Before I started working in healthcare I’d always felt very strongly that I never wanted to work in healthcare.

Please don’t misunderstand me, I’ve always had a great amount of respect for the field and those who work in it. My mother is an R.N., my sister is an R.N., and my grandmother was a nurse during World War II. But I just wasn’t born with the nursing gene, and in my mind that meant I wouldn’t enjoy working in the medical field or be a beneficial addition to it. Of course, I know now how wrong I was. There’s so much more to healthcare than nursing (although nursing is certainly the backbone of the field) but I never really considered all the positions the medical field had to offer besides those relating to direct patient care. That is until last spring when I applied for the clinical administrative assistant position that I still gratefully hold today.

Considering I did spend four years and plenty of money to earn a bachelor’s degree in writing, I suppose it’s not all that surprising I never intended to work in healthcare. The medical field is as scientific as it gets, and as you may have guessed, science was never my strongest subject. I preferred to get lost in the stories of J.R.R. Tolkien and the Bronte sisters, and that was only when I wasn’t writing stories of my own. So, I grew up thinking my creative aspirations and overall sensitivity would make me extremely unhappy in the fast-paced, mega-tough work environment that healthcare sometimes creates. I also mistakenly believed that taking a job in healthcare would keep me from finding success as a writer.

Fortunately, I’ve come to realize over the past year that being a successful creative and being an excellent healthcare professional are not mutually exclusive goals. Rather, all the qualities that make me a successful creative are the same qualities that make me a successful healthcare professional. In fact, I truly believe creative people have the potential to become excellent healthcare professionals, and here are eight reasons why:

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Tweet My JobsEditorial Note: This is a guest blog post written by Mira Greenland, the Vice President of Sales for TweetMyJobs, a division of CareerArc Group. This post is part one of a series of three blog posts where Mira will offer her unique perspective on how to develop and execute a social recruitment strategy with industry-specific tips for healthcare talent management professionals.

In high school, I babysat for a woman who worked as Director of Telecommunications at a mid-sized software company. Telecommunications technology advanced but she didn’t keep up and eventually she was laid off. She was no longer relevant. The industry had passed her by. There’s a lesson here for people in recruiting and talent acquisition: social recruiting is changing our world. You need to keep up or you will fall behind — and risk the consequences. (That’s the bad news.)

Here’s some good news: social recruiting is creating a way recruiters and talent acquisition decision makers can extend their influence beyond HR. If you understand social recruiting and what it means, you can do more than keep from falling behind; you can use it to advance your career.

The healthcare industry was slower to move to social media marketing than some other industries, but a few years ago, marketing professionals in that particular industry began to realize that it was critical they get in the game. Social media had become mainstream and patients were judging healthcare organizations without a social media presence as behind the times.

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tumblr_neu45dp7Wj1rrknk2o1_1280Sometimes, life as a talent acquisition professional can feel a little like you’re living in a pop song. It doesn’t happen too often, but every once in a while, you end up living out a lyrical tale of “pretty lies,” and “shattered hopes” between you and a prospective candidate who you honestly thought would “show you incredible things.” I’m talking about those candidates who leave you feeling like you’re living through Taylor Swift’s hit song, Blank Space. Unfortunately, there will be days when you realize that an applicant who had you saying, “Nice to meet you, where’ve you been?” in their first interview, might make you ask yourself, “Oh my god, who are they?” a few weeks into orientation.

You know the type — the phlebotomist who tells you they were born with a butterfly needle in hand, but, three weeks after their hire date reveals they couldn’t hit the broadest of targets from a few feet away. Or the nurse who has no problem shaking off the stress of an interview, answering every question with impressive accuracy, yet turns into a “screaming, crying, perfect storm” at the mere sight of blood. Maybe these candidates found out what you wanted in a new hire so they could be that employee for a month, but, as Swift would say, their disingenuity only means “the worst is yet to come.”

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wrong or right ethical questionThe interview process is not black and white for any industry, but interviewing in healthcare is especially complex. Multiple facilities, a wide range of positions to fill, three shifts, strict HR compliance regulations, and high turnover are just some of the factors that contribute to the challenging world of hiring in healthcare.

To thrive, healthcare organizations must consistently hire top talent — doctors, nurses, and other staff members who are service-oriented and capable of helping organizations satisfy their distinct and critical mission. To do so, healthcare HR professionals need to make sure their interview process is as efficient and effective as possible.

