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Hiring the Right People


People who “get it”—these are the job candidates most likely to flourish and endure in the world of value-based medicine.

“It’s like the Hunger Games, and you better be able to figure out how to survive by using your wits,” says Rod Baird, president of Geriatric Practice Management, LLC, in Asheville, NC. “You have to understand how the system works, where the incentives are and how you can adapt to changes as they occur.” People who can do this are the kinds of candidates today’s healthcare organizations should be seeking. The question is, how do you find and keep them?

According to the 2014 HealthcareSource/ASHHRA Healthcare HR Initiatives Survey, human resources teams are adopting new tools and technology to improve staff hiring and retention. They are seeking to reduce costs by streamlining HR processes, keeping employees and planning for the effects of healthcare reform. At the same time, they also are focusing on creating and promoting a service-centered culture that supports patient and employee satisfaction and safety.

Innovative Tools

Here’s a look at some of the new tools and technologies HR teams are adopting.

People analytics—This involves using people-related data and information, gleaned from sources such as social media, to target individuals with the skills, interests, knowledge and personalities to optimize outcomes and solve problems. Some experts believe people analytics can help companies create and organize teams and even design office spaces in ways that will maximize each player’s contributions.

Application prescreening tools—These use prescreening questions and flagged words and phrases to filter out unqualified candidates. Some software even enables weighting questions to rank job seekers. 

Industrial/organizational (I/O) psychologists—These practitioners can develop targeted recruitment and selection systems that help identify highly qualified applicants who are most likely to be effective in their positions. I/O psychologists integrate the organization’s culture and hiring needs into tools such as prescreens, job previews and interviews. They can develop tests to measure the critical competencies required for a specific job and provide statistical evidence linking test scores and job performance. Additionally, they can conduct in-depth assessments using instruments such as interviews, group discussions and role-playing to identify candidates’ strengths and weaknesses.

“Gamification”—Using gaming principles in nongaming situations can help identify promising candidates by presenting a virtual challenge that requires specific skills to complete successfully. For example, companies like Marriott are using video games and puzzles to recruit employees. 

Dashboards and balanced scorecards—These tools can help keep good employees once they’re hired. They show how engaged employees are, how they’re doing with personal goals and objectives, and what training and education are most effective for them.

While both display performance information, the scorecard is generally more prescriptive and includes three elements: Perspectives (strategic areas of performance), objectives (phrases from a strategic plan) and measures (performance indicators).

These help ensure the scorecard data ties into the organization’s strategic needs and the employee’s role in addressing them.

Finding Flexibility for Future Success

Successful job seekers in the value-based care world must understand and appreciate concepts of quality. “We need people who can intellectualize the need for quality metrics, as well as the need for healthcare systems that focus on the individual,” says Baird. “I want people who can care for patients based on what is best for each individual but who are mindful that this care has to translate into insurance paradigms—and they have to move seamlessly between these roles.”

These can be difficult skill sets to find in one person, Baird admits. Therefore, he suggests that companies be prepared to educate even the best new hires about value-based medication and quality metrics. “You have to be thoughtful about what you’re hiring someone for and what education they will need,” he says. “Then you need to be able to ensure you can provide that education.”

Joanne Kaldy is a healthcare communications consultant and writer based in Harrisburg, PA.


Survey Findings

How They're Cutting Costs

Streamline HR processes, 74%

Improve employee retention, 69%

How They're Improving Patient Satisfaction

Improve employee satisfaction, 74%

Foster employee accountability, 68%

Create a service-oriented culture, 67%

How They're Improving Patient Safety

Employee education/development, 69%

Improve employee satisfaction, 59%

Hire for cultural fit, 54%

What New Technologies They're Adopting

Performance management, 30%

eLearning content, 25%



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