candidate pipeline; it also provided structure to interviews themselves. Using the PI Interview Guide, Ormsbee-Hale equipped hiring managers with key questions that would help pinpoint job fit.
“The Interview Guide adapts to the applicant itself,” Ormsbee-Hale stated. “It shows strengths and caution areas that are important to talk about. But it also helps us be more efficient and objective.”
Ormsbee-Hale said the time saved is fed back into Civitas’ senior living communities. “Our managers aren’t full-time recruiters. They are the nurses in the building. They’re the chefs. They’re the maintenance director.”
In a time of stress, PI helped Civitas’ health professionals focus on what mattered most: the immediate needs of their residents.
“These are busy individuals, and it helps to have a tool that’s easy for them to use.”
Hiring is only the first step of the employee journey at Civitas. According to Ormsbee-Hale, personal development has been key to the organization’s continued growth.
“Regardless of how much experience you have, you’re going to get coached on something. There’s going to be something you can improve on to benefit the organization.”
According to Ormsbee-Hale, PI has proved instrumental in developing employees within the organization. One tool that’s been especially helpful is PI Team Work Styles, which helps leadership find the right balance of behaviors within teams.
“I have an incredible people ops manager, Emily, on my team. When you look at our profiles, we’re the complete opposite,” he acknowledged. “PI helped us see how that’s really a strength and a positive—and how we benefit and support each other.”
“PI helps provide objective context. We’re able to look at what an employee needs in a role and ask ourselves, ‘Are we in a position to offer that to them?’”
When people play to their natural strengths, everyone wins: teams, managers, and residents. Yet due to the sheer number of employees on staff at Civitas, coaching isn’t something people ops can carry out alone.
“I love coaching, and I could do it all day long,” Ormsbee-Hale shared. “But I can’t do it for 2,500 employees.”
Thankfully, Civitas hasn’t had to worry about the logistics of coaching to scale. According to Ormsbee-Hale, employees across the organization have embraced tools like the PI Coaching Guide with open arms.
“I knew PI’s development tools were going to be successful once I lost track of everyone in a training session. They just started generating their own reports and coaching one another.”
“I learned back in my chair and thought, ‘We made it. We’ve successfully infiltrated PI into our daily practices.’”
No people ops leader would deny the importance of talent to organizational success. But it’s often challenging to communicate this value to business leaders.
According to Ormsbee-Hale, that’s far less of a concern—thanks to talent optimization. “I love the framework and the process behind it.”
He continued, “When I’m able to show how these processes and these systems we’re implementing impact real savings for the organization… it helps the business be able to have additional resources available for their employees.”
“PI takes out a lot of the guesswork. It gives people a framework to have a conversation.”
Talent optimization doesn’t always come easily. It requires self-awareness on the part of employees, not to mention willingness to change. But for Civitas, as evidenced by the passion shown daily within its senior living communities, the drive to improve is ever-present.
“PI gave people the tools to put words to experiences they were having, yet weren’t quite sure how to describe.” He continued, “It gave them the opportunity to try to solve the problem themselves.”
Considering all that was going on in the world, Ormsbee-Hale took pride in his employees’ continued commitment to bettering themselves—and those around them.
“When it feels like the world is falling apart, to know our managers are still focused on developing their people... to me, it was affirmation that we’re doing the right thing.”