Q. How would you describe Brookdale’s work culture?
A. We really believe in servant leadership — a servant heart coupled with servant behaviors. At some companies, the leadership style is more “I” vs. “we,” and that creates a drive solely focused on numbers over what truly drives associates from a motivation and values perspective. We look at the person as a whole and put our associates first. We know that when we take care of our associates, they are better able to take care of our residents, families, patients and ultimately, our shareholders.
Q. How do Brookdale’s cornerstones inform employee behavior?
A. Passion, courage, partnership and trust are the cornerstones of our culture and behaviors, and we expect our associates to live these values day to day. When I travel in the field and I meet our community and agency associates, they consistently say this is more than a career — it is a calling. Their servant hearts really shape our culture. Our associates are role models at asking themselves, “How can I serve our residents, families, patients and stakeholders?” Additionally, they also serve one another on a daily basis. We are all a part of the Brookdale family.
Q. What qualities do you look for during the hiring process?
A. Specific knowledge, skills, abilities and experiences vary based on positions. However, we’re looking for someone who has strengths in building relationships and trust, strong communication skills, effective decision-making abilities, and is a leader regardless of title. When you’re serving residents, patients, and family members, you need to excel at active listening so that we can consistently anticipate and meet the needs of those we serve. Partnership, collaboration and working together as a high-performing team are vital, whether in the corporate office or in the field.
Q. Going more in depth, what qualities do you look for in an executive director?
A. We need someone who is going to smile and help make the community truly feel like home to our residents. They need to be an exceptional leader — to know how to build, coach and develop a successful team. Strong business acumen is also extremely important.
An executive director is responsible for many operations that other companies would have specialists for — that’s the beauty of senior living. You’re not just managing one aspect of a business.
We are also looking for a solutions finder. Someone who’s not just looking at issues, but has the courage to creatively and innovatively solve them. As an executive director, you’re the CEO of your community.
Q. And what qualities do you look for in a resident care associate?
A. Our resident caregivers are our biggest team of associates. They have one of the hardest jobs at our company, and honestly, in any industry. The most successful associates are extremely patient, compassionate, and amazing active listeners. They find a way to say yes to residents and their families.
I went to one community recently, and I met an associate who had been with us for 18 years. When I met her, I asked what has kept her here at Brookdale. She proudly said, “This is my calling!” Right as I met her, she was helping a resident in a memory care community walk down the hall, and the resident was leaning on this caregiver for support, both physically and metaphorically. The associate talked to the resident very compassionately and stayed upbeat, positive and loving as they walked down the hallway together arm and arm.
That compassion came from a very genuine place, and it says a lot about that associate. This is much more than just a job to them where they just clock in and out. They become fully embedded in people’s lives. They treat our residents as if they were their own grandmother or father. They have a large amount of purpose in their lives.
Q. From an employment perspective, what sets Brookdale apart?
A. We provide a unique jungle gym of experiences and opportunities. We are the largest senior living provider, and with that scale comes the resources to support and opportunities to grow in any career path you are interested in.
Want to grow your career in dining services? We have dining teams full of chefs that create nutritional and delectable meals that delight our residents daily.
Want to grow your career in marketing, sales, human resources, operations, finance, accounting and many more? We have both corporate and field-based roles.
Want to be a nurse who truly gets to know their residents, patients and family members on a personal level? We have many nurse opportunities available. We offer leadership and hands-on experience opportunities all over the country. Brookdale is unique in not only the senior living space, but also across all industries.
Q. How can people find out about careers at Brookdale?
A. The best way is to visit careers.brookdale.com which is the most up-to-date source, offering the latest and greatest information about our open positions. Or check out the Jobs tab on our Facebook page.
Q. Lastly, what advice would you give to someone who is interested in a career at Brookdale?
A. I would look at our cornerstones. If they show they have a passion for our mission of enriching the lives of those we serve, that’s huge. If they show they have courage, they can build trust and they can partner with others, those are the kinds of things we are looking for. It’s really those intangibles that make the difference. If we have 10 resumes that look similar, and it’s really obvious that someone genuinely cares about people, that’s more of what we’re looking for. We’re here to enrich people’s lives.
Serve With Us
Want to make your mark in someone’s heart? If you’re interested in a career in senior living, check out our available jobs today.