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  • Writer's pictureCerissa Burden, MS, SPHR CB3 Connections, LLC

Strategic Talent Acquisition During a Pandemic: A Case Study by CB3 Connections

Navigating Unprecedented Challenges with Expertise and Strategy

During the unsettling times of the COVID-19 pandemic, many organizations found themselves in dire need of strategic leadership to navigate the crisis effectively. Our collaboration with a Confidential Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) is a prime example of our intervention during these turbulent times. This CCRC faced significant leadership voids, lacking an Executive Director, Assisted Living Director (ALD), Director of Nursing (DON), and several key nursing positions. The absence of these critical roles threatened not only the quality of care provided to residents but also the overall operational stability of the facility.

Identifying and Addressing the Core Issues

Upon engagement, CB3 Connections quickly recognized that the CCRC was on the brink of making hasty decisions, such as promoting popular but unqualified internal candidates based on likeability rather than competency. Our first order of business was to stabilize the leadership structure by placing highly qualified, strategic thinkers in these key positions.

Strategic Placements and Long-Term Planning

Within the first month, we successfully placed a high-quality Executive Director, transitioning from a costly interim leader, which resulted in significant savings and added stability. We introduced a standout passive candidate for the ALD position who filled the immediate role and was a perfect fit for potential future advancement to Executive Director. This foresight paid off when she seamlessly stepped into the Executive Director role three years later due to the previous director’s departure for personal reasons.

Furthermore, recognizing the potential in an overlooked internal candidate for the DON position, we suggested allowing her to act in this capacity while our search continued. This decision provided her with invaluable training and experience under the Licensed Nursing Home Administrator (LNHA), leading to her eventual promotion to full-time DON.

Revolutionizing Hiring Practices and Reducing Turnover

We filled numerous RN positions on the nursing front and implemented a targeted bonus program to boost regular, on-time attendance and retention. This strategic move significantly slowed the historically high turnover rate, stabilizing the workforce.

Sustainable Results and Future Outlook

The results of our strategic interventions were profound. We not only filled all critical vacancies, enhancing the CCRC's operational stability, but we also shifted the organization’s hiring practices. We improved organizational performance and employee satisfaction by focusing on skills, knowledge, and proven ability rather than likeability and sheer familiarity. Additionally, we introduced a structured, largely asynchronous onboarding program that streamlined the integration of new hires.

The CCRC continues to thrive and is in expansion mode today with a solid strategic leadership team that ensures it is well-equipped for future challenges and growth. This case highlights the importance of strategic foresight in talent acquisition and the value of a meticulous, skills-based approach to hiring during crisis times.

How CB3 Connections Can Support Your Organization

At CB3 Connections, we pride ourselves on our ability to tackle complex challenges with tailored HR solutions that address immediate needs and pave the way for long-term success. Whether you face similar challenges or seek to enhance your leadership team preemptively, we invite you to learn more about how our expertise can benefit your organization.

For further information on our services and to discuss how we can assist you, contact us at or call 202.988.3940. Together, we can transform challenges into opportunities for growth and stability.

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