Tag: healthcare recruiting

What COVID Taught Us About a Train-and-Hire Program To Recruit Frontline Workers

By Kyle Bachman, senior recruiter, Goshen Health.

It can be hard to see any silver lining to the COVID-19 pandemic. But as impacted organizations re-focused on their basics in order to survive – if not thrive – through the hard times, many did see examples of improved business processes, greater efficiencies and new opportunities.

That was certainly the case for our organization, Goshen Health, an award-winning hospital and network of clinics in Northern Indiana. As with most hospitals and healthcare organizations, our staff and our recruiting efforts took a hard hit during the pandemic. It forced us to rethink how we recruit and train key frontline workers, such as medical assistants. Faced with an existing industry staffing shortage, a number of our workers leaving the field because of the pandemic, and fewer potential hires entering the field, the key was to offer training and practical experience to potential candidates, and to promote from within.

Finding candidates with an exceptional bedside manner

Goshen Health has approximately 2,000 Colleagues between the hospital and 30 healthcare clinics. As with many healthcare facilities, one of our toughest hiring challenges is finding enough skilled medical assistants (MAs).

The role of the MA is critically important. They are often the first person a patient sees, and they have a significant amount of direct contact with patients throughout their journey with us. As a result, the bedside manner of a MA is as important as their healthcare expertise. Every day they interact with patients who might be sick, unsure, or are worried about their health or the health of a loved one. Add to that, the work that MAs do in taking vitals and charting for the healthcare provider, and it is quickly evident how vital they are.

Coursework to become an MA can vary, but typically requires between six months to two years of classroom training. Candidates must complete 120 clinical hours of instruction and pass a rigorous certification program to qualify.

Prior to the pandemic, a significant pipeline for these workers – including administrative, clerical and support staff – was filled through partnerships with local community colleges. We also worked with local schools to generate interest among high school students. The hope was that they could matriculate to the community colleges, take one or two years of courses and be candidates for jobs with Goshen Health upon graduation. COVID stalled this pathway for 18 months, forcing us to look into supplementing our traditional hiring practices with new models and new sources.

Adopting a new train-and-hire recruiting model

Goshen Health has since adopted a new model of recruiting both internal and external candidates and paying for their training, in exchange for a two-year work commitment at our facilities. We combine an online training program from an outside vendor with hands-on clinical experience through Goshen’s physician offices.

The applied experience comes through an externship in clinical settings. Candidates participate in 120 hours of training with a senior certified MA or LPN Colleague, and then rotate to several medical practices.

The importance of this rotational strategy cannot be overstated. Trainees gain first-hand experience in Goshen facilities, not in a classroom or an outside healthcare facility. By the time students finish their 120-hour externship, they should have worked in several different Goshen clinics. Upon hire, they would have thorough knowledge of Goshen’s systems, its culture, and its people. They would hopefully hit the ground running on day one.

We learned several other lessons that have impacted our recruiting practices. They include:

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Healthcare Marketing and Recruitment Strategies

By Adrian Johansen, freelance writer; @AdrianJohanse18.

Office, Business, Colleagues, MeetingHow did you first hear about your doctor’s office or primary care facility? Were you passing by and saw a sign, or was it the closest place to your house when it came time for a checkup? Chances are neither was the case; if you had a choice in your healthcare provider you probably heard about them and the quality of their work through some sort of marketing strategy.

Although many of us try not to think too much about it, every single healthcare facility we visit is a business. Ultimately, this means they are subject to the many ups and downs of running a business, which includes the need for a recruitment strategy, and a brand identity, and marketing. Hospitals, clinics, and every healthcare professional out there strive to build brand recognition and positive brand identity their patients will remain loyal to and newcomers will flock towards.

Most moderate to large healthcare facilities invest substantially in marketing strategies that are likely to build trust with patients and draw a steady stream of new patients. In 2020, healthcare marketing and recruitment are more important than ever and much of it is happening digitally. Here are some online methods healthcare organizations can capitalize on to improve their online presence and brand reputation.

Capitalize on tech gains

Technology in the healthcare industry is expanding capabilities at an astounding rate. The things that are possible — such as electronic medical records or smartwatches that send health data directly to your doctor — were only dreams two decades ago. Advances in technology, especially in the realm of big data, offer substantial marketing and recruiting opportunities for the industry.

In essence, the rise of big data has turned healthcare on its head (for the better). Within the hospital setting, it allows healthcare professionals to easily consolidate patient data and reveal potential healthcare concerns that otherwise may have gone unnoticed, greatly improving patient outcomes. From a marketing perspective, it can help identify where needs in the community may be and enable marketing professionals to more accurately design targeted outreach campaigns.

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