Healthcare boards are losing sleep over how to ensure their healthcare systems are delivering quality care to their communities while keeping costs under control. There are two areas where most boards have done a particularly good job. The first is tracking and evaluating key metrics for their organization’s financial performance. The second is measuring the quality of patient care. While commendable, measuring financial and care quality metrics without a focus on the talent that delivers and supports care may cause organizations to miss a critical component of the healthcare quality equation.
All CEOs talk about attracting and cultivating the best people, but during these days of high unemployment, it’s common to hear human resources (HR) officers say, “We don’t really have a recruitment issue right now. We have more applicants than openings. We don’t even look through all of the resumés.” This is a red flag. It often means that your organization is only skimming through the top 10% of the inbound resumés to hire on an as-needed basis—hardly a proactive approach to securing the best talent.
The economy is largely to blame for this dynamic. Economic challenges have made it difficult for professionals to relocate. Even discontented employees are often held captive by the uncertain job and housing markets. The result is a dangerous mix of pent-up frustration and organizational complacency in an industry where discontented workers are a serious liability.
Measuring financial and care quality metrics without a focus on the talent may cause organizations to miss a critical component of the healthcare quality equation.
Boards and their CEOs owe it to their patients and their communities to set and enforce high employee performance standards and hold their people accountable by using stringent metrics and proactive management. In organizations where improvements are needed, the first step is to tighten systems for sourcing and screening prospective employees, through such methods as:
Passive Candidate Sourcing. Often the best candidates are employed and not actively looking so organizations must proactively develop a pipeline of future prospects by building talent communities. This can be done through a combination of Boolean searches, social media (Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook). The network of their existing employees, and by keeping an eye on your competitor’s top talent.
Screening for Pre-Requisites. Electronic screening processes and applications that require candidates prove they meet a minimum set of required qualifications before moving on in the process.
Profiling for Performance. An effective approach for improving the caliber, impact, and longevity of new hires is to develop improved analytics based on the profiles of current exceptional employees. The process involves capturing, tracking, and analyzing all of the characteristics of a successful employee so that a predictive instrument can be developed. Criteria to consider should include education, career experience, organizational memberships, personality
types (e.g., extroverts vs. introverts), and hobbies.
Online Behavioral Assessments. There are many available online surveys, such as the Wonderlic Congnitive Ability Test, that help with cultural fit by identifying candidate behavioral characteristics desired by the organization. Using a standardized survey that consistently captures the same information makes it easier to compare candidates for a position.
Behavioral Interviews. Typically conducted by phone, these interviews are a more personal way to capture approximately the same behavioral details as an online survey and help gauge the likelihood of a good fit with the organizational culture. To make the most of this process, organizations should identify the key behaviors they are looking for in advance.
Electronic Reference Checking. Automating the process by arranging for the electronic questionnaire to come in the form of an e-mail from the candidate leads to results that are more thorough, detailed, and useful than those typically captured during a phone call.
Knowing that you are getting the best talent available for your organization is a science based on collecting and examining a great deal of quantitative and qualitative data. By looking at broader organizational goals and how recruiting integrates with and supports those goals, executives and board members can be confident their organization has recruited high performers and will be armed with the data to prove it. Following are the three tiers of metrics that should be used for evaluating and improving your recruiting process.
Some of these metrics and tools aren’t necessarily owned exclusively by the recruiting function, but if recruiting isn’t using them to benchmark and inform predictive hiring, they are missing a critical piece of the puzzle.
Healthcare organizations have a duty to the communities they serve to apply the most rigorous methods for evaluating and tracking talent. By capturing the advanced metrics outlined above to consistently target and attract the best new hires, your organization can seize this opportunity to find top-grade talent and build tomorrow’s dream team.