We interviewed a number of healthcare talent acquisition professionals and have identified the five common interviewing mistakes that prevent healthcare organizations from hiring the best person for the job:

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My decision to attend a conference usually comes down to one thing: the agenda. (Unless it’s somewhere warm, where there’s sun, surf, and sand. In those cases, I care way less about agendas).

We’re getting into the exciting part of the year where we start to finalize the agenda and speakers so that you know, well in advance, everything you’ll get to experience this fall. I hate to wish away the summer (especially after the winter we had here in Boston), but I seriously can. not. WAIT for Talent Symposium 2015 — the Annual HealthcareSource User Conference, coming to Orlando, Florida, October 25-28.

We’ve recently published the day-by-day agenda and the agenda-at-a-glance. We want you to have plenty of time to get approval and plan your trip to Orlando, so we’ve given you as many details as possible.

We heard your feedback, loud and clear. And in response, we’ve made some adjustments for this year’s conference with the goal of giving you MORE. A lot more — including (but not limited to):

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GeorgeCharlotte2-e1433625258931It’s always easier to write about something that you’re actually interested in — something that you enjoy. I’ve come to the conclusion that if you try hard enough, you can uncover talent management lessons in the most unexpected places… like through the birth of the royal baby.  In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past month or so, allow me to explain. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (a.k.a Prince William and Kate Middleton) gave birth to their second child last month, a baby girl, Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana of Cambridge.

People adore and admire William and Kate, because despite their wealth and social status, they’re still relatable and they make an effort to find common ground with the general public. If you’re going to recruit and retain talented people for your hospital or healthcare organization, you need to form the same kind of connection with applicants and employees. But how do you do that? Well, the birth of Princess Charlotte offers four lessons for healthcare talent acquisition professionals who feel their hiring processes are in need of a breath of fresh “heir”:

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Providing quality healthcare to patients depends on engaged employees. Communicating to employees how much their work is valued is an important but often overlooked way to maintain high levels of workforce satisfaction. Interacting with patients is very rewarding; however, the intense nature of the work can be very stressful. In addition, as insurance reimbursement assumes greater importance on the business side, health care employees are being asked to perform tasks more efficiently and with less resources. Demographics in the workplace are also changing. Generation Y employees, also known as millennials, want immediate acknowledgment that their performance on the job meets or exceeds expectations.

Employee recognition programs can play a central role in increasing employee engagement and satisfaction. Trinity Health System in Steubenville, Ohio, is one example of an organization that has developed a highly successful employee recognition program. Trinity Health System is licensed for 500 beds and includes two hospital campuses, a Cancer Center, an Occupational Health (Workcare) Center, 28 physician offices, the Prime Time Office on Aging, and a foundation. To acknowledge the efforts of its 1,927 employees, Trinity Health System created an employee recognition program that focuses on five best practices.

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born leaderExecutives in healthcare and other industries are always interested in how to find and develop the next wave of organizational leaders; and both hiring and coaching processes are focused on pinpointing individuals with the right skills. If you think that leaders are born rather than developed, you might rely more heavily on recruitment to find these stars and not attempting to develop leaders in-house.

Nature: Charisma as a Genetic Trait

According to several studies, including one from Aston University, charisma — an important trait of strong leaders — may be genetic.  Charisma, and the value that charismatic leaders bring to the table, is a major component of powerful transformational leadership. This study linked charisma to certain genes; further, the results show that individuals with certain genetic markers may be unable to show enough charisma to display strong leadership skills.

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Happy National Healthcare Recruiter Recognition Day! In 1991, Congress declared that the first Tuesday in June is National Healthcare Recruiter Recognition Day. This is a great way to promote the profession and the contribution recruiters make to their healthcare organizations every day.

To all healthcare recruiters — we applaud you for the extraordinary service and commitment you have made to your profession. Enjoy your special day, you deserve it!

For those of you who manage recruiters and want some simple (and low-cost!) ways to show your appreciation, here are a few thoughtful and simple gestures you can do right now:

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AHA Webinar

Editorial Note: This is a guest blog post written by Boris Hartl, Content Manager for AHA SmartMarket, the new health collaboration platform from the American Hospital Association. For more information, Boris can be reached at 

Hiring better-performing employees who deliver better patient and resident care is an important goal of every healthcare organization.  I’d like to invite you to join us tomorrow, May 27 at 1:00 p.m. ET, for the American Hospital Association webinar, Understanding the Unique Challenges of Hiring in Continuing Care

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