Lean, Just-in-Time Recruiting!

Healthcare Recruitment – 2014 Elite Honor Roll

October 15th, 2014

We’re pleased to announce and want to congratulate this year’s Elite Honor Roll award recipients!

Fairfield Medical Center – Lancaster, OH (Four time winner)

Beaumont Health System – Royal Oak, MI (Three time winner)

Texas Health Resources – Arlington, TX (Three time winner)

Baystate Health – Springfield, MA (First time winner)

Rush University Medical Center – Chicago, IL (First time winner)

This is the fifth year of our annual Healthcare Recruitment Metrics Benchmark Study.  Throughout the last 5 years, we have worked with 350+ hospitals collecting and analyzing recruitment metrics and best practices.

How did they win?

  • They outperformed their peers in our 25 Key Recruitment Metrics Performance Index (a combination of key metrics from five performance areas: Responsiveness, Process Efficiency, Productivity, Cost, and Quality of Hire):
    • Honor Roll recipients performed in the top half of the Benchmark Study in at least 75% of the 25 Key Metrics.
    • They used their Recruitment Team’s Scorecard to manage their business and build a culture using data & fact.
    • They demonstrated a strong commitment to continuous improvement and lifelong learning.
    • They implemented innovative solutions to improve key metrics and drive cost savings for their organizations.


Over the next few months, we will spotlight the Best Practices these organizations have implemented and how it has improved their performance!

Now, more than ever, it is critical for healthcare recruitment organizations to objectively quantify how they streamline processes to reduce costs, improve patient safety and reduce patient errors!

If you missed our live Healthcare Recruitment Metrics Benchmark Study Results webinar last week, we invite you to watch the Recorded Session to learn how these organizations achieved Elite performance status.

I hope you are having a Perfect Week


David Szary



Stop the Guess Work – Candidate Assessment Tools Are A Must!

October 8th, 2014

Using technology to take the risk out of hiring

Candidate assessment tools have consistently risen to the forefront of hot topics being discussed by healthcare recruitment thought leaders this year.

I recently facilitated our quarterly innovation session with leaders from our LHC exclusive Healthcare RECRUITx Community  in order to address the benefits of these tools, as well as discuss the results of research we have conducted related to top rated assessment tools on the market.

The argument supporting the need for assessment tools to assist in making the best hiring choice is very clear. The demand for healthcare and corresponding healthcare professionals exceeds supply in many cases, and will only get worse over the next decade. Consider these facts:


  • U.S aging population (65+) will increase 50% by 20201.
  • Increase in sick population (66.5% of US. Adults are overweight and obese1).
  • 32 million previously uninsured patients will be added by 20192.
  • The U.S. will require 10-12 million new and replacement direct care workers in 10 years2.
  • U.S. demand for nurses will exceed supply by 1 million in 20203.
  • By 2020, 1 in 9 jobs in the U.S. will be in healthcare4.


1. eCareer Holdings, Inc., DEMAND FACTOR: Rising Need for Healthcare Professionals.

2. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Alliance for Health Reform, Health Care Workforce: Future Supply vs. Demand, April 2011.

3. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, A Model for Addressing the Nursing Shortage in Oregon; Evaluating the Outcomes of the Oregon Consortium for Nursing Education’s Model to Address the Nursing Shortage in Oregon, August 12, 2013.

4. NAS Recruitment Innovations, Healthcare Workforce Outlook to 2022.

What does that mean for recruitment? The competition will be fierce for high quality clinical care providers and it will be critical to ensure that you are hiring the best of the best, versus just filling an open seat on the bus!

To research the best Assessment tools in the industry, both pre-employment and reference assessment tools, we used the following criteria:

  • Time to complete the assessment and receive results.
  • Does it build a consistent, customized behavioral interview guide for hiring managers?
  • Is the dashboard easy to sort and navigate through candidate results by both recruiters and hiring managers?
  • Does it help recruiters narrow down the candidate pool to the best performers prior to sending them to hiring managers?
  • How easily does it integrate into your ATS?
  • What does the reporting capability look like?
  • Is it validated and legally compliant?
  • Does it demonstrate a proven impact on improved retention?
  • Is it mobile ready?
  • Cost / pricing model.


