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Gem x Interview Planner | Gem Scheduling
Customer Story

Prestige Care

Prestige Care sees 9x ROI with Gem, hiring 8 directors in its first 12 months

Prestige Care is a leader in senior living, skilled nursing, and rehabilitation care, with more than 75 communities located throughout the Western United States. The family-owned and -operated organization was founded in 1985 on a care philosophy rooted in core values of integrity, respect, commitment, and trust; and with the intention of becoming a “partner in active aging” to residents and patients so they can experience optimal levels of health and wellness in all aspects of their lives. Prestige Care’s services run the gamut from traditional skilled nursing, to post-acute, to assisted living care. And the medical professionals who work there are “salt-of-the-earth people,” says Blake Thiess, who oversees the entire Talent Acquisition and Recruiting function at the organization. “Like, seriously angels on God’s green earth. Which is why I owe it to them to be numbers-driven in my role. Because ultimately, we can’t offer the care we do without the data.”

“Gem has been a remarkable partner for us at a financially approachable cost that’s positively impacting our residents’ lives through high-quality health care providers to serve them. And we wouldn’t be having the success we’re having from a financial standpoint, from a talent acquisition standpoint, if it weren’t for this partnership.”

Blake Thiess | Prestige Care

Blake Thiess

Director of Talent Acquisition

 Prestige Care | Customer Logo
Prestige Care | Customer Logo


Vancouver, WA (HQ)


5,000+ employees

What they do:

Skilled nursing, post-acute, assisted living, and memory care centers

Pain points / Challenges

  • Lacked a solution for email automation

  • Little insight into messaging effectiveness

  • No way to keep track of passive talent that wasn’t ready/interested yet, but would consider a role with Prestige Care in the future

  • Reliance upon agencies (and agency spend) for leadership-level hires

Results with Gem

  • Recruiters can craft entire outreach campaigns including set-and-forget follow-ups, increasing response rates

  • The team can track open/click/response rates and see engagement with message content, adjusting outreach based on recipient behavior

  • Recruiters can move passive candidates into a project in Gem, so they have access to a whole database of professionals they’ve already vetted when a new role opens, cutting down time-to-hire

  • Hired 8 director-level roles in their first year using Gem, saving what would have been over $125k to fill these jobs if using an agency

In his first year at Prestige Care, Blake increased the number of inbound applications by 22%. In his first two years, he decreased time-to-fill by 38% and external agency spend by 44%, saving the company over $3M. That focus on optimization is why, Blake says, “I’m such a huge proponent of, and advocate for, Gem.”

“I think it’s worth noting, first, what a difficult field this is to recruit in,” Blake says, “since it makes the numbers I see with Gem all the more remarkable. In healthcare, the unemployment rate is 0.5% to 1% nationally, which is insane. And in the areas in which we operate at Prestige Care—primarily in Oregon and Washington—healthcare is the largest employer. A lot of the positions I’m hiring for right now are leadership-level, Health Services Directors. A Health Services Director is a registered nurse; and RNs have the second-most job postings in the entire country, the entire market. They’re highly sought-after. They’re also on-call 24-7, which not a lot of people want to do. Add to that the fact that they can make more at a hospital than they can in assisted living. And we’re hiring for some pretty remote locations: Green Valley, Arizona; Ellensburg, Washington. Add all those factors up, and these are among our more challenging roles to fill.”

“We can’t offer the care we do without the data. The focus on optimization is why I’m such a huge proponent of, and advocate for, Gem.”

Blake pulls up a spreadsheet in which he tracks source-of-hire and highlights the leadership hires he made as a direct result of Gem’s sequences last year. “That’s eight director-level hires made last year, just on the assisted living side of the house, because of Gem,” he says. “It includes four executive directors, which is a head of operations at an assisting living community, and four health services directors, which is the sole nurse in that community. An agency would have ripped an enormous chunk of those directors’ combined first-year salaries from us. In the healthcare world, agencies take 15-20%; though I understand that percentage is much higher in other industries. You average that out, and I easily saved over $125,000 in my first year on agency fees for the roles I filled with Gem sequences. Gem has paid for itself well over 9x—a more-than 1000% ROI, just in the roles that I recruit for as a working manager.”

While these numbers are remarkable, they don’t factor in a number of things “that would help tell the story of how invaluable Gem’s been for us,” Blake notes. “I’m just giving you the savings in my practice. It doesn’t include what my sourcers brought in. It doesn’t factor in our leadership recruiter on the SNF (skilled nursing facility) side. Multiply that $125k by the number of recruiters using Gem at Prestige Care, and it just grows exponentially. It also doesn’t factor in overall brand awareness, which is another thing I have to thank Gem for.” As he looks at the names of those hires, Blake says, “I first interacted with some of them three, four years ago. That’s a powerful thing to understand. Any passive candidate I talk to I can move into a project in Gem and stay in touch with them. Maybe they’re not a good fit now or maybe they’re not interested yet; but 12, 18 months later we have the same opening at a sister community not that far away. Now I’m not sourcing from scratch for this new role, because there’s a whole database of medical professionals I’ve already spoken with. I can just send another sequence out for that next opportunity. This time, some of them are ready and want to know more. So we have another conversation and they go through the process. That’s so powerful. And it’s so humanizing. These people feel remembered and considered, like I’m keeping a finger on the pulse of what’s possible in a career for them.”

Having this ready database of vetted, passive talent cuts down Prestige Care’s time-to-hire considerably. And—as a data-driven talent acquisition leader— Blake has been benchmarking. “I’m on the client advisory board for HealthcareSource—our applicant tracking system—which owns an outfit called Lean Human Capital, the authority when it comes to healthcare recruiting data,” he explains. “According to LHC, the average cost-per-hire in healthcare is $1,023; that’s benchmarking data from over 100 systems nationwide. Of course, I wanted to see how Prestige Care stacked up against the market, so I did a five-year lookback. I looked at total recruiting costs by building against the number of hires. And our average cost-per-hire over a five-year period is $330. We’re doing more with less—75% less. Our time-to-fill is smoking the market.”

“Any passive candidate I talk to I can move into a project in Gem and stay in touch with them. Now I’m not sourcing from scratch for a new role, because there’s a whole database of medical professionals I’ve already spoken with. I can just send another sequence out for that next opportunity.”

Blake says it took a long time to compile those numbers; “but I wanted to be able to say, if I was ever challenged by anyone, ‘Look, it’s not Blake who thinks this. Here are the numbers; the facts don’t lie.’”

Blake says he’s been very intentional about trying to instill a sense of urgency in his recruiters. “I give formal bi-weekly talks on a topic in talent acquisition: here’s a feature of our ATS you could use; here are best practices on employer branding; here’s what I’m learning about outreach best practices from my own data, from my own A/B testing, in Gem. Things you can take and operationalize immediately in your practice. This is an industry with high turnover, so urgency is crucial. That’s why Gem has been such a dream tool to work with. It all starts at outreach. The professionals I’m cold-sourcing don’t have time to open up a single email, because they’re all working. In the skilled nursing/assisted living space it really is a numbers game. You have to reach out to so many more people than you would in another industry before you can have those conversations, fill that role. Gem lets you personalize all of that at scale. But it’s not just a blanket, one-time reachout to as many people as possible; sequence stages are key. A best practice for me is three emails. The response rate even from that first email to the second just shoots up; sometimes I watch it double. And with Gem, all that’s automated; it’s out of my hands the moment I set it up. It’s like you get to work with the urgency without any of the anxiety.”

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