Lean, Just-in-Time Recruiting!

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

Social Media – Recruitment Best Practices

August 6th, 2014

Taking the first step in your Social Media Recruitment Strategy

One of the hottest topics in recruiting today is how to use Social Media to gain access to top talent! As the instructor for our Recruiter Academy Certified Recruiter Program  modules that embrace this subject, I am constantly asked my opinion on a variety of topics, including:

  • Can you use social media tools to actually FIND candidates?
  • What are the best social media channels for connecting with top talent?
  • How do you ensure that candidates are finding your opportunities via the various social media outlets?
  • What type of budget is required to develop and implement an effective social media strategy?

Early in my career, I was fortunate to work for a fast growing, high tech organization.  Some of the best advice I received from my mentor when I was feeling overwhelmed with a particular project and/or challenge was to take a deep breath and remember that “the only way to eat an elephant is . . . one bite at a time.”

I would recommend you approach your social media recruitment solution this same way.

Since this is a particular topic I have a lot of passion for, I have spent the last year researching best practices using social media to recruit top talent.

In this blog series, I will dive deeper into each of the topics outlined below.  We will take a pragmatic approach to tackling this topic . . . “one bite at a time” reviewing the following topics in future blogs:

  • Understand the pros and cons of the Social Media tools you have access to today.
  • Understand the importance of keywords in your job posting.
  • Video is the future, now!
  • Measure, Measure, Measure! You can’t manage what you don’t measure.
  • Don’t spend money/resource marketing Business as Usual requisitions!


I hope you are having a Perfect Day!

Karen Antrim

Recruitment Leaders Grab a Knife and Fork!

July 30th, 2014

Ensure Talent Acquisition has a seat at the Workforce Planning table.

I recently hosted a highly engaged, live QA session with key thought leaders from our LHC Healthcare Recruitment Community.  Many topics were submitted for discussion, but by far the leading topic everyone had an excited interest in discussing was “Effective Workforce Planning.”

There are so many variables that impact staffing projections today, plus adding in the complexity of healthcare reform, I’ve identified core tactics you should include in your workforce planning strategy below:

  1. Understand your future need for key positions due to healthcare reform.
    1. The ratio of Advanced Practitioners to MDs will be increasing dramatically. One of the Talent Acquisition Directors in our QA session conducted an analysis resulting in a need for 70 additional Advanced Practitioners over the next 5 years.
    2. New Federal regulatory mandates and the new set of ICD-10 codes will require the need for coding professionals trained in the new regulations. There is a high risk potential for lost revenue and Federal fines for not complying with these new regulations/codes.
  2. Identify the aging population and retirement projections for key positions that impact Cost of Vacancy and Turnover.  For a copy of our Cost of Vacancy whitepaper that will demonstrate the daily cost of vacant critical positions, please CLICK HERE.
  3. Regularly scheduled workforce planning meetings with key leaders will help identify department growth and business expansion.
  4. Assign a resource(s) trained in strategic workforce planning and provide a tool that provides the appropriate metrics for you. Vizier is an example of one such organization.
  5. Partnership with Finance is critical from a budgetary standpoint and our Cost of Vacancy Whitepaper can help you gain their buy in on the ROI.

Lastly, I can’t stress enough the critical role Talent Acquisition plays in workforce planning efforts. It is imperative that TA has a seat at the table alongside senior leadership during the planning stage. TA being involved from the beginning allows for the building of effective sourcing strategies to attract and hire all of the increased demand in positions mentioned above.


How does your Career Webpage Look?

July 23rd, 2014

Are your candidates staying put or leaving the page too fast?

Many organizations have forgotten about the importance of their Corporate Website Career page. With more and more organizations using Recruitment Marketing firms that create landing pages that actually pull candidates away from your site, the original career page has gotten a little lonely.  That’s too bad because if your organization is well branded, as much as 23% of your applicant flow might be going directly to your career website page. So it’s time to take a look at it and make sure it is meeting the following best practices:

  1. Is there obvious links to Careers from every page in the site? The easiest and most obvious place for a link to the career page would be at the top navigation bar and on the side navigation bar if your site has one. Many organizations make the mistake of putting the Career link at the very bottom of each page. A true passive candidate will not dig.
  2. Once a prospective candidate lands on your career page, is it inviting, easy to follow and does it have a value proposition?
    1. Appealing to the eye with graphics instead of all text.
    2. Bullets with short, declarative statements.
    3. Value propositions explain reasons why this is a great place to work. Consider employee testimonials.
    4. The power of video. Consider making a value proposition video. According to the Wharton School of Business, a well-produced video increases information retention by 50%. Make a great impression with employees discussing why this is a great place to work.
    5. Make the search process easy and obvious. Don’t hide the link to the ATS search in the middle of the webpage text. Make it standout on the sidebar.
    6. Put hot openings right on the career page. Don’t make candidates search for your most difficult to fill positions. The passive candidate casually looking is more likely to click if the job opening is presented to them.
    7. Make it Mobile! If your entire website isn’t mobile yet, it should be in the plans very soon. 77% of candidates perform their job search on a mobile device (phone or tablet).

Stop driving traffic away from your site. With some simple updates you can engage candidates, increase your passive candidate throughput to job postings, and possibly drive your sites Search Engine Optimization (SEO) up.

Make a great day!

Karen Antrim

Pre-Assessments are Crucial in Raising the Quality of Hire

July 16th, 2014

How to make your Hiring Managers Raving Fans by creating an efficient process for producing quality hires

We have analyzed thousands of data points through our HMARTsm  (Hiring Manager Assessment of the Recruitment Team). Based on this research, two of the most intriguing dimensions for hiring managers have been:

  • Efficiency (of process)
  • Quality of hire

They only want to spend time reviewing and speaking with candidates who are the most qualified for the job.  After all, they are busy leaders running busy departments and expect the recruiting process to take as little of their time as possible.

With that said, once you’ve sourced a top notch applicant pool, you need to ensure that you are only forwarding the most qualified candidates for consideration who fit the culture of your organization for long term success.

I’ve worked with several clients over the last two years to help them define a process to narrow down their applicant pool to the most qualified candidates. Through this work, I have found there are four key elements for hiring this Top Talent for your organization:

  • Imbed screening questions in the application process for each job opening:
    • A combination of knock out questions that eliminate an applicant who does not meet minimum qualifications, coupled with questions that rank candidates according to preferred qualifications is ideal.
  • Use a pre-assessment tool that assesses applicants for cultural and behavioral fit.
  • Educate hiring managers on the consistent use of standardized behavioral interview guides tailored by job family.
  • Participate in interviews with your hiring managers as much as possible:
    • Focus on critical jobs that have a high impact on cost of vacancy, revenue and turnover.

I hope you have a Perfect Day!

Deb Vargovick