The Best at Bringing Us Good People

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We’ve been doing pretty well at finding good people, but we could be better. During the last 12 months Brookdale associates have referred more than 4,585 people through the Good People Program that were eventually hired.

Nearly 4,000 associates have made referrals. While we think everyone who’s referred a friend or family member to Brookdale deserves recognition, there are a few associates who’ve been nothing short of great at bringing us good people. We just had to share their stories.

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Genny Saint Juste
Business Office Coordinator, Brookdale West Palm Beach

Genny leads the pack when it comes to referring good people to Brookdale. She recruited eight associates in just eight months. She’s been with Brookdale since May of 2015 and has made a great impact. Well done Genny. She said referring people to Brookdale has been a way for her to pay forward the kindness of others, when she was looking for a more rewarding career.

“I needed a job and someone helped me, so I figure the best thing I can do is help someone else,” Genny said. “I explain to them how nice working with the managers here is and how wonderful the seniors are. It’s also easy to get a promotion at Brookdale and the experience you gain is life changing.”

When it comes to finding people to refer to Brookdale Genny looks for people in her neighborhood who she knows have a caring disposition. Once they are hired she checks in with them during their orientation period, letting them know she’s available to answer any questions they have.

Ashley Bassue
Receptionist, Horizon Bay Altamonte Spgs, FL

Having worked for Brookdale as a care aide, lead med tech and now a receptionist, Ashley Bassue has gotten to know our company’s culture. She’s referred several people to Brookdale, five of which were ultimately hired. Ashley’s best marketing tool is a bit more obvious than you’d think. Simply wearing her Brookdale ID badge has started many conversations that led to opportunities.

“It actually started as an accident,” Ashley explains. “I just forgot to take my badge off, and I was walking by and someone stopped me and asked if I worked for Brookdale.”

Since that first “accident” Ashley has made a point of keeping her badge on while she picks up groceries after work, or walks through her neighborhood. She’s find that people see it and become interested in who she works for and what she does there. When she finds someone who she feels would be a good fit she asks them to apply for a job.

“A lot of times you can tell within the first minutes of talking  to someone where their head is at,” Ashley said. “From there I’ll develop more of a relationship with them and can see if they are someone I should refer.”

Brandon Appling
Resident Care Associate, Brookdale Genesee Vally, Flint, MI

With Brookdale for more than two years, Brandon Appling has developed strong relationships with many residents. He enjoys hearing their stories and helping them with daily activities. He takes great pride in the work that he does, so when it comes to referring people to his supervisors he wants to make sure he’s picking the right ones.

“I’ve got to know they have a good work history,” Brandon said. “I have to know they are hard workers, even if they’ve fallen on bad times. Anyone that wants to work should be able to, but I’ve got to know them and know they are not going to mess up my name.”

Appling has referred four people to Brookdale who ended up accepting job offers. Two of those people are family members, his daughter-in-law and his sister. He’s also referred good friends.

Here’s a few tips from these stellar associates for anyone interested in recruiting good people to Brookdale.

 

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Healthcare Services Recruiter Spotlight: Ashley McPeak

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Recruiter:  Ashley McPeak
Team:  Paraprofessional Healthcare Services
Covers:   Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, Texas and Wisconsin

1. What do you tell candidates who want to grow in their career at Brookdale?
Soak in as much knowledge as you can.  Look at every challenge as an opportunity to learn something new.  If you’re asked to work on special projects or tasks outside the scope of your position, it’s usually on purpose!  You never know what position or promotion is on the other side.

2. What have you always wanted to do?
I’ve always wanted to travel around the country.  The United States has so many natural wonders, and I want to experience as many of them as I can.  I have been fortunate enough to see Rocky Mountain National Forest and Estes Park in Denver, the Southernmost Point in Key West, The French Quarter in New Orleans, The Arch in St. Louis and The Smokey Mountains in Tennessee.  I’m just getting started; there are so many more places I have planned to explore.

3. If you could have a super hero power, what would it be and why?
I’d definitely want the power to fly!  Not only could I bypass any traffic, but I could also see the whole city from the sky.

4. What’s the best thing a candidate can do after the interview?
Yes, you should come prepared to the interview to ask questions about the position, but don’t be afraid to ask any follow-up questions even after the interview.  It shows me a candidate is thorough and excited about the position.

5. What would you sing at karaoke?
Though I live in a music-centered city, I can’t sing at all.  The song wouldn’t matter, because I would just be lip-synching in a group with talent.

