A look at senior living organization Enlivant (plus advice for getting hired)

Named a Great Place to Work in 2019, Enlivant has come a long way from the company culture overhaul that was necessary in 2013. The senior living organization, now grounded in its Mission, Vision, and Values, has already begun thinking about how to grow its workforce to accommodate for the aging demographics in the population coming its way. Learn more about this organization, including its hiring initiatives and advice from the CEO on how to get hired there.

Enlivant rundown

Size: 8,000 employees

Industry: Hospital & Health Care

Locations: The company’s headquarters is in Chicago, Illinois. Enlivant operates 230 communities in 27 states around the country. All locations can be viewed here.

Founded: 1981

CEO: Jack Callison

Enlivant Jobs

The company is currently hiring for an Area Executive Director in Houston, Texas. The headquarters in Chicago, Illinois is looking for a Divisional Vice President of Sales and Marketing and a Divisional Vice President of Facilities to join the team. View Ladders’ Enlivant Jobs page for a full list of open roles and information on how to apply.

Enlivant company culture

In 2019 the Great Place To Work Institute surveyed nearly 8,000 Enlivant employees across the country and asked about 70 questions. Through this process, the company was certified as a great place to work.

“While we’re proud of the fact that our employees voted us a great place to work as part of the certification process, it’s not something that I take for granted,” Callison said. “We’re continually trying to build and further enhance the great culture that we’ve already built because to me it’s just like good hygiene, like brushing your teeth multiple times a day. Just because you did it yesterday doesn’t mean you don’t have to do it today or tomorrow. Culture is something you have to wake up obsessed about and thinking about and driving and managing every single day, just like maintaining good hygiene.”

The Mission, Vision and Values are understood by 97% of our employees, creates an environment that appeals to a multi-generational workforce. Each one of our employees has a favorite core value – Compassion, Humility, Integrity, Excellence and Fun – and the combination of those reinforces why Enlivant is a great place to work. The teams in Enlivant communities are much like a family with our residents being a key part of that. In our Enlivant Support Center (ESC), there is much camaraderie and focus on serving our communities, employees and residents. The “fun” value is present in much of what we do making going to work a pleasure.

Company values

“We made a very concerted decision to ensure that our culture is firmly grounded in three things, and those three things are our mission, vision, and values,” Callison said.

Enlivant’s mission is “to enrich life through meaningful relationships and vibrant communities,” according to the company’s website.

The company’s vision is “to become the nation’s most trusted senior living provider.”

The company has five core values:

  1. Compassion
  2. Humility
  3. Integrity
  4. Excellence
  5. Fun

“At Enlivant, we have five values that we really cling to that shapes our identity, our behaviors, and the acronym is chief, C-H-I-E-F,” Callison said. “Each letter stands for one of our core values. C is for compassion. H is for humility, which maybe you don’t hear too much about in company values these days and to me that’s more a sense of servant leadership. I is integrity. Without that, nothing else matters. E is excellence. You can’t become the most trusted if you’re just good. You have to be excellent in everything that you do. And the last one, which often surprises people is ‘fun.’ It’s not that we don’t take the work that we do seriously. We take it very seriously, but we don’t take ourselves seriously and we know that life is short and we’re spending as much time as we all do at work. You’re having a lot of fun in what you do every single day.”

Getting hired at Enlivant

After applying online, candidates will hear from a remember of the recruiting team for a phone interview. For leadership positions, an assessment may be required. In person interviews then take place and depending on the position, may be with multiple people in the community or Support Center.

Interview advice from CEO Jack Callison

“They should be prepared for an incredibly exhaustive multifaceted interview process with Enlivant,” said Callison, when asked the advice he would give to a candidate interviewing at Enlivant.

Callison boils down the interview process to two parts: the “what” and the “how.” According to Callison, the “what” is more about  the competence of each candidate to perform the specific role in question. Interviewers asses this aspect by looking at your background, previous experience and deciding whether you have a good change at being successful in the role.

The “how” is more about cultural fit of a candidate to determine whether it would be a fit on both ends.

“So we’re doing some really exhaustive screening and testing and interviewing and probing and reference checking to really validate are they indeed, when you go back to our values, compassionate human beings?” Callison said. “Do they have a passion for serving this generation? Humility. That servant leadership, there’s no room for egos in our business. So if you’re a high ego individual it’s probably is not going to be the right organization for you. Integrity, always doing the right thing. Excellence. Do you have that spirit of continuous improvement and always wanting to do better.”

In addition to all those qualities, Callison also says its important that a candidate have an air of “fun” about them ad well. The company of course looks for people who take their work seriously, but they don’t take themselves too seriously.

“I think people are often surprised in a good way, in most cases, about how extensive and comprehensive the ‘how’ part of our interview processes,” Callison said.

The last piece of advice that Callison has is to not rule yourself out for a role just because don’t have prior senior housing experience.

“f you’re an intellectually curious individual and you’re a naturally compassionate human being, you can absolutely learn and excel and thrive in the senior living business with Enlivant even if you don’t have any prior senior housing experience,” Callison said. “We do value senior housing experience, but that should never be an intimidating factor with people saying ‘gosh, I’ve never worked in senior housing.’ My answer to that is ‘fantastic.’ If you’re intellectually curious, you have good critical thinking skills, you’re naturally humble, you’re naturally compassionate, you can absolutely learn this business.”

Employee benefits

  • Health, dental, vision, and life insurance
  • Flexible spending account (FSA)
  • 401K plan
  • Vacation & paid time off
  • Employee assistance program

Employee reviews 2019

Reviews on Glassdoor range from one-star reviews titled “horrible place to work” to five-star reviews titled “absolutely love working here!”

“Bottom line this company lives and manages by its MVV,” one reviewer wrote, referring to its mission, vision, and values. “Of course numbers are a focus because, and to those negative reviewers be honest with yourselves, if they didn’t worry about numbers we would be out of a job giving us this wonderful opportunity to serve our amazing residents. Senior living is hard work. With a realistic perspective and ‘big picture’ in mind, success is within reach at Enlivant. It takes time and sometimes starting over to build a solid community team. At a community level you will not have control over who your regionals are but as with any other company, you need to learn to work with all kinds of people. Keep the focus. Invest the time and commit to Enlivant because they are committed to you.”