I’m looking forward to our next Community Innovation session where we will be hosting demonstrations of our top picks as well as discussing best practices currently in place with our community members.

I hope you have a Perfect Week!

Deb Vargovick

PART III – 2014 Healthcare Recruitment Metrics Benchmark Results

October 1st, 2014

Impactful, Strategic Recruitment Intelligence

In last week’s blog,  I shared some impactful insights related to key customer dimensions (Cost & Process Efficiency) we have gathered through the research from our Healthcare Recruitment Metrics Benchmark Study.

This week, I want to focus on Quality.

While speed, productivity, efficiency, customer satisfaction and cost are important dimensions to any talent acquisition department, arguably the most important is quality of hire.

Our role in TA is to:

  1. Develop a pipeline of qualified, top talent.
  2. Use validated candidate assessment tools to ensure we are making a great hiring decision.
  3. Convey a compelling value proposition to get the industry’s top talent on our team!

With that said, it is obviously important for us to be able to convey how we can:

  1. Improve the quality of hire coming into the organization.
  2. Show how this impacts our strategic initiatives.

Traditional ‘Quality’ metrics like 90 day, first year, and annual TO metrics often don’t provide the intelligence to make the case that we are hiring quality people making an impact on our organization.  Heck, you could argue that when you hire mediocre people, you often have low turnover because those folks are not motivated to leave and/or no one is recruiting them awayJ.

Other indicators like percentage of high potential employees that leave the organization and employee performance appraisal scores create a more compelling argument that:

  1. You are retaining rock star employees.
  2. Those that stay perform better than those hired in the past.

But even then, you don’t show a direct link to strategic initiatives like decreasing costs and/or increasing revenue.

In the last blog, we showed how to quantify reducing costs with respect to reducing TO.

An excellent way to help demonstrate increased revenue is by calculating the risk associated with Medicare revenue being withheld based on healthcare reform.

Working with a recent organization, we calculated that they had about $140M at risk (being withheld) during FY2014 (your CFO will know this number).  Based on HCAHPS and Quality scores, if they performed at the 25% – revenue lost would be $105M. If they performed at 75% – revenue lost was $35M ($70M difference)!

What will impact these #’s greatly?  The quality of workforce being brought into the organization!

Now, if scores go from 25% to 75%, can TA take complete credit for $70M in revenue? Of course not.

But if during this time period:

  • You have reduced 90-day and 1st year TO (benchmark metrics in our study).
  • Quality of hire ratings (based on Hiring Manager Voice of Customer – HMART). (link to VOC PDF)
  • Performance Appraisal scores of new hires are better than previous hires.
  • # of High Potential employees leaving the organization has dropped.

…. I would argue you could take some credit.

Metrics are meaningless, what you do with them is priceless!sm

If you are interested in our benchmark study and/or how you can use Recruitment Intelligence during your Recruitment Transformation Journey, please Contact Us about RECRUITx  – our Healthcare Recruitment Intelligence Community!

I hope you are having a Perfect Week!

David Szary

2014 Healthcare Recruitment Metrics Benchmark Results – PART II

September 24th, 2014

Impactful, Strategic Recruitment Intelligence

In last week’s Blog,  I shared some impactful insights related to key customer dimensions (Productivity & Speed) we have gathered through the research from our Healthcare Recruitment Metrics Benchmark Study.

This week, I want to focus on Cost, and Process Efficiency.

COST – Speak the language of your executives – For years, most HR/recruitment professionals have not translated ‘how we do what we do’ and the impact we have on the organization’s strategic initiatives. A great example of this is related to the important dimension of cost.

I don’t know any organization where fiscal responsibility (or reducing costs) is not a top strategic priority. With that said, often times our only measures used to articulate our performance has been COST-based (cost per hire, cost per source, cost per lead, etc.) versus PERFORMANCE-based.

If cost reduction is a strategic priority, we need to articulate what we have saved the organization based on our performance.

