To receive accreditation for a new state-of-the-art cancer center, one of the United States’ leading academic medical centers needed to staff the facility. The globally renowned healthcare provider leaned on Cielo Healthcare to augment its talent acquisition team with additional scalability and expertise to meet the center’s opening deadline.

The healthcare network is at the forefront of innovations in patient care, employing over 12,000 people across three main campuses in California. To continually deliver leading outpatient cancer care, a new medical building will provide tailored treatment through fully integrated trials that utilize the latest technology and psychosocial support.

Creating a future vision

Before working with Cielo, the medical center faced challenges balancing human capital costs with the need for clinical staff. To support previous expansions, the existing TA team acquired skilled nurses through a blend of contract nurses, travelers and full-time hires. But to maintain staffing level requirements, contractors and travelers were often kept on longer than planned, which increased labor costs. Recognizing the opportunity, its Director of Talent Acquisition promoted the value of a partnership with Cielo Healthcare to leadership, outlining what an investment in a larger talent acquisition structure could deliver, particularly regarding the expansion.

The leadership alignment created a strong basis for partnership and shared accountability for outcomes. Established meeting cadences between key hiring leaders and the talent acquisition team opened lines of communication to share how the process would shift to increase support to meet the established hiring timelines for the cancer medicine building.

Partnership for an engaging candidate experience

Hiring in the region is an ongoing challenge due to the high cost of living and the lack of available talent. To source and engage highly skilled nurses, the strategy incorporated a multi-channel recruitment marketing approach.

The team utilized Cielo’s exclusive candidate relationship management (CRM) platform to quickly fill the recruiting funnel with qualified candidates and reach them with tailored messaging for key roles. One specific campaign focused on passive candidates for an experienced dosimetrist role, an extremely niche leadership position. Using the CRM to target a small talent pool, customized content captured candidates’ attention and the role was filled in just 10 weeks after being open for seven months.

After attracting qualified candidates, hiring leaders played a critical role in engaging and selling candidates on their new opportunities. While the medical center is a market leader and aspirational employer, top nursing talent must be earned in today’s competitive hiring landscape. Retraining hiring leaders helped them understand the active role they had to take in selling candidates on the roles. These leaders worked to build relationships with candidates throughout the hiring process, focusing on impactful on-site interviews and facility tours to create a unique candidate experience and stand out against local and national competitors.

Regulatory rigor

As a university-affiliated health system in a region with a strong nurses’ union, the medical center needed to operate and hire staff for the new cancer center within specific regulations. Challenges included union rules around prioritizing hires by seniority and skill. In response, one team member became the expert on any regulatory or contract-related issues. From there, employment offers were vetted and approved to ensure compliance before being passed on to the hiring leaders.

The results: A new gold standard in care

Thanks to strong leadership alignment, shared accountability, and an integrated strategy for talent attraction, the cancer center opened on time with a full staff.

  • Within six months, 171 total positions were filled
    • 151 were nursing positions
    • Just 11% of roles filled were internal
  • Average time-to-fill was 52 days, a 50% decrease compared to previous hiring pushes
  • 2.6:1 interview-to-hire ratio, delivering significant time savings to hiring leaders

The facility has already established the new gold standard for comprehensive cancer care, meeting the physical and emotional needs of patients and their families. Following the successful opening, the medical center is positioned for growth through its partnership with Cielo for flexible talent acquisition support, focused on delivering the award-winning talent and care the healthcare network is known for.