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Learn how one organization improved their recruitment and retention strategy


Rowntree Gardens Stanton, California


Recruitment and Retention of New Employees (a.k.a. The Rockstar Replication Project)!


Uncover the organization’s unique attributes to attract and keep more of the right people!


50% decrease in 90-day turnover; 53% increase in employee referrals


Rowntree Gardens is a senior living community located in the heart of Orange County, California. While every area is challenged with recruitment, this organization competes with Disneyland for talent! Going up against the greatest mouse in the world was no easy task, but Rowntree knew that the mission- driven work they offered gave employees a sense of purpose that couldn’t be found anywhere else.

Randy Brown, CEO, engaged Drive to help in their recruitment and retention challenges … that giant elephant in the room sucking up time and money. He wanted to attract more of the “right” people and retain them – providing consistency of care for residents and fulfillment for team members. With employee disengagement at only 4%, an incredible 1⁄4 of the national average, Rowntree knew it was a remarkable place to work. The challenge was attracting more of the right people and getting them to stay past the 90-day mark.

The solution to compete with the famous mouse and ditch the gigantic elephant was a simple, four-step process. Awaken, Assess, Align and Anchor are the pillars of Drive’s step-by-step plan.


While the plan was simple, the challenges were not. Rowntree Gardens specifically faced:

A lack of qualified candidates that fit the company culture

No shows for interview appointments

A disjointed recruitment, application and hiring process

An ineffective approach to orientation/onboarding to culture


The Results & Deliverables


decrease in 90-day turnover


increase in employee referrals

New tools

to ensure applicants are a fit for Rowntree Gardens’ culture

Streamlined recruitment

process with a centralized HR employee

The work we did


Reflect on how each person contributes to the organizational culture


Review strengths and identify opportunities


Ensure processes support goals


Achieve established goals and ensure sustainability

The project was coined, “Rockstar Replication,” because we wanted to replicate Rowntree’s Rockstar employees and hang onto them.

Drive’s work included a session where leaders identified attributes of what it means to be a Rowntree Rockstar, while also identifying the cost – in terms of dollars, time and personal  tressors – of turnover. It is always a shocking experience for leaders to see in actual dollars and cents what their turnover is costing the organization. During this session, leaders committed to focusing on taking steps to improve their process and be more intentional about hiring employees who fit their culture, as well as integrating new employees more quickly into their extraordinary culture.

Drive spent time interviewing key team members, including several new hires, to find strengths that Rowntree Gardens could build upon, while also identifying some gaps in their process. The Drive team assessed Rowntree Garden’s process for applying, interviewing, orientation and onboarding experience for new team members. During this assessment phase, it was discovered that 95% of Rowntree’s top performers, their “Rockstars,” had been referred by a family member or a friend. What a discovery!

Upon receiving detailed recommendations from the Drive team, Rowntree Gardens created a task force, “The A Team,” committed to being more intentional when hiring new employees who fit their culture and making them feel welcome. This task force, together with CEO Randy Brown, continued to work with Drive to help sustain the momentum for improvement, and track progress through specific data sets such as early turnover, engagement, referrals and hiring by source.


For references on Drive’s role in this important initiative by Rowntree Gardens, please contact:

Randy Brown, CEO and Board Chairman
Rowntree Gardens
12151 Dale Street
Stanton, CA 90680
Phone: 714-530-9100
Email: RandyB@Rowntreegardens.org

Randy Brown

CEO and Board Chairman, Rowntree Gardens

“Working exclusively in aging services, Drive is laser-focused on our field’s unique needs and specific challenges. At the same time, they have challenged our perspective and pushed us to see best practices way beyond our field. All of which furthers our ultimate goal of hiring and retaining the best people to support those we serve.”


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