Azura Memory Care Case Study
Topgrading All Levels to Build a Successful Business
Tim Heronimus and Josh McClellan started Azura Memory Care (formerly Azura Living) to transform the culture of care in assisted living and nursing homes. Their first venture in building a facility from the ground up was Azura Lakewood. As important as the physical structure of the facility was having the right people on the team - to provide the best possible care to their guests.
While planning, Tim and Josh learned about Topgrading. Before they hired anyone, they decided to commit to Topgrading as their hiring and promoting philosophy.
No. of Employees: 220
Industry: Rehabilitation and Assisted Living Centers
- Used Topgrading to hire A Players at all levels of the company.
- Career History Form improved efficiency in narrowing down hundreds of applicants.
Goals & Challenges
Azura Lakewood required 110 new personnel to be hired and, if successful, would be the first of 10-15 new facilities like it. Tim and Josh were expecting to hire 1000-1500 people in only a few years.
They received over 700 applications for Lakewood. Tim and Josh needed to use Topgrading to narrow down their massive applicant pool to only the best candidates for the jobs, and establish a process that could continue to serve them in their rapid expansion.
Azura implemented Topgrading for every hire they made - including entry level. All personnel, from RNs to housekeepers to culinary staff, filled out the Career History Form and was vetted with a Topgrading Interview.
The full Career History Form narrowed down the applicant pool to only those who were enthusiastic about working for Azura, and those who are excited for the opportunity to share all that they have accomplished so far.
The Topgrading Snapshot that the CHF produces made it easy for Tim and Josh to quickly and efficiently sort through their 700+ applications to narrow it down to only the candidates who would be A Players and a good fit for Azura Lakewood.
"No matter what business we’re in, the customer service is what guests remember.
A common compliment from guests who are leaving is, 'I don’t know who found them but you have some of the best people working for you.'
That’s an incredible compliment to us and an incredible testimony to the process."
- Tim Heronimus, Principal
Tim and Josh communicated the Topgrading process to their team and candidates. Because of this, Tim tells us, "The A Players that you end up hiring are committed to excessive organization from the onset." On the rare occasion that a non-A Player makes it through the system, Tim was able to rely on his A Players to identify shortcomings. He says, "The A Players have confidence in themselves to address it with the C-Player. And C Players know that the company as a whole is not going to support someone not being an A Player."
By building Azura Lakewood from the ground up, using Topgrading at every level, Tim and Josh were able to staff their facility almost entirely with A Players. They found that A Players working with other A Players were even more motivated to continue going above and beyond expectations, leading to the highest possible quality of care and customer service.
- Topgrading has since introduced the Prescreen Snapshot, which builds off of what Tim and Josh needed from Topgrading - to make analyzing applicants quick, easy, and efficient.
- Shortcuts lead to mistakes. Ensure that everyone involved in recruitment and hiring is committed and understands why Topgrading is important to the success of the company.
- Reach out to your network, but be wary of bias. From Tim: “We’ve been fortunate to only have had one employee that we asked to leave our company out of 135. Looking back at it, we did use our personal biases to convince ourselves that this person was the right hire, when everything on Topgrading said not to hire this person." Encourage the person to apply for the role, but make no promises. They might not be the best person for the job in the end.
- Attend and send your team to workshops. “The training is critical to understand the philosophy of Topgrading.”