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.”

Before you ask a new employee to write their name in the blank space of a W-4 form, you need to make sure they’re a good fit for your organization. You need someone who can provide a high level of patient and resident-focused care to positively impact satisfaction ratings, such as HCAHPS scores. Plus, identifying and hiring service-oriented candidates is likely to boost new-hire retention and reduce employee turnover.

National turnover rates suggest that many hospitals and healthcare organizations are hiring nightmares dressed like scrub-wearing, lab coat-sporting daydreams. According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), about 17 percent of RNs leave their first nursing job within a year of graduating nursing school while 31 percent leave by their second year. The turnover rate nears an astonishing 49 percent by four and a half years and skyrockets to 55 percent by the sixth year.

The RWJF report also found that 92 percent of these new nurses never actually leave nursing; instead, they take another position in a different facility. This likely means that many organizations are doing a poor job of hiring for cultural fit, at least where new nurses are concerned.

Scientifically validated behavioral assessments, ensure that you are bringing the right person into your organization (because turnover is a game no one really ever wants to play). Conducting pre-hire behavioral assessments helps healthcare HR professionals transform their current interview processes — uncovering an applicant’s strengths and weaknesses effectively and objectively by comparing their information to benchmark data. Behavioral assessment software can make “all the tables turn,” by helping you to hire for fit, reduce turnover, improve service excellence among patient and resident populations, and identify potential leaders among both prospective and existing employee pools. Simply by facilitating a more structured interview process, HR and hiring managers alike are able to determine whether a candidate is in fact a nightmare or a daydream.

Scientific behavioral assessment tools harness the power of behavioral science to identify and measure key healthcare competencies such as compassion, flexibility, and teamwork. In many cases, using this approach can help talent acquisition professionals reduce new hire turnover by 20 to 60 percent. Additionally, utilizing this approach can help you find and develop service-oriented staff who will help improve HCAHPS scores and patient satisfaction, and it can also help you measure and strengthen critical thinking, and identify potential leaders during the interview and yearly evaluation processes. In other words, the software can help you identify the “rose gardens filled with thorns”  before you hire them — and allow you to hire the employee “out of your wildest dreams” before you lose them to another organization.

Maybe Swift is right and “boys only want love if it’s torture,” but I’m sure you don’t want to bring on new hires if it’s tortuous, right? Well, with behavioral assessment software at your disposal it doesn’t have to be that way. Before you hold out a W-4 and say, “I’ve got a blank space…and I’ll write your name,” just be sure you’re not actually hiring a “nightmare dressed like a daydream.”

Good luck! And, should you decide not to take advantage of behavioral assessments when hiring in healthcare, “don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

 Are you interested in learning how leading healthcare organizations are using behavioral-based assessments to recruit and retain top healthcare talent? 

Download our white paper, Identifying Today’s High Performers and Developing Tomorrow’s Leaders: Leveraging Behavioral Assessments for Healthcare Talent Managementto learn how you can revolutionize the way you attract, assess, select, and develop your employees. 


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.