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Survey Results: Talent Strategy Gaps Revealed in Healthcare Hiring

December 17, 2015

 The American Society of Healthcare Human Resources Administrators (ASHHRA) held its annual meeting recently in Denver. We were there and took an informal survey of attendees, examining important talent strategies.

Patient Satisfaction Training Programs May Not Be Effective

Less than 50% of the 70 participants said that patient satisfaction training programs were either effective or very effective. Hospitals are spending millions of dollars to train staff to be more patient-focused. The responses to this item seem to indicate that something is missing. Much of the training is built around a “check the box” mentality – giving all employees a list of tasks that when performed consistently, should improve the patient experience. The problem is that little attention is paid to the individual behavioral make-up of employees. Some are high in compassion, attention to detail, awareness, or openness to new programs. Others are not. Training needs to take these individual differences into consideration and give employees tools to improve their own approach to more patient-centered care.

Behavioral Competencies Aren’t Used Effectively

55% of participants say that their organization is either not effective, or only somewhat effective, at using behavioral competencies as a consistent foundation for human resource functions. Many hospitals still have different sets of competencies for selection, performance management and development, creating a disjointed and ineffective approach to talent. Some have never even effectively defined an organization-wide competency model that can form the basis of all of these functions.

Missing the Basics – Effective Interviewing

An effective, structured, behavioral based interview is the bare minimum of an effective selection strategy. Yet, only 45% of participants believe that their organization is effective or very effective at using this building block. Some report that they’ve built the interviews and trained staff but they are used inconsistently or not at all. Others report that they have NO formal interviewing program in place! Research shows that unstructured interviews have almost no predictive value and inconsistency or deficiencies in the interview process, is one of the greatest areas of legal risk in the hiring process.

Less likely to use Pre-Employment Tests than More Progressive Industries

Surveys routinely show that as many as 70% of leading companies in other industries utilize pre-employment assessments as part of the selection process to evaluate behavioral competencies. Use in healthcare is a more recent development as organizations are looking to other industries for ways to improve performance. Only 35% of participants, representing hospitals, clinics and physician practice, report using assessments. Well designed assessments, used appropriately, have been shown to reduce turnover, improve employee performance and patient satisfaction, as well as contribute to positive culture change and reduce legal risk. We continue to see more healthcare organizations inquiring about these tools and anticipate that utilization will increase.

• Learn more about developing a hospital wide competency model with our recent whitepaper on the topic.

• Learn more about behavioral interviewing with our industry leading Select Interviewing Online program.

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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.