A Unique Way to Solve the Funeral Director Shortage.

One of the most common complaints I hear from funeral home owners is that they cannot find enough licensed Funeral Directors. And if they are lucky enough to find one, they don’t stay long. In this training, I discuss a unique way to solve the Funeral Director shortage.

The following transcript was generated by AI and summarized by ChatGPT

Hello, I’m John Callaghan, Your Funeral Business Builder. This week, I’d like to address a common challenge that arises in my conversations with clients: the shortage of Funeral Directors.

It’s increasingly difficult to find qualified professionals who can be entrusted with families during their time of need. This scarcity of skilled Funeral Directors often becomes the bottleneck for business growth, compelling funeral home owners to personally handle every family’s needs.

Let’s explore this issue within the context of our previous discussions.

In our earlier conversations, we primarily focused on shaping the external perception of your funeral home. However, the shortage of Funeral Directors falls under the category of “inside reality.” This issue revolves around delivering care to families, managing your staff, and devising an effective team structure to foster growth.

Traditionally, funeral home owners scour mortuary schools in search of potential candidates. However, this approach has its limitations, as rookies typically lack the experience and confidence to guide families effectively.

There’s a customary progression from intern to Funeral Director to eventually owning a funeral home. Yet, the crux of the problem lies in the middle stage: the scarcity of experienced Funeral Directors.

Now, the effectiveness of the solution I’m about to propose may vary depending on state regulations. I strongly advise adhering to your state’s requirements to avoid any legal complications.

When designing your team, you should consider three distinct roles: a lead person, a licensed individual to meet state regulations, and support personnel handling administrative tasks, funeral assistance, and visitation services.

Here’s the paradigm shift: What if the licensed individual isn’t necessarily the lead person?

Traditionally, we’ve placed licensed individuals in leadership roles. However, many state requirements don’t mandate licensed individuals to lead arrangements; their involvement and approval are sufficient.

To illustrate, you can liken the licensed person to a field goal kicker in football—crucial but not the quarterback. They play a vital role, but they don’t necessarily need to lead the entire process. This shift in perspective can open new possibilities for your team structure.

Consider the qualities needed in a lead person: strong communication skills, empathy, conflict resolution, understanding of family dynamics, problem-solving abilities, and more. Many of these skills aren’t even covered in mortuary school, yet there are plenty of people out there with these skills.

The real shortage lies in licensing, not leadership skills.

The solution is to hire leaders, not just licenses. You can recruit individuals from diverse backgrounds with relevant leadership experience. Examples include retired school principals, former police officers, retired realtors, and ex-retail store managers. These individuals possess valuable skills in conflict resolution, dealing with difficult situations, and guiding families through challenging experiences.

In essence, you don’t necessarily face a shortage of leaders; it’s a shortage of licensed personnel. By addressing these issues separately and hiring more leaders, you can optimize your team structure and overcome the challenges posed by the funeral director shortage.

I hope you find this advice helpful. I’ll return next week with more insights. Goodbye for now.


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