6. Describe your career journey. How did you become a recruiter at Brookdale?
I have held many different job titles on my career journey.  I’ve worked in retail, in an ophthalmology office and at a bank.  Then, I finally found Brookdale last year.  My journey has been an adventure so far.  With the 2014 merger, we experienced exponential growth in size.  What I’ve noticed is that when a company is growing, opportunities for you to grow expand, too.  Now, I have familiarity with job posting, on-boarding, job markets and analysis, our positions and applicant tracking systems that much more.  This past April I accepted a promotion that landed me in the Paraprofessional Recruiter role.  I didn’t realize I would be promoted in such a short time.  This has been my favorite position in my career so far.  I work with some of my favorite people, get to celebrate with candidates on the phone when someone has accepted their dream job and know the growth potential is unreal at this company.

7. How do you balance life and work?
I make sure to finish everything I can before I leave work that day.  This way, I can really enjoy being at home.  I do check my email periodically in case candidates have questions.  After all, it’s my job to make their first Brookdale experience go as smoothly as possible.

8. What’s your biggest fear?
I am absolutely terrified of all spiders big and small.  Anytime I see one, my life flashes before my eyes!

9. What was the best concert you’ve seen live? 
To this day the hands-down best concert I’ve ever been to was Garth Brooks in 1995.

10. Describe a heartwarming story you’ve had with one of your candidates.
I had a candidate who worked in retail selling jewelry.  He told me that a longtime customer and his wife came into the store one day explaining the ring bought years prior from the store was recently stolen in a burglary.  They wanted it replaced, but the ring was no longer being made. When the couple left the store, my candidate called his corporate office and spoke to a merchandise specialist to find the original manufacturer, then called the manufacturer who gave him the product information after explaining the mishap.  He took the initiative to work with the manufacturer to have the ring specially made for the couple.  My candidate even arranged a surprise with the longtime customer for his wife. The wife was overjoyed and in tears. This is the initiative and solution-oriented attitude we look for at Brookdale. My candidate could have apologized for the inconvenience and went on his way. Instead, he saw his role as an opportunity to impact, and that’s exactly what he did.

Brookdale Careers’ Recruiter Spotlight is a 10-question, tri-weekly feature, where one Brookdale recruiter provides resume, interview, and job tips.

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Leadership Recruiter Spotlight: Jennifer Luther

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Recruiter: Jennifer Luther
Team: Leadership
Covers: Oklahoma

1.  What’s the best thing a candidate can do during the interview?
The best thing a candidate can do during an interview with me is stay engaged in and enthusiastic about the conversation.  No matter how much research you’ve done on the company and how prepared you are, the conversation should flow like a ping-pong game.

2. What is a hidden talent that you have?
I have played the piano since the age of 5.

3. What’s the experience that impacted you most?
I would say losing my father at a young age was something that greatly impacted my life. It taught me to celebrate every day and to live life to the fullest.

4. What’s the most interesting thing about your alma mater?
The mascot at Western Kentucky University is named Big Red, who quite literally is a big, red, furry blob!

5. What would most people be surprised to learn about you?
I’ve been a resident of 11 different states!  My dad was in the Navy, so I moved around a lot.  It was nice seeing different parts of the country but difficult starting from scratch each time we moved.

6. What was a childhood nickname you just couldn’t shake?
Jen Pen Woo

7.  Name a top resume deal breaker.
Lack of job tenure

8.  If you won the lottery, on what would you spend your dough?
If I won the lottery, the most important thing to me would be the ability to give my family the comfort and security of knowing they will be taken care of for life.  Oh, and I would also have a big piece of land, so I could adopt tons of animals and have my own zoo!  I can still have childlike dreams, right?

9.  Would you rather go through life unable to answer any questions or unable to ask any questions?
I would rather go through life not being able to answer a question.  Without asking a question first, you would never have the knowledge to know the answer.

10.  What’s something a candidate can do that rarely happens but has helped that person get the job?
Go to the community and introduce yourself!  This can be an extra step to help a candidate stand out in a sea full of resumes and provides the candidate a better understanding of our communities and culture at Brookdale.

Brookdale Careers’ Recruiter Spotlight is a 10-question, tri-weekly feature, where one Brookdale recruiter provides resume, interview, and job tips.

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Healthcare Services Recruiter Spotlight: Matt Feldmar

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Recruiter: Matt Feldmar
Team: Healthcare Services
Covers: Arizona, Oregon

1. What’s the most common mistake candidates make shortly after the interview?
Follow up.  Follow up.  Follow up.  Some question whether or not writing a personal note or email, thanking the hiring team for their time, is an outdated gesture.  I’m here to tell you that it’s not.  A personable follow up provides a means for a candidate to write their thoughts on how the interview went and even speaks to a candidate’s character. The little things go a long way, and I don’t know that nice gestures will ever be outdated.

