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Telemarketing helps fill new positions at The George ...


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Telemarketing helps fill new positions at The George ...

  1. 1. COR HEALTH LLC news Insight ... not just news IN THIS ISSUE September 2002 Volume 2 Number 9 Recruitment 3 Retention Recommendations from the Joint Commission’s Telemarketing helps fill new positions Expert Roundtable to fix the nursing shortage. at The George Washington University Hospital 6 Compensation The George Washington University Hospital faced a challenge: They National survey reveals needed to recruit and hire 100 experienced RNs to staff a new, larger hourly wage gains in facility in a short window of time. Ultimately, GWU Hospital decided 2002 for direct care nurses and managers. to break with local recruiting tradition and employ telemarketing as a key element of a campaign to staff the new 371-bed facility. In the past, the hospital had offered traditional incentives such as 7 Leadership market-based salaries and benefits, signing bonuses, relocation Nurse managers can make a difference in staff allowances, flexible schedules, and a mentor program to attract new retention. grads and experienced nurses. 8 News Scan The need to differentiate But to meet its aggressive recruitment target, GWU Hospital needed Legislative and legal updates; Professional something more. It had to find a way to differentiate itself from other association news; and Washington, DC, area hospitals. The first step was to bring together more. administrative, marketing, nursing, and human resource staff to brainstorm possible options. The group considered various marketing vehicles and messages that could generate results quickly. Steps in WHAT’S AHEAD this process included: 1) identifying the audience for the messages, 2) The University of Chicago developing a targeted message, 3) choosing the appropriate vehicle, Hospitals’ organizational and 4) measuring results. strategy for building a The unique element of GWU Hospital’s approach is that it included diverse workforce; telemarketing, in addition to a mix of radio ads and direct mail. Redefining the nurse The recruitment task force focused on marketing vehicles that manager role to retain would bring the message directly to the target population without staff. getting lost among those of competitors. “Nurse recruiters regularly place employment advertisements in newspapers, print ads in nursing publica-
  2. 2. 2 P AT I E N T C A R E S T A F F I N G R E P O R T Insight ... not just news SEPTEMBER 2002 Figure 1 The George Washington University Hospital The telemarketing campaign launched after an initial two-week test revealed that the target popu- lation was receptive to the message. Telemarketing tactics Developing the right script was critical to the success of the telemarketing campaign. It was important to construct a script with the right balance of information about GWU Hospital job opportunities, benefits, and the opening of the new facility. The goal was to pique candi- dates’ interest about what the new, state-of- the-art hospital had to offer in terms of environ- ment, technology, and clinical practice opportu- nities. An outside telemarketing firm was hired to conduct the campaign. The firm was provided with a detailed list of anticipated questions and scripted answers. After each call, the telemarketing firm immedi- tions, and host booths at job fairs,” say Lisa Saisse- ately mailed out a follow-up letter encouraging the lin, GWU Hospital’s director of marketing and nurse to visit the hospital’s Web site or to call the business development. recruitment line for more information. The Web site “However, these strategies placed GWU Hospital offers a movie video and slide tour of the new directly next to other hospitals delivering similar hospital, along with maps of the floor plans and messages. What’s more, print ads and job fairs target those who are actively looking for a job. This meant nurses who were already employed and more likely to be qualified for the positions were probably The first nurse was hired within missing the message.” three weeks of launching the Why telemarketing? telemarketing campaign. In looking for more effective approaches, the hospi- tal decided to include telemarketing in the cam- specific information about new technologies and paign mix. Telemarketing was a new approach for equipment (see figure 1). The GWU Hospital and there was some concern A separate mailer—which included a video that RNs would not respond well to calls placed to about the new hospital and the available nursing them at home. opportunities—was sent two to three weeks after However, this concern was outweighed by the the initial telephone contact. advantages that telemarketing offers over other The telemarketing firm sent human resources recruiting approaches: staff a daily profile that included specific informa- 1. Telemarketing reaches the target audience tion about each nurse who was contacted, including directly, not passively. his or her areas of interest, current employer, and number of years of experience. The human resourc- 2. The message is exclusive, and does not compete es staff placed at least two follow-up calls to each with other recruitment ads. nurse who had expressed interest in working at the 3. Telemarketing provides an opportunity to test new hospital. and refine messages, providing valuable The purpose of the follow-up calls was twofold. feedback for use with other advertising First, they enabled the recruiters to verify the vehicles. nurse’s qualifications and provide specific informa- 4. It is cost-effective. The telemarketing firm is paid tion about vacant positions. Second—and more on a per-contact basis. importantly—they gave the recruiters an opportuni- Copyright © 2002 COR Health LLC 805/564-2177. All rights reserved.
