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For Civitas Senior Living, great care starts with great employees


Civitas used our methodologies, tools, and talent optimization to scale its hiring—and empower its people to grow.

Civitas Senior Living is driven by a love of people. It’s embedded in the organization’s mission: “Passionate service. Passionate cleanliness. Passionate care.” It’s reflected across its 50+ residential communities, located in Texas, Florida, Kentucky, Colorado, Arizona, and Oklahoma.

And as Anthony Ormsbee-Hale, Civitas’ VP of People Operations, makes clear, this love starts from within. The organization has grown rapidly since its founding in 2013, thanks in large part to a world-class team of caretakers, chefs, and other professionals.

With seven new senior living communities planned for 2020, the org has tasked Ormsbee-Hale with scaling its hiring efforts. At the same time, he’s had to support an existing Civitas team that is 2,500 strong, all while adapting to the disruption of COVID-19.

Amid such radical change, Ormsbee-Hale has used the talent optimization platform to lead with clarity—and confidence.

How do we balance the needs of our customers with their safety, but also manage 2,500 employees, all with different needs and behaviors?

Anthony Ormsbee-Hale

Filling a need

When COVID-19 struck, it forced many organizations into survival mode. But for Civitas, it underscored a growing need for excellent caretakers and frontline workers.

“As an organization that is rapidly growing, we had an opportunity to hire more aggressively,” said Ormsbee-Hale. “Unfortunately, people lost their jobs in hospitality. But those roles are really similar to the positions we have here.”

He continued, “We partnered with associations to offer temporary jobs to displaced workers. So, in a matter of weeks, we were able to fill over a hundred positions.”

For many organizations, filling 100+ seats in such a short time span would be challenging. Ensuring these hires were good hires would be next to impossible. But Civitas had an ace up its sleeve—something that would improve efficiency while cutting down the time to hire.

It had objective people data.

I reached out to a group of HR leaders that I work with on a daily basis at other organizations. The group consensus was that I should check out SLCG.

Anthony Ormsbee-Hale

Streamlining candidate search

Armed with the best tools and education available, Ormsbee-Hale and his team hit the ground running. First, they updated their job listings to better reflect the behavior needed from someone in the role. For example, one job description called for the ability to “effectively manage change at a rapid pace.”

From there, the team had candidates complete our Behavioral Assessment. A six-minute survey, the assessment provides insight into a person’s workplace behavior. One candidate might be an outgoing, big-picture thinker, while another is more reflective, with an eye for detail.

By comparing behavioral results to the job’s behavioral target, the team navigated a competitive talent pool with relative ease. As Ormsbee-Hale explained, “Instead of doing 10 interviews for a position, I might only have to do four. And that’s a huge time saver for our managers.”

SLCG has helped us ask, ‘Where can we add a new skill we haven’t had before?

Anthony Ormsbee-Hale

Hiring for fit

Not only did we streamline the candidate pipeline; the framework and tools also provided structure to interviews themselves. Using our Interview Guide, Ormsbee-Hale equipped hiring managers with key questions that would help pinpoint job fit.

“The Interview Guide adapts to the applicant itself,” Ormsbee-Hale stated. “It shows strengths and caution areas that are important to talk about. But it also helps us be more efficient and objective.”

Ormsbee-Hale said the time saved is fed back into Civitas’ senior living communities. “Our managers aren’t full-time recruiters. They are the nurses in the building. They’re the chefs. They’re the maintenance director.”

In a time of stress, we helped Civitas’ health professionals focus on what mattered most: the immediate needs of their residents.

These are busy individuals, and it helps to have a tool that’s easy for them to use.

Anthony Ormsbee-Hale

Coaching to greatness

Hiring is only the first step of the employee journey at Civitas. According to Ormsbee-Hale, personal development has been key to the organization’s continued growth.

“Regardless of how much experience you have, you’re going to get coached on something. There’s going to be something you can improve on to benefit the organization.”

According to Ormsbee-Hale, our framework and tools have proved instrumental in developing employees within the organization. One tool that’s been especially helpful is PI Team Work Styles, which helps leadership find the right balance of behaviors within teams.

“I have an incredible people ops manager, Emily, on my team. When you look at our profiles, we’re the complete opposite,” he acknowledged. “The hiring methodology and tools helped us see how that’s really a strength and a positive—and how we benefit and support each other.”

Our tools provide objective context. We’re able to look at what an employee needs in a role and ask ourselves, ‘Are we in a position to offer that to them?’

Anthony Ormsbee-Hale


Explore talent optimization.

Companies that struggle to build high-performing teams are often missing critical people data. With Straightline Consulting Group and talent optimization, you can stop guessing at how to get the most from your people— and better align your people to deliver on the results you’re after.

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