In the funeral business, your team is arguably the most important element of your services. While everybody appreciates updated facilities and fair pricing, the people you employ offer families emotional support that create lasting loyalty. 

And unlike embalming or sales strategies, compassion is nearly impossible to teach. Because of this, finding and retaining the best people will ultimately determine the success of your funeral home. 

Here’s how to do it right. 


Recruiting Top Talent

To find the best talent in the death care industry, you can look to resources both internal and external. By leveraging job boards, word-of-mouth, and funeral-specific recruiting tactics, you can find the right people to make a positive impact on your funeral home.

Employee Referrals

One of the best places to start your search for candidates is by asking your team for referrals. In many cases, good employees will know good people, and employee referrals tend to stick around longer than those found externally. 

Facebook Industry Groups

On social media networks like Facebook, you can find groups of industry-specific talent. For example, the group “Funeral Industry Employment & Recruitment” has hundreds of members actively looking for death care work.

Job Boards

While we’re all familiar with the likes of Indeed and ZipRecruiter––viable options in themselves, you might also consider looking at job boards specific to the death care industry. The NFDA’s jobs page allows you to post openings to their audience of death care professionals, as does Johnson Consulting Group’s jobs board.

Funeral Service Recruiters

To offset some of the work on your part, you might turn to a funeral service job recruiter. For example, the Funeral Guy Recruitment and Placement Service can help match you with a funeral professional that suits your immediate needs. 

Mortuary Schools

Particularly when looking for young talent, your local mortuary school can be a great place to find passionate individuals looking to begin their careers in death care. 

Internal Development Programs

If you’re having trouble filling skilled roles at your funeral home, you might also look to your current pool of talent. With proper training, you can help current employees upskill and add value to your business. 


Retaining Top Talent

As a general rule, you should aim to retain 90% of your employees. Failure to meet this threshold will not only be costly––in terms of working to fill vacant roles––but it may also indicate that your funeral home’s work culture isn’t meeting the needs of team members. 

To make sure your talent sticks around, consider the following:

Frequent Recognition

When team members excel in their roles, it’s important for leadership to take the time to recognize this. Doing so not only demonstrates your appreciation for their hard work but also motivates other team members to comport themselves in a similar fashion.

Consistent Staff Accountability

Conversely, when a team member underperforms, leadership should hold them accountable. Of course, you won’t want to call them out in front of the rest of the team, but you’ll want to take steps to understand what caused a team member to perform poorly and provide them with the guidance to prevent it from happening in the future. 

Incentive Compensation Plans

While verbal recognition certainly helps spur team members to perform their best, incentive compensation has a similar effect. By implementing a system through which regular bonuses are tied to employee performance––for example, sales or positive family feedback––you add some extra motivation for optimal performance.

Team Member Development

During interviews, employers often ask the question: Where do you see yourself in five years? Once employed, team members will be asking themselves a similar question, and if they don’t see themselves growing and evolving with your funeral home, this will create issues of turnover. 

Because of this, you’ll want to actively work with team members to chart out a plan for them within your business, providing them with opportunities to earn greater pay and acquire new skills.

Employee Satisfaction Surveys

In many cases, team members will be hesitant to raise concerns about their work conditions. By administering anonymous employee satisfaction surveys, you can obtain valuable information about how to better your funeral home and its culture.


Why a Funeral Home Consultant is Crucial

As the director or owner of a funeral home, it can be difficult to get a clear picture of how your team members view their roles. Team members will often treat leadership with a degree of deference, telling them what they want to hear as opposed to what they need to hear. Often, dissatisfied (yet high-performing) employees will keep their opinions to themselves and seek work elsewhere. To get the valuable insight you need regarding your work culture, you’ll want to turn to some outside help. 

The team at Johnson Consulting Group, one of the nation’s largest death care consulting firms, has the skills required to help funeral homes examine their operating performance and implement strategic improvements. By taking a holistic look at your business––from both the employer- and client-facing perspectives––we can help you figure out how your team works and how you can create a best-in-class funeral home culture. 

With immense experience in the world of death care––owning and operating death care businesses for over two decades––JCG has the skill and history required to make capital improvements to your funeral home. From finding new talent to cultivating your current teams, JCG can help you deliver a continually exceptional experience for your families.