Recruitment in the Healthcare Industry


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  • Medical Marketing and Media recently featured an article on the 10 Strategies for Evolution in the Healthcare Industry. The overview of this list can be seen above, and covers everything from extending one’s global footprint to diversifying your client base. However, there is one item on the list that we as an HR leadership team should take particular note of…(cue fade out)
  • …and that is the trend toward recruiting non-healthcare talent. In this presentation, I’d like to take a bit of time to explain why this trend is important to our company, and then some steps we can take to embrace this trend within our organization. But first, let’s get on the same page about the benefits to our business of recruiting non-healthcare talent.
  • First, a diversity of thought is critical to any organization, and there is a distinct advantage to bringing in people with a variety of backgrounds and skill sets. Therefore, our company can gain a competitive advantage by recruiting a real variety of talent, giving us a leg-up over the competitors.
  • Second, there is a real shortage in high-quality healthcare talent. This spans almost all jobs in the healthcare industry, ranging from nurses to technical talent. These headlines are only a few examples of how healthcare jobs have grown despite the hard times caused by the Great Recession. From December 2007 through September 2010, the healthcare industry grew by 720,000 jobs while other industries lost about 8.5 million jobs. In fact, healthcare jobs are projected to increase by an additional 4 million jobs through 2018.
  • Which brings me to my final point, that our company is being given the opportunity to get a leg up over our competitors. US unemployment is up from about 5% a few years ago to fluctuating between 8% and 10% in the past few years. This means that talented individuals are currently without jobs and actively searching for new opportunities, even if that means leaving the comfort zone of their previous industry. We have a great opportunity to scoop up talented individuals, creating a competitive advantage in our organization.
  • Now that we’ve determined that there is some real opportunity to hiring outside the healthcare industry, it’s important that we be strategic about the best way to embrace this evolving trend. To address this, I have three recommendations for changes we can make to better support this evolution. First, we will complete job assessments for the current roles in our organization to better understand the requirements to hold each position. Next, we’ll set new recruitment expectations to prepare for this influx of candidates with a different skill set. Finally, we will make adjustments to our training practices to close the skill gaps that will arise for this population.
  • To begin this process, we need to complete job analyses for all roles in our organization. We will begin this process by using a fantastic and free tool called O*NET, which still stands for the Occupational Information Network. This database of information on different jobs was sponsored by the US Department of Labor in the 1990s, and includes all the categories seen above for different jobs. This tool will be a key jumping-off point for completing our job analyses, to be complemented with surveys of employees currently in these roles to understand differences unique to our company. What I’d like to note is the value of O*Net for not only our job analyses, but for other HR practices as well. For example, understanding averages wage data for specific job roles could be key to understanding how we perform in the market.
  • Once we’ve gathered our information from O*NET and our in-house job surveys, we’ll need to determine where it’s feasible to hire for these jobs outside fo the healthcare industry. Let’s take some examples. Corporate functions are great examples of jobs that don’t require a background in the health care industry upon entry. Marketing, finance, government relations, planning and development, and even human resources are great examples of jobs where it is feasible to hire those without background in the health care industry. Another, more surprising example is medical records technicians. The requirements for this job are an associates degree or better with some coursework in science or medicine. Without these job assessments, it would be easy for us to write off medical records technicians as not feasible for hiring outside the industry…however, with the new information we’ve acquired from these assessments, it’s clear that we have more flexibility with certain positions. However, I think it is equally important to note that there are just as many jobs that will be considered not feasible for hiring outside the industry. For example, surgeons and physical therapists require significant schooling, an amount of training we can not provided. Even if we found someone with the right soft skills for these jobs, the financial and time burdens would be far too great to wait for these individuals to complete the necessary education to walk into these jobs. Therefore, it is critical to note that this emerging trend is dependent on requirements determined by the job assessments.