Some examples:

Reduction in Turnover: If you reduce Average 90 day turnover from 20.9% (Benchmark Mean) to 14.6% (Benchmark Top 25%), articulate the savings. Using our proprietary Turnover Cost Calculator, we recently helped an organization identify the average cost of TO (Direct cost – not subjective cost CFOs don’t like) was $8700. Over one year, this organization saved over $321k by reducing 1st year TO.

Cost of Vacancy: 4 years ago, we completed an extensive Cost of Vacancy Analysis (link to white paper). We developed a way to calculate cost of vacancy for various job families using a method CFOs understood and embraced (a key when sharing this data with executives). Instead of stating – - we reduced TTF from 129 days (Benchmark Low 25% for specialty nurses) to 101 (Benchmark Top 25%), share that you saved $583K! (76 positions filled in an average of 28 days faster x $274 savings per shift).

Process Efficiency – The Most Precious Commodity we have is time: For years, we have been helping organizations use Lean principles to reduce waste and wait time. Three core process efficiency metrics in our study include:
• Applications to position filled.
• Applicants Routed to Hiring Managers per position filled.
• Offer Extended to Positions filled %.

All three of these are critical to understanding how efficient you are at:
• Filling the ‘funnel’ with qualified candidates (versus unqualified).
• Understanding your hiring managers need and candidate assessment.
• Hiring Top Talent.

The average organization in our study filled 1888 positions annually, Benchmark Low 25% performance Routed 8.5 candidates per position filled and had an 87% Offer Extended to Positions Filled %. Benchmark Top 25% Routed 5.0 candidates per positions filled and had a 94% “close” ratio.

While this is significant improvement (from Low 25% to Top 25%), what does this actually mean to an executive officer?

A simple time study can allow you to turn these key metrics into a meaningful cost savings. Based on our research, in this example, this increase in efficiency can save an organization 5163 hours of time! Time spent reviewing resumes, interviewing and extending offers to candidates that NEVER get hired!

What is the opportunity cost of those hours (2.5+ FTE)? What could your managers do with that time if given back?

Metrics are meaningless, what you do with them is priceless!sm

Next week, I will share useful recruitment intelligence related to Quality.

If you are interested in our benchmark study and/or how you can use Recruitment Intelligence during your Recruitment Transformation Journey, please Contact Us about RECRUITx - our Healthcare Recruitment Intelligence Community!

I hope you are having a Perfect Week!

David Szary

2014 Healthcare Recruitment Metrics Benchmark Results – PART I

September 17th, 2014

Impactful, Strategic Recruitment Intelligence

Last week we announced some of our interesting findings during our 5th annual Healthcare Recruitment Metrics Benchmark Results Webinar.

For those not familiar with our annual study, we analyze key customer metrics related to quality, productivity, speed, process efficiency and cost.

I am a firm believer that Metrics are Meaningless, What You Do With Them Is Pricelesssm. With that said, over the next few weeks I will outline some of the interesting findings from the study.

The Story behind the numbers:

Productivity – Point of diminishing returns: We have analyzed the performance of over 350 hospitals over the last 5 years. The top performers with respect to quality/cost/speed/efficiency/customer satisfaction:

  • Fill approx. 170-200 positions per staff FTE (leadership, recruiter, administration).
  • Have recruiters carrying approximately 40-50 requisitions per recruiter at any given time.

When staff productivity and openings per recruiter exceed 200 and 50 respectively, you usually see a decrease in performance in one, two or all five key customer dimensions.

Speed – Average Time-to-Fill (TTF) doesn’t paint the picture: 4 years ago, we were the first to really analyze TTF and identify the gaps between the perception of the managers (you fill positions too slow) and what we believe to be true (our average time to fill is good compared to benchmark)!

The disconnection? While average TTF is 48 days, when you segment the fills into two buckets:

  • 76% of the time, Average TTF is 26 days.
  • 24% of the time, Average TTF is 119 days.

When analyzing the positions filled in an average of 119 days, we found they had the greatest impact on Cost of Vacancy, Patient Safety/Satisfaction and employee morale (affecting staff turnover).