2. Where will you likely be on a Friday night?
I’m usually on my couch watching a movie. I typically get up early Saturday morning to train for the next marathon or triathlon, so my Friday nights are like any other work night.

3. What’s your most surprising life moment?
Getting passed by an 80-year-old during my first Ironman in 2012 was pretty surprising. She even gave me a few words of encouragement as she zoomed passed me. Age really is just a number.

4. Describe a red-flag during an interview.
One time a candidate wanted to have the phone interview while they were helping a patient at their current job. It was a huge red flag. That’s a big no-no. Although there’s a long list of why this is a horrible idea, at the end of the day, Brookdale looks for candidates who put residents and patients first.

5. What was your favorite game or activity as a kid?
I loved playing ice hockey! Growing up in Southern California meant that ice time was limited. When I couldn’t play on ice, I would play roller hockey with the neighborhood kids.

6. What’s the coolest thing you own?
My bike is by far the coolest thing I own.  I’ll spare you the nerdy details, but three quick facts about my prized possession are: it only weighs 16 pounds, it’s made completely of carbon fiber, and I once hit a speedy 51 mph on it. Seriously.

7. What cartoon character do you most resemble?
Kung Fu Panda

8. What is your favorite game or sport to watch and play?
Hockey

9. What’s the best thing about your city?
Portland is full of great food and craft beer.

10.  What are key components to a great answer in an interview?
Anytime a candidate is honest about their experience (or even lack thereof), it speaks directly to their integrity.  That goes a long way at Brookdale, and is really crucial to determining culture fit.  Even for my phone interviews, it’s amazing how genuine you can tell a candidate is even from vocal tone without ever seeing body language. I’d highly recommend candidates think about potential situational questions that could be asked and prepare for them accordingly. However, there may be a few questions you didn’t think would be asked. That’s okay. There are a lot of start-up offices I cover, so you need to be able to think well on your feet, too.

Brookdale Careers’ Recruiter Spotlight is a 10-question, tri-weekly feature, where one Brookdale recruiter provides resume, interview, and job tips.

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Leadership Recruiter Spotlight: Ifedayo Idowu Daramola

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Recruiter: Ifedayo Idowu Daramola
Team: Leadership
Covers: West Division – Idaho, Oregon, Washington, south California

1. Give your top 3 tips to nailing the interview with you.
Tip #1:  Familiarize yourself with the community for which you’re applying.  Research the market, keep up to date with industry trends and be prepared with unique insight.
Tip #2:  B candidates say they are passionate; A candidates tell me why they’re passionate. Provide a personal story that ties you to your passion for the industry or department.
Tip #3:  Be confident and comfortable in your own skin.  Show me who you are not only as an employee but as a person.

2. What makes candidates so excited about Brookdale?
Candidates really speak to how a career at Brookdale is not just a great place to be for now; they’re excited about what the future holds with a career here. Those I speak with are usually energized by how innovative we are and by the amount of career growth possibilities we have at Brookdale.

3. Describe your biggest life lesson.
Treat people the way you like to be treated.  You cross paths with all types of people from different backgrounds and never know when and where those paths will cross again.

4. Describe the best vacation you have ever had.
Thailand by far!  It was an amazing experience of food, culture and relaxation.  I remember waking early in the morning in Chiang Mai, seeing the sunrise, mediating and realizing how fortunate and special my life is.  It was a life-changing experience and opportunity to reflect.

5. Name the teacher in school who made the most impact on your life.
Mrs. Wong, my 4th grade teacher, stands out the most.  She’s taught me so much throughout grade school and has been a trusted friend as an adult. She showed me how to stand out, be my own person and proud of it.  I can’t say enough about her.  I am very thankful.  We remain in contact.  She even arranged my flowers for my wedding recently!  She has great vision and ability to touch others in ways both large and small.

6. Describe the most bizarre meal you’ve ever had.
I kid you not–I once tried snake!  I had to try it.  It definitely was not chicken, but to be honest, it wasn’t bad either.

7. What motivates you to work hard?
I’m motivated by my family (especially my daughter, Teni).  Every day I think of what I can do to make her life better.  That pushes me to work harder than ever, to offer her more in her childhood than I had in my own.

8. What’s the most memorable nickname you’ve ever had?
Shorty!  This is the nickname my dad has used since I was a little girl.

9. Do you collect anything?
Magnets from all the places I’ve visited

10. What can a candidate say that will bring music to your ears?
I can hear the birds singing when a candidate has passion for what they do and for those that they serve on a daily basis.  Being truly passionate means you’re able to show me that passion by example without a second thought.

