long term care candidateAccording to Wikipedia, a gut feeling, or gut reaction, is a visceral emotional reaction to something. It may be negative, such as a feeling of uneasiness, or positive, such as a feeling of trust. Gut feelings are generally regarded as not modulated by conscious thought, and as a reflection of intuition rather than rationality. A gut feeling can be a good thing (I’m a big believer in a ‘women’s intuition’ if I feel unsafe and listening to that). However, long term care organizations spend considerable resources recruiting and hiring new caregivers, and sometimes hiring managers and recruiters evaluate technical competencies and then rely on a gut feeling to determine culture fit. The high turnover rates in long term care tell me this isn’t always the best method. Long term care organizations should consider a more efficient method of finding – and retaining – those caregivers. 

Behavioral assessments provide a more scientific approach to hiring long term care candidates. Administering the assessment surveys can be flexible based on what makes sense for your organization. They can be introduced as part of the online application process, or you can email a survey to your candidates after they’ve submitted other application materials. These surveys can also be administered to in-house applicants by your human resources department, as part of your internal hiring and promotion process. For those who need it, Newton Presybetarian Manor brings external candidates into their community to take the survey, providing them with instructions and the resources they need. According to Melissa Koehn, Human Resources Director: “I’ll sit with them for just a couple of minutes and reassure them that this is not a difficult thing to do. And I see people walking out feeling like they’ve accomplished something because it is such an easy tool to use. The assessment itself actually gives people some confidence in themselves.”

By using behavioral assessments during the application process, recruiters save time and provide a positive experience for job seekers. Jared Wright, Recruiter at Silverado At Home’s Dallas branch said: “Candidate’s often say that the questions really make them think about themselves and their behaviors in more depth. Those individuals frequently turn out to be the best applicants.” 

It can often take interviewers up to an hour in each interview to determine whether a candidate has the competencies and core values necessary to succeed at an organization. By utilizing behavioral assessments, you are able to conduct more strategic in-person interviews by asking questions that will reveal a candidate’s cultural competencies. Behavioral assessment software can offer interviewing resources for the next stage in the process. When qualified candidates are interviewed in-person, recruiters and hiring managers can rely on customized follow-up questions, designed to probe any potential weaknesses revealed in the results, to make the best hires. 

What’s the secret to validating the results? Behavioral assessments focus on asking the same questions but in different ways so that recruiting and hiring managers can validate the answers. Long term care organizations need to evaluate competencies and identify top performers so they can make hiring decisions based on data instead of gut instinct. Wright said: “I find that the percentage of quality candidates I interview is much higher as a result of using a behavior assessment tool, and higher quality staff translates into better customer service.” 

Read Silverado’s story: A more Strategic Approach to Hiring for Silverado Senior Living with Behavioral Assessments to learn how they took a strategic approach to hiring.



About The Editorial Staff

The Editorial Staff is a team of writers with a passion for helping healthcare organizations manage their biggest and most important investment: their employees.