From the Frontlines of Hiring in Healthcare Today — Fireside Chat Recap

Drew Whitehurst | September 22, 2020

In a moment of crisis, reactions set the leaders apart from the followers pull quote

“How you hire people is important; how you reach people and engage with them throughout the hiring process is more important,” said Theresa Mazzaro, RN, CHCR, Senior Talent Acquisition Specialist at Suburban Hospital, a member of Johns Hopkins Medicine, while talking with interviewstream CEO Ron Wilson.

Theresa and Ron sat down to chat about how she and her teams create incredibly rewarding and life-altering experiences for their patients (and each other) while on the frontlines of a constantly shifting healthcare environment. Here’s a recap of the conversation between two leaders on the frontlines of hiring in very different ways.

The Importance of Humanizing the Hiring Process

“In a moment of crisis, reactions set the leaders apart from the followers,” said Peter B. Stark.

All of us are all currently weathering our way through our own crises, personally, professionally, or (probably) both. Theresa and her teams at Suburban have become experts at rising to the occasion together and pushing forward despite the unique uncertainty presented in their every day experience on the frontlines of the healthcare system. For Theresa, patient success hinges on who and how she hires the right people to join her well-oiled team.

One way to aid in the creation of that team is to connect and engage with your candidates in a personal and meaningful way from day one. “Using video is so powerful,” Theresa shared, confiding that this is a big part of how she builds such solid teams. Not only is she searching for candidates that are a good fit culturally, Theresa needs people who are prepared to save lives each and every day. Using the interviewstream platform, she’s been able to attract and recruit amazing talent at Suburban. Here are the tips that she shared:

Tip #1: Start with a personal connection.

Candidates want to talk to the actual people they’ll be working with so they can get an idea of where they fit in the team, as well as gain an understanding of the environment they’re going to be in on a daily basis.

Introduce yourself with a quick video, welcoming them to the interview process. Be sure that it’s coming from the person that they’ll be working with most (usually their hiring manager or peer mentor). This simple gesture holds tremendous value, as you’re building a solid, and personalized, foundation to your relationship with the candidate. From day one, they see a smiling face and make personal contact. This also helps the Suburban team set the cultural tone – welcoming, friendly and most importantly, here to guide you through the process – no matter how tough it may be.

Tip #2: Involve the team early and often.

From there, bring the full team into the hiring process early on through a series of one-way video interviews so every member can begin building a connection with your candidates. Members of Theresa’s teams pre-record themselves asking key questions, then have the candidate respond on their own time (believe it or not, 80% actually respond within 24 hours). This process can be fun and personalized, so it’s not as formal or intimidating as a panel-style interview and you receive even better results.

With the candidate’s responses, Theresa’s team can then assess their personality and the way that they communicate, both of which are hugely important when it comes to ensuring a healthy team dynamic. One-way video interviews also help them determine how well a candidate manages stress – after all, when there’s an emergency in a critical care unit or a team member is part of an incident response team, they’ll need to be able to communicate effectively and work well under pressure.

Tip #3: Don’t allow complicated calendars to change the tone of the hiring process.

At Suburban, an interview scheduling tool has been a game changer. Patients are their primary focus, so spending time planning, moving, and canceling interview times just isn’t always in the cards. With an automated platform, candidates pick time slots directly from team members’ calendars. This level of candidate engagement allows talent to feel some level of control over the hiring process while lifting tedious tasks off the internal hiring team’s plate: win-win.

Tip #4: Never stop engaging.

Effective healthcare recruiting and hiring doesn’t stop after the employees first day on the job. That’s why, even after the interview process, the Suburban team continues to leverage tools, like one-way video, to check-in with any new hires at the 30-, 90-, and 180-day marks. With this technique, they’ve already seen great results, including increased employee engagement and retention. And, if you’re as successful as Theresa, you can also use your onboarding success stories for future marketing and healthcare recruiting efforts.

There are countless personalized touches throughout the healthcare recruiting and hiring process that can help you build and develop successful relationships with talent. Even with today’s limited in-person communication, tools like video interviewing technology can easily bridge that gap and even elevate your processes to the next level. 

Over the years, Theresa has consistently found that the key to building a winning team is to think beyond “hire, hire, hire.” Dive deeper. Get more personal. Create meaningful engagement. This advice is only more pertinent considering the current state of the world – if Theresa hadn’t been so invested in her hiring decisions in the past, would she have had a team equipped to navigate the pandemic? It’s a terrifying thought, but one that should resonate with hiring leaders across the board. We can’t predict what the future holds, but we do know that the people that make up your organization matter.

We here at interviewstream agree that Theresa and Suburban Hospital are doing all of the right things. Now is the time to leverage the technology and opportunity at your fingertips to build teams that can not only respond to a crisis with grace, but who will get stronger because they have just the right stuff (metaphor intended).

We encourage everyone to take a listen to the complete fireside chat here. Thank you to Theresa Mazzaro, Senior Talent Acquisition Specialist, Suburban Hospital, for taking the time to share your thoughts and experiences from the frontlines of healthcare recruiting!

About The Author

Drew Whitehurst is the Content & Implementation Specialist at interviewstream. He's been with the company since 2014 working in client services and marketing. He is an analytical thinker, coffee enthusiast, and hobbyist at heart.

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