 

Brookdale Careers’ Recruiter Spotlight is a tri-weekly blog feature, where one Brookdale recruiter answers ten questions and provides resume, interview, and job tips.  Click category, “Our Recruiters” to read more.

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Healthcare Services Recruiter Spotlight: Amanda Wochner

Healthcare Services recruiter, Amanda Wochner, hiking in Arizona

Recruiter:  Amanda Wochner
Team:  Healthcare Services
Covers:  Florida, Michigan, Texas

 

1. What is something you wish candidates knew up front?
Be yourself!  That said, always have examples of situations from your work history to pull out of your back pocket and use to support your interview answers.

2. Describe your most embarrassing on-the-job moment.
I’ve conducted an entire interview with the hiccups!  It had to be pretty awful for the candidate to endure.

3. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
Spain.  I studied Spanish for 6 years and grew to enjoy Spain’s culture.  It would be a dream to just go and immerse myself completely.

4. What club or organization are you a member?
I am a member of my local Junior League chapter.  The Junior League of Nashville is an organization of women committed to promoting volunteerism and improving the community.

5. If you could live on a lake, by the beach or in a big city, what would you chose?
There’s something unique about the sand, air and breeze coming off the water at the beach that you cannot find near a lake, and there’s something serene about beach life you’ll never get in a big city.

6. Do you have any interesting hobbies?
I’ve played the clarinet for 17 years and even played baritone saxophone in a jazz band once when younger. Yes, the instrument was about as big as I was.

7. What has been your favorite volunteering opportunity?
I spearheaded a project back in school called, Valentines for Veterans. It meant so much to me to give back to local and state-wide veterans in a way that was fun, creative, engaging and really brightened their day.

8. What would most people be surprised to learn about you?
I can float, but I can’t swim. That one shocks people every time.

9. Name some of your guilty pleasure TV shows.
Anything reality TV or on Food Network

10. What role do you play in redefining senior care?
I truly believe when you have a team who is dedicated to taking care of residents and passionate about what they do, you’ll have a team who is also dedicated to caring for their team members.  Redefining senior care starts with finding the right pieces of the puzzle to build a core team that exemplifies just that.  Every day, I seek those standout individuals who embody our mission and genuinely care about the well-being of others.

 

Brookdale Careers’ Recruiter Spotlight is a tri-weekly blog feature, where one Brookdale recruiter answers ten questions and provides resume, interview, and job tips.  Click category, “Our Recruiters” to read more.

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Leadership Recruiter Spotlight: Kelli Williams

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Recruiter: Kelli Williams
Team: Leadership Recruiter
Covers: Central Division: Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas

1. What’s the best part about being a Brookdale recruiter?
Although there are many, the best part about working for Brookdale is knowing I am helping others find careers they’ll love while serving our residents. The relationships that are built between associates and residents and residents’ families last a lifetime!  Very few other places can say that. It’s such an honor to think that I get to initiate that opportunity.

2. Do you have pets?
Yes.  My husband and I refer to our three senior dogs as the Three Stooges.  We have a jack russell terrier named Hoggie Bear and two dachshunds, Mr. Pickles and Frankie.

3. What’s your favorite dessert? 
You can’t beat ice cream with sprinkles.

4. What’s the best advice your mentor has given you?
My mentor has encouraged me to laugh and celebrate life every day.  It’s ingrained in Brookdale’s culture, so it’s something I get to practice daily and take with me everywhere I go.

5. What’s one of the scariest things you’ve ever done?
Two words come to mind—Bungee slingshot.

6. What’s your favorite quote? 
If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” Dalai Lama

7. Who do you admire most? I most admire my dad. He had a great sense of humor and never met a stranger. People gravitated toward him. Even through the ups and downs of life, his perception of the world was one I hope to emulate.

8. What’s your favorite movie?  My favorite movie is The Wizard of Oz.  It’s such a great story of friendship, love, loss and redemption.  The music is timeless, and those ruby red slippers initiated my love for a good shoe.

9. What’s your favorite restaurant? Patti’s Settlement in Grand Rivers, Kentucky is the best.  I’ve been going there with my family since I was a child.

10. What does your perfect work day look like? I love spending the day talking with candidates who have a passion for enriching the lives of those we serve with compassion, respect, excellent and integrity.

 

Brookdale Careers’ Recruiter Spotlight is a tri-weekly blog feature, where one Brookdale recruiter answers ten questions and provides resume, interview, and job tips.  Click category, “Our Recruiters” to read more.

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