Attention Healthcare HR Recruiters: Stop wondering what Hiring Managers are thinking!

When we asked Healthcare HR professionals what superpower they wish for, one of the most popular responses to our Healthcare HR Superhero Contest was, “I wish I could read the minds of our hiring managers.” Since healthcare recruiters can’t actually read the minds of their hiring managers, let’s go through some best practices for communicating and working with them more effectively.

Determine Hiring Manager’s Expectations from the Beginning

After the requisition is approved, have an intake session. It’s a critical step. “An intake session’s one of the most important things, even if it’s as simple as a short conversation prior to recruiting. Gather information up front, like what the hiring manager expectations really are,” said Miranda Maynard, Employment Supervisor at EMH Healthcare

This meeting is the foundation for a smooth relationship between recruiters and hiring managers. Maynard explained, “It’s all about clearly outlining what hiring managers can expect from the recruitment process, and what they can expect from you as a recruiter. That sets up a good basis to start any type of recruitment process.”

Reading the minds of hiring managers is tough!

Measure what you Manage (and Measure your Managers!)

In HR, we like to tout the Lean principle of “measure what you manage” all of the time, but in reality, we don’t always measure how well recruiters and hiring managers are working together and the impact of that on hiring results. One way HR can measure success is by establishing time to fill metrics. “It’s best practice to have established days to fill metrics; here at EMH, we hold our hiring managers accountable for our days to fill standards,” said Maynard.

By doing this, HR is saying to the managers, “You’re accountable for meeting this days to fill average every calendar year when filling your positions.” Establishing this kind of agreement facilitates better communication between HR and hiring managers.

How did EMH set this important time to fill benchmark? They’ve been working with LEAN Human Capital since 2010 to review and utilize accurate benchmarking metrics each year. Maynard noted, “This will be our third year participating in the LEAN Human Capital – Healthcare Recruitment Metrics Benchmark Study and looking at that data to determine what our benchmarking goals are.”

“We also have reports set up in our application tracking system, Position Manager, so that we can review specific positions and their days to fill and compare those to the national benchmarks from LEAN. Currently, we run better than the national benchmarks, so we’re benchmarking against ourselves for days to fill. We pulled all of that data right out of Position Manager,” explained Maynard. 

According to Maynard, even though they’re performing at a high-level, you can always perform better. “We just look to improve every year, so when we started benchmarking the national average for RNs on days to fill was somewhere around 60 days. We were actually running at about 42, so we decided to establish a 40-day time to fill goal. Now, we’ve set that goal across departments for all positions.”


A peak into the typical hiring manager’s mindset: “I’m irritated because I had to interview seven people, and out of these seven I’ve only found two that were great and wasted all my time and HR is just pushing people through.” 

The more HR can do to send along only those candidates who are the right fit, the more respect they’ll earn. At the same time, hiring managers must be trained on structured behavioral interviewing and consistently utilize it during the interview process. However, according to Maynard, “Once the managers see the quality of candidates improve through behavioral assessments, getting buy-in on using a structured behavioral interview guide is not difficult.”

She also believes initiating behavioral assessment software gave HR even more credibility in the eyes of the hiring managers at EMH. “Not only did using the HealthcareSource Staff Assessment (HSA) really help us create a consistent structured process for hiring managers, it gave extra validity to HR.”

Do you wish you could read the minds of candidates to see their true intentions? Download our interview process white paper to learn the 7 steps to improve the interview process so you don’t have to be a mind reader to hire the right fit. 



Improving the Processing with Technology will Improve Communication

According to an article in Healthcare Infomatics, in 2008, EMH Healthcare implemented Position Manager to streamline the HR department’s formerly disjointed processes, of which some were paper-based. Prior to that Maynard’s team had six different processes, including separate pathways for receipt of applications, employee transfer requests, and requisitions for position approvals. The HR department sought to reduce the amount of time it took to physically review applications and streamlining the requisitions for position approvals, which was a long and fragmented process that required staff to chase down paper to get multiple people’s approval, including hiring managers. 

HR should automate the sourcing, hiring and onboarding processes as much as possible to avoid wasting valuable time on follow up tasks or tracking down information that isn’t easily accessible; this will also make recruiters look like superstars in the eyes of their hiring managers. Maynard noted, “It was painful communicating with managers prior to implementing an applicant tracking system, It makes the recruitment process and communicating with hiring managers so much easier.”

Extra Tip Alert! Find out How your Hiring Managers Want to Communicate

In the intake session, establish what modes of communication hiring managers prefer. It might be different for each manager, but if you take the time to send notifications based on their preference, you’re more likely to get a prompt response. 

It won’t be easy, admits Maynard. “I think that most healthcare recruiters handle so many different hiring managers that it will be different for each one. Some prefer e-mail. Some prefer the phone. Some of them would prefer text messaging, so I think it’s establishing what the best form of communication is going to be in the beginning, and then following through on it. In the end, it will only help you fill positions faster.”

Download our white paper on 5 best practices for improving the canididate experience!




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.