  • For the jobs that we determine to be feasible for non-healthcare hiring, it is imperative that we tweak our recruitment efforts. Instead of focusing on previous healthcare job roles and specific skill sets, we will instead need to focus on the soft skills that you can’t teach but are valuable to our organization. An article by technology consultants has picked out key soft skills that we will need to search for our in recruitments efforts. These include communication skills - both oral and written, the ability to see the big picture in an organization so they can contribute to business strategy and success, and finally the interest in continuous learning. This final skill will be particularly helpful, as they must be engaged in learning to pick up the specific skills they may lack coming from a different industry.
  • Now since we’ve made it clear that our selection process will be adjusted to meet this new trend, it should not be surprising that training needs must change in kind. First, there needs to be a strong focus for on-the-job training, since that has been shown to be one of the most effective training methods in the healthcare industry. However, we cannot simply drop a new employee with no healthcare background into a role and expect them to learn as they go. Instead, we need to install a transition period where the new employee gets to work side-by-side with the person exiting that role. Further, we need to ensure that our training methods (both formal and on-the-job) explain the “whats” and “whys” before diving into the “hows”…if these employees do not understand the underlying reasons for our actions, there is potential for considerable mistakes in the future. Finally, patience will be key in this training. In our industry, you all know that the priority is getting it right the first time, and we need to ensure that training prepares new employees to succeed. Training may take a bit longer with this population, but a small up-front cost will likely lead to higher success and profitability in the future with such a strong talent pool with the underlying soft skills we need.
  • To make this initiative successful, we must drive these changes in the short term, as the labor market may not remain as advantageous to us in the future. The steps discussed should be laid out within the coming months, and we can hope to see a new and significant talent pool in our organization in the near future. At this time, I’d be happy to address any of your questions.
  • Recruitment in the Healthcare Industry

    1. Recruitment in theHealthcare Industry Ashley Myers
    2. Evolutions in Healthcare1. Be digital everywhere… 6. Extend your global footprint2. …but don’t call yourself digital everywhere 7. Know your regulatory landscape3. Diversify your client base 8. Slice and dice your wares4. Recruit non-healthcare talent 9. Advance your analytics5. Fund innovation 10. Get into health and adequately wellness
    3. Evolutions in Healthcare1. Be digital everywhere… 6. Extend your global footprint2. …but don’t call yourself digital everywhere 7. Know your regulatory landscape3. Diversify your client base 8. Slice and dice your wares4. Recruit non-healthcare talent 9. Advance your analytics5. Fund innovation 10. Get into health and adequately wellness
    4. Why Do We Care?
    5. Diversity of Thought VS
    6. Shortage in Healthcare Talent
    7. Availability of Other Talent 12.0% 10.0% 8.0% 6.0% Healthcare/ Education 4.0% Overall 2.0% 0.0% 2Q 2009 4Q 2009 2Q 2010 4Q 2010 2Q 2011 4Q 2011 1Q 2008 2Q 2008 3Q 2008 1Q 2009 3Q 2009 1Q 2010 3Q 2010 1Q 2011 3Q 2011 1Q 2012 4Q2008Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
    8. What CanWe Do?
    9. Responding to the Trend• Job analysis for feasibility• New recruitment expectations• Training adjustments
    10. O*NET Tasks Work ContextTools & Technology Job Zone Knowledge Education Skills Interests Abilities Work Styles Work Activities Work Values Wages & Employment Trends Job Analysis Recruitment Training
    11. Feasibility AssessmentFeasible Jobs Not Feasible Corporate Functions Medical Records Technicians Surgeons Physical Therapists Job Analysis Recruitment Training
    12. Changes to Recruitment• Written communication• Oral communication• Ability to see the big picture• Interest in continuous learning Job Analysis Recruitment Training
    13. Training Adjustments• Overlap in job transition• Explain the “what” and “why” before the “how”• Patience in training  Getting it right the first time Job Analysis Recruitment Training
    14. Questions?