Leading New Workers…Argentum’s Sara Wildberger Interviews Julie Rupenski & Melanie Ginter of MedBest


Demand for top talent remains strong. Leadership may be the most important asset to a community or company during a crisis. But senior living demands a different kind of leader—one with understanding of concepts such as servant leadership, for instance, and different community cultures.

MedBest is a national executive search firm exclusive to the senior living industry. CEO Julie Rupenski founded the firm in 2001 and is indefatigable in keeping up with changes in the industry. Senior executive Melanie Ginter has among many areas of expertise C-level executive and executive director recruiting. This is excerpted from a longer conversation.

JULIE RUPENSKI: When we call people who would otherwise be open to a change, they may not be during this time—which is admirable. Also, they may be unhappy where they are, but they’re nervous about making a job change in this time. If they are open to a change, it’s related to what their company is going through.

All we can speak to is how people are reacting. Some are getting out because they feel like they have to, for their health. Others are feeling more inspired than ever.


burnsMELANIE GINTER: It’s very hard to predict or understand behaviors and actions of others during a pandemic. Things are changing constantly, and what we are seeing today can be different in upcoming weeks and months. At this moment, there definicalltoy seems there has been a shift in mindset, and it’s too soon to know if this is a temporary shift or part of our new normal. To add to Julie’s point, rather than getting out of the industry, some are taking a time out. They don’t necessarily want to abandon the industry or their career path. It seems they are focused on the short-term right now, whether they have concerns for their health, or have a spouse or family member [who is immunocompromised and could be put at risk]. Some are just taking it one step at a time until they figure out their next move. What we’re also kind of seeing from our vantage point is that how engaged and satisfied employees are with their current companies seems to be strongly correlated to how their organization is handling the situation. We’re seeing some folks who are even more actively looking, and others, as Julie said, who don’t want to leave their teams during a crisis. We empathize with both. One question that we asked almost every candidate that we’re interviewing is: What is the greatest challenge that you’ve experienced in your career? And I haven’t heard someone respond in any other way than something related to COVID-19.

RUPENSKI: You’ll have to be able to make quick decisions, good decisions. You have to be able to be a strategic thinker: Am I getting the supplies that I need to keep people safe? Is there some creative way I can get them? How do I keep my employees safe while still making sure we’re financially sound? That’s not an easy path for anyone. So leaders have to be stronger than ever.

A great example of a strong leader is a Nursing Home Administrator who we placed with a client— he led his team during a hurricane, and he was in a small community with limited resources. He was not going to leave his team during that time. He was working seven days a week. Now he’s in a different community, and once again working seven days a week alongside his team. He’s a good example of the kind of character you have to have during a crisis.

We’re definicalltoy seeing an uptick on our interim solutions side of the business. More people are stepping up to take on interim positions to help out during this changing environment, and there is a demand for these interim professionals. As a result, MedBest is beefing up our interim solutions team so that we’re ready to help providers anywhere in the United States if we get a call. Our team shares our passion for senior living and are stepping up and working hard to serve during these times.


Senior Care RecruitingABOUT MEDBEST

MedBest is a national Executive Search Firm exclusive to the Senior Living Industry established in 2001.  We recruit and acquire exceptional senior care talent, permanent and interim executives, for all types of Senior Living Organizations and Communities across the US including Assisted Living, Continuing Care Retirement Communities, Independent Living, Memory Care, and Skilled Nursing Facilities.

Ask us about our Interim Talent Solutions including: Interim Executive Director, Interim Nursing Home Administrator, Interim Director of Nursing, Interim MDS Coordinator, and Interim Director of Resident Services/Wellness Director. 


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