THE APPLOI INTERVIEW: Elisheva Simins
Q: Elisheva, thanks for speaking with us. First off, is everyone in your family safe and healthy?
Elisheva: Thank you. It has been such a pleasure working with you and everyone at Apploi. I feel honored to be part of such a great team and was excited to speak with you. We are all safe and healthy, thankfully.
Q: Can you tell us a bit about your background in nursing home care?
Elisheva: I was always in awe of those working in the healthcare industry. I wanted to make a difference and I needed to work for a cause; to really help people. I had no experience in the industry but, with great references, I was fortunate to secure a position as Director of Admissions and Marketing for a well-known skilled nursing facility in the New York area. I saw the challenges and the heavy responsibility weighing on everyone in that building — because, you know, most people in healthcare are doing their max to provide care to their patients under extreme daily pressure — and over the 5 years I spent there I developed administrative and creative strategies to bring our facility to five-star status . Mid-way, my employer, who owns multiple nursing homes across the country, asked me to begin meeting with and advising administrators at other sites to streamline and optimize their operations as well. Eventually I transitioned over to consulting full-time and started my own firm. As a consultant, I was privileged to pierce the veil of corporate marketing, corporate admissions, corporate recruiting, corporate HR, corporate payroll, and the complicated world of insurance reimbursement. Long story, short: I felt a lot of passion for patients and staff in the industry, and my mission, as I saw it — and still do — is to help the patients and staff to get the best care possible.
Q: And how does that translate to your current work with Apploi?
Elisheva: I was introduced to Adam, Apploi’s C.E.O., at a conference. I was told that I needed to meet this wonderful person who created a platform that is revolutionizing high-volume recruitment. Everyone at that conference knew Adam and were Apploi fans, if not customers. When Adam first told me what Apploi was, I was blown away. As a consultant I’ve dabbled in a fair amount of corporate recruiting and HR. I’ve sat at the computer for far too many hours jumping from Indeed to Zip Recruiter to Glassdoor, back to Indeed. I’ve had my phone full of candidates that would either never call back, or call me constantly. I’ve wasted even more time finally getting applicants after hours of tedious work, only to learn that they were never hired because they never finished their on-boarding/new-hire paperwork. When you’re working in healthcare, this goes way beyond frustrating: staff-shortage equals danger to patients’ lives! Apploi was the solution to all of that. Adam created a platform that allows nursing home staff to free up time by posting an ad just once, then letting Apploi distribute, manage, consolidate, communicate, and on-board in one spot, with just a few clicks. I fell in love with the product and I couldn’t turn down the offer to help Apploi’s healthcare clients. Apploi allows me to do what I love most — help others — AND to work with my former colleagues and fellow-healthcare staff by helping them with a platform that solves so many of their problems.
Q: In the middle of this pandemic, what are you hearing from friends and former colleagues at nursing homes?
Elisheva: The staffing-shortage that every healthcare organization suffers from has gotten worse. This pandemic has caused an increase in the need for direct care staff such as C.N.A.s, R.N.s, and L.P.N.s. Seriously complicating matters at this time, those healthcare organizations that are able to offer wildly above-market rates for direct care staff are making it much harder for the rest of the healthcare organizations to hire desperately needed front-line staff. Importantly, healthcare staff are at high-risk, being daily exposed to the knowns and unknowns of COVID-19. When staff falls ill, they are subject to mandatory quarantine, and frankly many others are reluctant to work, out of fear of exposure. The clients and friends that I speak to are at their wits’ end. We all are beyond amazed at these healthcare workers on the front-line. They are absolutely heroes of this hour. We need to not only applaud them, but also help them in any way that we can.
Q: How has this crisis changed staffing and recruiting plans at nursing homes and long-term-care facilities?
Elisheva: This is truly Apploi territory! In addition to the extreme staffing shortage, the question, “How do we handle our applicants in a safe yet efficient manner?” is on everyone’s mind. Face-to-face interviews have turned into video interviews. Our clients are loving Apploi’s feature which allows them to ask applicants to submit video responses to custom questions, allowing them to get a better feel of the applicant’s personality. The on-boarding process is a nightmare for most facilities, risking the health of each applicant who needs to come into the facility to sign multiple rounds of paperwork before they can legally work in the facility. Those using Apploi can complete the on-boarding process from A-Z on our platform. I believe that, in the future, all of the healthcare on-boarding process will be moved to online platforms, cutting down the conversion time of hire. Hopefully, this crisis will ultimately help healthcare organizations prepare a better plan for their hiring process so that they are capable of keeping each staff member and patient safe throughout any disaster. As I’ve said before, staffing shortages in healthcare means patients’ lives are at risk. Healthcare organizations that are still manually recruiting, or using multiple platforms, or using a platform that does not meet their needs, will now re-evaluate and set themselves up to staff their buildings in a more efficient and personally safe manner.
Q: What does the future of nursing home care in America look like?
Elisheva: Ha, I’d love to answer this, but the truth is that of course no one knows! We have no idea what will happen tomorrow, let alone down the road. I do hope that this has caused us to be more aware. I hope that this teaches us to know that we don’t ever know what the future looks like, and we always need to be prepared for anything. We need to learn to be flexible. We can embrace the age of technology and allow it to make our lives and jobs (this should be two different things) easier. This is especially crucial when you are on the front-line. Outdated systems and lengthy in-person hiring procedures can be updated to improve the results of hard-working healthcare staff. Updated systems and procedures can be tweaked to better handle any crisis.
Q: Is there anything we can do to help staff and patients at nursing homes in our area?
Elisheva: Patients are in nursing homes because their doctor feels that they are unsafe to go home — they require 24/7 medical care. These patients are not receiving the 24/7 medical care that they require when healthcare organizations are short-staffed. If I have one message, this is it: It’s critical to expedite the staffing of nursing homes so that our healthcare staff aren’t spread too thin and our nation’s patients have the care that they need. This is what we do at Apploi. For this reason, I am so grateful to be a part of this company. Each client that I talk with is desperate for help with staffing. I see first-hand how we ARE helping our patients and healthcare staff by providing an Applicant Tracking System that is so well designed and customizable. I hope we continue to help our heroes and I pray that those caring for our most vulnerable stay safe and healthy.