Aged Care Software for a Growing Market
It’s a new financial year here in Australia, a chance to grow, improve, and succeed. Like always, there are known and unknown elements that will present challenges along the way, but with an optimistic outlook, you have a chance to take some big steps forward.
From speaking to our clients, we understand the common desire to grow, and with our ageing population, aged care is hardly a shrinking market. For those organisations that can adequately prepare for growth and take advantage of the opportunities that come their way, the upsides are significant.
Our ageing population
Australian Bureau of Statistics population projections show that in 2012, over 14% of our population were aged 65 years and over. This is projected to increase to 22% in 2061. Factor in a projected resident population increase from 22.7 million to between 36.8 and 48.3 million over the same time frame and you get a pretty clear indication that the potential number of clients for aged care organisations is on the increase.
Aside from the potential size of the target market being projected to increase, it is a market that may well need aged care services for longer too.
In 2012 we had 420,300 people in Australia aged 85 years and older, which represented 2% of the population. By 2061 this same group is projected to make up 5% of the population. At the higher end of the projections, this is just over 2.4 million people in Australia aged 85 and over. It’s worth planning for the scope of services that may be required by this segment.
With this type of potential future growth within in the aged care market, competition is likely to intensify, as everyone wants to increase market share.
However, you can improve your chances of having a healthy share by effective planning and equipping yourself with the right resources.
Preparing for growth
Data produced by Aged Care and Policy Reform Group illustrates that 3.1% of the Australian workforce works in aged care (as PAYG employees). While this may seem like a significant number of potential employees, the reality is, you will need to attract and retain the best talent if you are to reach your full potential.
Having a modern aged care software platform in place can aid retention through providing the right user experience. It can also assist in recruitment and onboarding through effective human capital management functionality.
The right aged care software can help streamline recruitment. Avoiding manual processes can save your HR team valuable time while concurrently improving the candidates’ image of your organisation.
For example, with candidate direct access functionality, like that found in the Human Capital Management component of the Epicor Senior Living Solution, applicants can view job postings, read about your company, complete a profile with their personal information, attach a resume, and apply for available positions. Additionally, with knockout questions, you can refine the applicant selection process with questions specific to departments or positions. These questions can help HR managers find the right candidate and at the end of the process, the system can automatically notify unsuccessful applicants.
The onboarding process is crucial for new hires to get up to speed quickly and feel confident in their choice of your organisation as their new employer. If the HR team can automate the orientation process, utilise electronically signed document functionality, and inform new employees of important dates, it helps avoid human error while saving valuable time for HR staff.
Attracting and onboarding the right staff is just the beginning. The return on investment in your human resources hinges on the effective retention of great staff.
This highlights the importance of having the right software, which allows your HR team to effectively manage processes from performance management, to salary planning, to absence tracking.
However, it is also important to consider the impact of the user experience on staff retention. By providing your users with a system, which offers a positive user experience, they are likely to have higher levels of job satisfaction than they otherwise would if operating with a poor aged care software application.
This is particularly true of younger employees. In a PwC report, Millennials in the Workplace, they found that this generation, who grew up with broadband, smartphones, and social media, has a better command of key business tools than their senior counterparts.
As employees, they are ambitious and look for opportunities to keep learning and progress their careers. If you present them with rigid and disconnected software platforms, your organisation will have a hard time engaging and retaining them.
The millennial generation was born between 1980 and 2000, so we are not talking about a group that will become eligible employees in the distant future. There are plenty of educated, driven, and experienced thirty-something year old millennials in the workforce today who could very well add significant value to your organisation, if provided with the right operating environment.
If population growth and life expectancy increase in line with projections, then aged care operators are within the rights to be excited about the future. The question is whether your organisation will be able to place itself in a position to capitalise on growth opportunities when they arrive.
Posted by Lee Robbins, Senior Product Manager, Senior Living Solutions, Epicor Software