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In a hiring mode, The Overlook bucks gloom about economy

By Rod Lee

There may be more than ample evidence that the U.S. and global economies are in a sudden state of decline with business confidence ebbing, hiring slowing, interest rates rising and home building tapering of.

This is not the case at The Overlook in Charlton, however.

Situated on 450 acres atop Masonic Home Road, with picturesque views of the surrounding countryside and a wide range of options for seniors in search of a comfortable retirement environment for themselves or loved ones including cottages, apartments and suites across the spectrum of independent living, assisted living and memory care, The Overlook’s mantra is “your future looks great from here.”

Which is why, even as recent reports from Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM) and world corporate leaders suggesting that 2019 is going to be a difficult year for expansion, The Overlook is actively seeking to bolster its workforce.

To this end on the afternoon of January 22, with blue skies, full sun and warmer temperatures replacing the deep freeze that had existed over the weekend, Ryan Andersen, The Overlook’s talent acquisition specialist, was hosting an open house in the facility’s Health Center at the front of the campus and eagerly awaiting the arrival of candidates for any number of positions that need to be filled. There are openings at The Overlook for CNAs, dishwashers and servers, a fitness assistant, a cook, home health aides, RNs and LPNs, an occupational therapist, a social worker and private duty caregivers—for example.

The charging-forward mentality that prevails at The Overlook runs counter to the dire scenario laid out by AIM, which has said that the federal government shutdown and the largest one-month stock market decline since the Great Depression are contributing to worry among the state’s employers. One of employers’ biggest concerns, AIM President Richard Lord has said, is the rising cost of health insurance.

Coincidentally, consulting firm PwC found in its own annual survey of more than 1300 CEOs around the globe that there is widespread pessimism, largely driven by rising trade tensions and protectionism. Also, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) just slashed its growth forecast for 2019, based in part on the slowing of China’s economy to its weakest pace since 1990.

None of this is reflected at The Overlook, where Mr. Andersen was emphasizing to walk-in prospects such compelling reasons to join the company, which is operated by Masonic Health System, as competitive pay and an excellent benefit package starting on the first day of employment. The push to hire is ongoing, he said.

“We host this event once a month on the third Tuesday, and randomly” Mr. Andersen said from a table set up with a laptop in the lobby of the Health Center. Mr. Andersen noted that from his point of view “it’s a candidates’ market, people have choices, where they want to go, and nurses shop around for the best situation.” Openings for five CNA jobs and eight nursing jobs typify the kind of positions that are available at The Overlook, he said.

The Overlook’s commitment to the well-being of its employees is reflected in the range of benefits that are provided even to those part-timers who work a minimum of twenty-four hours a week: health insurance, flexible spending accounts, life and disability insurance, tuition assistance, paid time off for vacation, holidays and sick days, retirement plans and training and professional development.

The property itself is consistently rated as one of the best retirement communities in Central Massachusetts and has been described by one contributor to the caring.com website as “like being in a resort.” Its amenities (including a gymnasium, a pool, a theater and a rose garden/courtyard), services, food options and social activities are all viewed as first-rate.

Mr. Andersen was hoping for a better turnout than what materialized last week, as some prospective candidates stayed away in deference to the snow and ice they were dealing with. “A few more showed up after you left, mainly for [jobs] in dining services,” he said the next morning. “We will have another open house on February 19th.”

Contact Rod Lee at [email protected] or 774-232-2999.