  3. 3. SEPTEMBER 2 0 0 2 Insight ... not just news PATIENT CARE STAFFING REPORT 3 ty to ask the nurses to forward a resume or com- Retention plete the online job application. The applications and resumes were forwarded to a nurse manager to initiate yet another contact Focus on “the evidence” to with the prospective employee. move your organization Rapid, measurable results Over a six-week period, thousands of licensed toward a culture of retention nurses in the metropolitan Washington, DC, area There is plenty of evidence that investing in staff were contacted through the telemarketing cam- retention pays off, according to a recently re- paign. Significantly, nearly 20% of the calls resulted leased white paper from an Expert Roundtable in the positive response, “Yes, I am interested in convened by the Joint Commission on Accredita- talking with someone about opportunities at The tion of Healthcare Organizations, Oak Brook, IL. GWU Hospital.” Some of the most compelling evidence: By industry standards, a 5% to 10% response 1. Patient safety and outcomes are linked to the rate to telemarketing is considered to be a good quality and quantity of nurse staffing. result. Saisselin attributes the nearly 20% telemar- 2. Hospitals that involve nurses in decisionmaking keting response rate to local interest in the opening about direct patient care issues have lower staff of the new hospital and the fact turnover, lower overall costs, and improved that this was the first time that clinical outcomes. telemarketing was used for nurse 3. It is less expensive to adopt strategies to retain recruitment in Washington, DC. staff than to replace them. The first nurse was hired just “Researchers have documented that since the two and one-half weeks after the 1980s there has been a significant decline in the campaign began. More than 131 amount of ‘real’ nursing care that is available to nurses—substantially exceeding hospitalized patients in the United States,” says Lisa Saisslin the target—were hired by the Linda H. Aiken, PhD, RN, FAAN, a member of the 13th week. Expert Roundtable and director of the Center for Of the three recruitment campaigns—telemar- Health Outcomes for Policy Research, University of keting, direct mail, and radio ads—telemarketing Pennsylvania School of Nursing. overwhelmingly produced the best response. The “One Pennsylvania study demonstrated that number of “walk-in” visitors to the human resources higher patient acuity combined department doubled almost immediately after the with an insufficient number of telemarketing campaign was launched. And the nurses accounted for a 50% decline volume of visitors to the employment pages of the in available nursing care.” hospital’s Web site rose 65%. This decline affects quality of The increase in Web site “hits” as well as walk-in care and patient safety. “Nearly traffic during the campaign suggested that the 25% of the sentinel alerts submit- nurses wanted more information about the oppor- ted to the Joint Commission are tunities—and they wanted it right away. nursing-related and can be traced Linda H. Aiken When the new hospital opened its doors this to inadequate staffing,” says Dennis S. O’Leary, MD, August, the newly hired nurses were already orient- president of the Joint Commission. ed and ready to go. And when more nurses are A change in the make up of the acute care needed in the future, the nurse recruiters will opt nursing population is affecting quality, as well. “We for a telemarketing-based recruitment campaign. now have a body of knowledge that suggests a direct For more information, contact Lisa Saisselin, Director of correlation between patient safety and clinical Marketing and Business Development, The George Washing- outcomes, with nurse staffing, the adequacy of ton University Hospital. She can be reached at 202/715- nurse preparation, and continuity of practice,” says 4445 or Sally A. Sample, RN, MN, moderator of the Joint Commission nurse staffing roundtable. Reprints of this article are available from http:// "The loss of experienced nurses is contributing P C S R to patient safety and infection control concerns. Copyright © 2002 COR Health LLC 805/564-2177. All rights reserved.