Managers expected us to fill 3 of every 4 positions fast (we call them business as usual). Their concern (and the gap between their perception and reality) was on how fast the CDV (Critical/Difficult/Visible) positions are filled.

Metrics are meaningless, what you do with them is priceless!sm

Next week, I will share useful recruitment intelligence related to Cost, Quality and Process efficiency.

If you are interested in our benchmark study and/or how you can use Recruitment Intelligence during your Recruitment Transformation Journey, please Contact Us  about RECRUITx  – our Healthcare Recruitment Intelligence Community!

 I hope you are having a Perfect Week!

David Szary

Social Media – Writing the Job Posting

September 10th, 2014

The importance of keywords in your job posting on social media

The next part in our series on Social Media in Recruitment  may be the most important, yet it’s the most basic. KEYWORDS.

As with all searches on the internet, the most important item for success is choosing the right keywords. Just as we have to ensure we have the right keywords embedded in our website copy so that they rank high in search results from a candidate, we must also focus on utilizing the best words in our job postings.

Here are some tips on how to identify the best keywords when writing your job posting:

  • Think like the candidate! What are the titles they are calling this position?
  • Use the most simple, basic version of the job title:
    • If your organization calls the position “Northwest Territory Business Development Manager” for the job posting try “Sales Manager” or “Territory Sales Manager”
    • Be direct, specific and accurate. Avoid catch phrases and acronyms:
      • Poor Choice = “Be a Star Manager!” Good Choice = “General Manager”
      • Poor Choice = “3rd Fl. RN” Good Choice = “Registered Nurse”
      • Consider posting the same job more than once but with different titles so that you can determine which one is most used by job seekers.

Although statistically, data suggests candidates do not search for new positions in social media sites like Facebook, if you are leveraging these tools (through paid advertising and/or employees) it is still very important to consider the accuracy of your keywords.

  • If you choose to use paid advertising in social media to post your jobs, accurate keywords help to assure the advertising lands on the right target audience’s pages.
  • If your employees share the job postings, accurate keywords help them to identify perspective candidates in their social networks.

As mentioned in my first blog on this topic. . . You can’t manage what you don’t measure. Following which social media channels are providing the most candidate traffic will help you to decide if you should sponsor postings or not. Measuring will also help you to learn which keywords are most commonly used among your candidates, and which keywords attract the RIGHT candidates.

For more information on writing a successful job posting, regardless if it is for Social Media or some other channel, check out our recorded webinar Optimizing Your Job Postings So They Are Viewed By Passive Candidates”

Make it a great day!

Karen Antrim


Do You Know Where Your Candidates Live, Work And Hang Out?

September 3rd, 2014

This mantra matters more in the age of social media and web technology!

Knowing where candidates live, work and hang out should sound familiar to those of you who recruited back in the snail mail days of recruiting where cold calling and searching for great candidates in their place of employment (my retail recruiting days), was the way we did business.

This philosophy is more impactful today with the World Wide Web and Social Media providing candidates with the ability to “hang out” in a much bigger world than they used to. Candidates now have access to organizations’ websites to assess cultural fit; access to Social Media for networking; and the option of hundreds of job search sites that are multiplying exponentially!

It is important to understand how candidates in different job families use technology when on a job search. Tracking source of hire becomes a critical ingredient in creating sourcing strategies and building marketing campaigns in order to understand how to target your plan to achieve the highest ROI.

Let’s focus on Registered Nurses as an example. Based on our Benchmark Study  research and interactions within our RECRUITx Community , we find that RNs are very likely to go directly to a Hospital’s website to look and apply for a job. RNs rely heavily on personal recommendations and referrals from fellow nurses at neighboring hospitals in deciding whether to apply for a job. Most important to RNs are pay and benefits, shifts and schedules, the reputation of the hospital in the industry, RN to patient ratio, and the quality of leadership they will be reporting to.

RNs are also likely to use search engines and attend a hospital open house to explore whether the hospital is a good fit. They are more unlikely to use Social Media such as the hospital’s Facebook page or LinkedIn page.

