A PSA for Healthcare Recruiters: Friends Don't Let Friends Hire A KanyeCall it what you will: whether they’re judging a book by its cover, acting on a “gut” feeling, or seeing the world through rose-colored glasses, every healthcare recruiter has hired someone without completing their due diligence, at one point or another.

Picture yourself in this hypothetical situation: a nursing candidate comes into your office and sits down for an interview. His name is Ken Yevest and, like Barbie’s boyfriend, he seems picture perfect. He is well dressed, cordial, funny, and bright — an honors program graduate from one of top nursing programs in the country — and, best of all, he has the exact credentials and qualifications for this particular nursing role. Assuming he’ll be just as charming outside the interview room as he is in it — after all, how could he not be? — you get approval and extend Ken an offer, right then and there.

When he accepts the job, you feel like you’ve been elected victor in the ever-competitive war for healthcare talent. A guy like Ken is destined to be one of the greats; in fact, you think he could quite possibly be the best hire of your career. RNs like him are the force your hospital needs to improve patient satisfaction and HCAHPS scores; they hold the key to achieving ANCC Magnet Recognition. You’re sure that Ken is going to make a difference and, when he does, you will be known as the recruiter who brought him onboard. Knowing this, you are calm and cool on the outside — obviously, you’re a professional — but, on the inside, you are so excited that you have to keep yourself from yelling out a celebratory “YESSS!” That, of course, would be embarrassing.

Fast-forward a few months. As far as you know, things are going well until, out of the blue, you receive a call from the Director of Nursing (DON) that you really, really regret not forwarding to voicemail. Suddenly, the truth comes out: you’ve made a terrible decision in hiring Ken — and the hiring manager is not afraid to let you know it. You sit in stunned silence as she describes Ken’s need to be the center of attention, his lack of verbal filter — causing him to say the wrong thing at precisely the wrong time — his complete disregard for authority, and his lack of respect towards others. You are shocked and consumed by regret; being the one who brought Ken onboard, suddenly, doesn’t seem so praise-worthy.

Ken Yevest, the sincere, good-natured, intelligent RN candidate you interviewed is not who you thought he was. He seemed like a good guy and had the skills necessary for the job, so where did you go wrong? Then it hits you: Ken Yevest reminds you of the narcissistic, attention-stealing, disrespectful diva, rapper Kanye West. Ken Yevest, Kanye West — you should have known. Your mind spins as you recognize the similarities: both are talented, experienced, and even pleasant, on their own — but they both crave attention and possess stunning god complexes, an inability to see beyond their own wants and needs, both have egos the size of Jupiter, and you’re willing to bet that Ken would have absolutely no problem stealing the spotlight from someone as sweet as Taylor Swift.

Once you’ve realized the truth, you think back to something you read on the consequences of making a bad hire in healthcare. You remember that turnover costs can be upwards of $64,000 per nurse…and realize that this is money your organization lost because of your actions. Though it is not completely your fault, you recognize the importance of never letting it happen again. Then, you come up with a plan.

The following list of To Do’s will help you to prevent another bad hire:

1. Require Applicants To Complete Pre-Hire Behavioral Assessment

To prevent a repeat of Ken Yevest’s hire, conduct pre-hire evaluations with behavioral assessment software. Take advantage of behavioral assessments: by doing so, you’ll gain insight into a candidate’s personality, receive an improved sense of behavioral fit, and determine if a candidate has the soft skills needed to be successful in the job.

2. Integrate Behavioral Interviewing into Hiring Process

Create a custom interview guide based on the applicant’s assessment and use it to examine potential areas of concern, ensuring a consistent interview process, across all positions. If you test for possible problems before they occur, you’ll find out early on that an apparently easygoing guy or girl is a raging egomaniac with a bad habit of interrupting people during staff meetings.

3. Improve Reference Checking Process

Face it: the information shared about a candidate during a reference call is often highly superficial and does little more than validate an applicant’s time and place of employment. Leading healthcare organizations have found that an automated reference checking solution is essential for organizations who are struggling with the challenges associated with applicant reference checking process

4. Incorporate Culture and Values into Job Descriptions

Although you always talk about organizational culture by reviewing your organization’s mission, vision, and values in the interview process, you might want to take it a step further by requiring applicants to acknowledge their understanding of your culture. To convey information about culture and set expectations from the start, organizations should incorporate their mission, vision, and values into their job description by clearly and concisely defining how an individual’s day-to-day responsibilities contribute to improving the organization’s culture.

So, you’ve made a bad hire — it happens. Don’t let it get you down for too long: the important thing is that it doesn’t happen again. As a healthcare recruiter, you have to look beyond an applicant’s qualifications and into the personality and behaviors your staff will be dealing with on a regular basis. Use the methods listed above to notice problems early — Kanye West might be fun at a company karaoke party or when filming a viral video about patient safety initiatives, but he certainly will not make the best new RN.

Consider this a public service announcement from your friends at HealthcareSource:

Friends Don’t Let Friends Hire a Kanye.

 Are you interested in learning more about how your healthcare organization can recruit and retain top healthcare talent with the help of behavioral assessment solutions from HealthcareSource?  Check out our latest eBooklet — HealthcareSource Behavioral Assessments: Recruit for Higher Retention to learn how your healthcare organization could benefit. 

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About Meghan Doherty

Meghan Doherty is a content marketing professional based in the Greater Boston area. She has more than five years of experience creating and managing content for SaaS companies in the healthcare and talent management spaces.