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Four Effects Obamacare Will Have on Talent Acquisition

December 17, 2015


affordable-care-actThe Affordable Care Act has survived its second Supreme Court challenge and it looks like it’s here to stay. So what does healthcare reform mean for talent acquisition professionals? Actually, even if the Supreme Court had ruled against the ACA, or if conservatives in Congress were somehow successful in repealing it, many of the changes that constitute “healthcare reform” as we know it, would not be affected. Many of the changes to how our facilities function, and how care is provided, and paid for, were already underway before the ACA and would continue without it.

Any reform efforts are essentially designed to expand access to care to greater numbers, while improving the quality and reducing the cost of care. What do these initiatives mean to those tasked with finding candidates and selecting leaders, physicians, nurses and front line staff?

  1. Competition for top talent - The demand for healthcare was already on the rise due to basic demographics and the increased prevalence of chronic disease. Now we’ve made health insurance available to millions of Americans who didn’t previously have it – either through the expansion of Medicaid, or through state or federally run insurance exchanges. There are growing shortages of providers and employees, from physicians to nurses and frontline caregivers in long-term care. This means that it’s more important than ever that you are as efficient as possible in sourcing, evaluating and selecting candidates – and that your candidate experience is as seamless and positive as possible. You may not be able to control your location or established pay scale and benefits, but you can, most certainly impact the candidate experience.

  2. You need providers and staff who are innovative and adaptable - No industry is changing as fast as healthcare. The care delivery system and how we operate is changing almost daily. Providers and staff who can’t handle change or who aren’t willing and able to find new solutions, won’t help you much. How are you evaluating these skills in leader, physician, nursing and front line candidates?

  3. Patient and quality focus - The Affordable Care Act has cemented the concept of “value-based purchasing” – reimbursement is now tied, more than ever, to outcomes, including patient satisfaction. We know that patient safety and satisfaction, are tied closely to individual behaviors. Patient safety protocols are useless if people take short-cuts. Scripting and patient amenities don’t improve the patient experience if your staff are not attentive and responsive to patient needs. At every step of the selection process, you need to evaluate the likelihood that a candidate will thrive in the patient-centered culture you are building. You can’t tell from an application a resume, a basic reference check or even a traditional interview.

  4. Show the value of your efforts - It makes sense that bringing in and keeping better people will have a positive impact – but hospitals are in a bottom-line thinking mode. What value can talent acquisition bring to the organization? You can show value through improving hiring efficiency, by reducing turnover, and by showing that your selection efforts are contributing to the overall goals of improving patient safety and satisfaction. Take a deliberate and thoughtful approach to defining and measuring selection system performance metrics.

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Bryan Warren Bryan Warren was the former Director of Healthcare Solutions at PSI. He was responsible for developing and promoting tools and services designed specifically for the unique challenges faced by healthcare organizations.