Armed with this RN job search intelligence, it becomes much easier to tailor your sourcing and marketing strategies to engage top quality RNs.

Here is example recommendation of Best Practices for an RN sourcing and marketing campaign:

  • Ensure RN openings are quick and easy to find on your Hospital’s website.
  • Highlight key attention grabbers in the job posting about benefits, shift, and any information that highlights what is most important to an RN and sets you apart from the competition.
  • Imbed YouTube testimonials from current Nurse Leaders and RNs to talk about the culture. A view of the actual department can be very compelling and paint an instant picture.
  • Refresh job postings frequently and ensure the job title has keywords that nurses use to search for jobs.
  • Host open houses on a regular basis and include a tour of a unit and a “meet and greet” of nursing leadership. Use the attendee information to build a database for building a candidate pool.
  • Get your work force involved by implementing a Proactive Employee Referral Program with a tiered reward system for critical nurse positions and nurse leadership positions.
  • Conduct Mindstorms with nurse leaders and tap into their network for top candidates.

I hope you have a Perfect Week!

Deb Vargovick

Social Media Strengths And Weaknesses

August 27th, 2014

Understanding the pros and cons to the social media tools you have access to today.

In the Blog  I wrote on August 6, I provided an outline for the areas to think about when designing your social media recruiting solution.  For this piece in the series, we will begin to discuss the actual social media channels, what impact they have and how to use them.

Step one is to understand the Social Media tools and their strengths and weakness.  To be simple and succinct, Linkedin.com is easy and fast at finding candidates by skill set and geography, Facebook.com, Twitter.com, Google+ (sort of), Instagram.com, etc. are not. So what do you do with these other tools?

1. Stop spending hours trying to harvest names out of them. For most positions, Linkedin.com is the only network where time spent looking for candidates is time well spent. It’s my 80/20 rule. Where are you going to spend 20% of your time to yield 80% of your passive candidate pool? Linkedin.com is most efficient for adhering to the 80/20 rule.

2. Start pushing your message out through them. Two ways to do this:

  • Have a professional, easy-to-use Facebook Career page, Linkedin.com company page, Twitter.com account, and Google+ page (a MUST to keep your SEO rankings high). Instagram.com is not necessary now but keep an eye on it. Depending on the audience you are recruiting, it may become a viable source quickly. It’s the fastest growing social media site for the young audience.
    • Make sure that all job postings link directly back the exact job posting in your ATS, or however you want them to apply. It is maddening for a candidate to click on a link for a job they think could be fantastic, only to be dumped on a webpage where they have to search for the job again. The passive candidate won’t keep looking. They will abandon the process.
  • Use the POWER of your employees! Employee referrals consistently rank either #1 or #2 in source of hire surveys. Most of your employees are on social media. Many of them have people in those networks that do what they do for a living.
    • Set up a process for allowing your employees to push your job postings to their social channels.
    • Make this a part of your Employee Referral Program (ERP). There are several tools that automate the process for you and your employees. LHC has evaluated most of them. Two of our favorite independents (not part of an ATS product) are RolePoint and Careerify. Many ATS products offer an employee social share module. Check with your vendor.

3. In addition to pushing your job postings through these channels, also push general “branding” communications, like testimonial videos about working there and general news release information. Work with your marketing department for this content. It already exists, so just ask them for help.

For most recruiters, spending hours trying to find a few passive candidate names in social media channels is just not realistic.  You just don’t have that kind of time available. We now have enough years of data from several sources which show that proactive candidate search in most social media channels do not yield a reasonable return on time investment. Use them as an efficient and inexpensive marketing tool and move on.

Hope you are having a great day!

Karen Antrim

How To Find Candidates That Raise The Performance Bar!

August 20th, 2014

Tools and strategies to help you find the best of the best.

Recently at the annual NAHCR (National Association of Health Care Recruiters) Image Conference, I had the pleasure of interacting with many talented recruiters and recruitment leaders who were sharing all sorts of best practices on hot recruiting topics.

