After speaking with some of our partners and clients, I came up with the a list of our picks for the top healthcare HR trends in 2012!

2012 HR Trends

5. Employer Branding is Back

But did it ever go away? No, I don’t think so. It just evolved. Through the growth of social media and employer review sites (like Glassdoor), HR has to consider online employer branding. You may not be able to control your employer brand, but HR can monitor their organization’s online influence by using social media tools to avoid the negative repercussions of bad press. To jump ahead to number one on our list, the more you focus on the candidate experience, the better your online presence will be.

4. “You can’t Manage what you Don’t Measure!”

I quote David Szary from LEAN Human Capital on measuring what you manage all the time because it’s so true. And this year, more than ever, healthcare recruiters will rely on HR metrics to make tough decisions. Why is studying your data so important? “In a healthcare environment, we’re able to attach a real cost – a real cost savings to our recruitment and interview process efficiencies and inefficiencies – by studying our metrics,” noted Miranda Maynard, Employment Supervisor at EMH Healthcare in Elyria, Ohio.

Looking at your recruitment data also brings transparency to the process and ensures you’re fully utilizing the technology you have in place. Tweet this! “I think process improvement can be made when you’re fully utilizing an applicant tracking system by capturing the data that comes out of reporting,” said Maynard.

Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics is also looking at what they don’t need when it comes to reporting. “While reporting is important, time is taken away from the candidate experience if we have to report on this and that but no one is looking at the numbers,” said Jodi Weiss, Senior Recruiter. Fully utilize the technology solutions you have to run reports and study the data you need to make important decisions, but don’t get bogged down by compiling unnecessary information.

3. Responsible Recruiters

Starting in the fall of this year, reimbursements will be tied to HCAHPS scores. According to an article in Advance Careers, Healthcare recruiters sometimes have the misconception that patient satisfaction surveys are a clinical issue, not a recruitment issue. So in 2012, what’s healthcare HR’s role in influencing the bottom line?

According to Maynard, HR can add value to the bottom line by hiring the right people. “When you look at bringing in the right people, you’re looking at making sure they can provide quality safe care to the patients. So hiring the right person you’re convinced can give high-quality safe care is essential.” HR owns a large part of that process, and we predict that recruitment will only be more tied to the overall performance of hospitals this year, especially when it comes to increasing HCAHPS scores.

How can you ensure you’re hiring the right people? “The addition of assessment tools in the interview process has helped. There’s a whole section within the behaviroral assessment software we use that focuses on candidates’ quality mindedness and how patient-oriented they are,” said Maynard.

2. Keep your Top Performers

In 2012, with an improving economy, retention will come back into focus. How will technology play a role in hanging on to your top performers? “This month we will be releasing a mobile application for recruitment purposes, the plan is to eventually utilize it for all employees,” said Maynard. “As it is now, prospective applicants will be able to download the app, which is branded for EMH Healthcare, and take the continuing education credit and then we get access to all of the initial data put in for the CE. They’ll also be able to share this activity on social networking sites.”

Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics is developing an internship and mentor program that Weiss feels will help reduce first year turnover and retain the top new hires. Currently, they also utilize a Dynamic Placement program to give more opportunities for employees to learn and grow. With Dynamic Placement, you might go into work one day and find out you have a completely different job. “We really look at what the hospital needs and how we can adjust and move positions around with what we have. It’s two fold because it helps the hospital save money, but it also helps employees because they’re growing and not just doing the same job,” said Weiss.

1. The Candidate Experience is #1

As the market picks up and becomes more competitive this year, recruiters know they need to focus on providing the best experience for candidates to ensure they’re hiring the best people. There are many initiatives you can develop to improve the candidate experience. Here’s one idea: shorten your application.

“We’re in the process of shortening our application,” said Weiss. “We’ve worked with our representative for our applicant tracking system, Position Manager, to go through our application and really look at what the essential data we need is. A top candidate doesn’t want to sit and fill out an application for an hour so we want to get the minimal amount of information we can but get what we need. That way, we won’t lose those types of candidates.”

Want more tips on improving the candidate experience? Download our interview white paper.

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.