During our Coffee Chat session facilitated by David Szary, a hot topic of conversation amongst the attendees was how recruitment impacts retention and the quality of hire.

With the demand increasing for skilled RNs, especially in critical care units all across the country, it’s not surprising this was a hot topic. Not only is it imperative that your organization have a proactive sourcing strategy in place to find top quality, passive candidates, it has become more critical than ever to incorporate online tools that help the recruiter and hiring manager assess each candidate.  These tools are not only for reviewing skills and experience, but also to find those candidates that will bring innovation and elite performance to their role and help raise the playing field in your organization.

Here are four keys to an efficient recruiting strategy that will help find top performing candidates for your organization:

  • Dedicated sourcing recruiters using proactive sourcing strategies that build candidate networks and create pools of top candidates for current and future openings.
  • The use of online, targeted screening questions addressing both minimum and preferred qualifications imbedded in the job posting that knock out unqualified applicants and force rank the best candidates for you.
  • The incorporation of an online, validated assessment tool that assists hiring managers and recruiters in evaluating candidates.
  • Consistent use of standardized, behavioral interview guides that allow hiring managers to dig deeper into the assessment results of their candidates.

Additionally, a practice introduced by Jannina Menendez at Florida Hospital Fish Memorial that really struck me as innovative in raising the quality of hire and ensuring long-term success was the practice of “New Hire Rounding.”

At 30 days after hire, recruiters visit with the new employee to check in on their transition into the organization.  Recruiter rounding allows the employee to provide direct feedback on their experience with regard to training, environment and culture, and any questions that they may have regarding their new role.

At 60 days after hire, recruiters spend time with the hiring manager talking about the new hire’s transition into their new role.  How are they fitting into the culture?  Are they transitioning into the department team dynamics well?  Are there any changes to qualifications and skills that should be reviewed when searching for future candidates?

Lastly, at 90 days, recruiters check back in again with the manager to assess their view of the new employee’s performance.  The recruiters also send a personal “Congratulations” card to their home address for completing their 90-day Introductory period, wishing them a long and successful career with their organization.

Talk about a “white glove, concierge treatment” for both the new hire and hiring manager!

Click Here  for more information on joining our RECRUITx community, where we have many innovative participation sessions amongst members.

Deb Vargovick

Significance Of Becoming A Recruiter Academy Certified Recruiter

August 13th, 2014

What our students are telling us!

OK – I will apologize in advance for this commercial plug.  But within the last week, I have been asked this question a few times . . . What is the significance of becoming a Recruiter Academy Certified Recruiter (RACR).

While admittedly I am a bit biased on this topic of conversation, I can share some of the non-biased feedback countless RACR Alumni have shared with me over the years.

Significant Reasons for becoming a RACR:

  • You are taught Best Practices developed from years of benchmarking and researching experts in the areas of lean/six sigma, communication, personal achievement, negotiation, time management, data management, rapport building, and assessment in addition to experts in recruitment.
  • You learn how to implement the Best Practice tools and techniques within all facets of recruiting. This isn’t just tips and tricks for sourcing, Boolean search, etc. Throughout all 11 modules, you are provided countless things you can immediately apply and use day to day.
  • Demonstrates a commitment to lifelonglearning and continuousimprovement. You don’t just ‘attend’ and get certified. You have to participate in exercises, contests, retention quizzes, deployment planning, final certification exam, etc.!
  • At the end of the Program, you can quantify what you have implemented and how it has improved your performance as a recruiter. Developing a Scorecard and Deployment Plan allows me to see how much you have developed as a recruiter.
  • You are re-energized! You rekindle the passion that gravitated you to this profession in the first place.
  • You become part of an exclusive community that has the discipline to participate in and finish the industry’s most comprehensive and rigorous Certification Program.

Probably the most flattering feedback we get from RACRs is when they tell us they equate our program to a Bachelor’s Degree in Recruiting!

For those curious about becoming a RACR,  I encourage you to check out Student Testimonials  and learn more about our program.

Our next ‘back to school’ sessions start right after Labor Day on September 9th. REGISTER NOW

David Szary