NEW ORLEANS — Christus St. Michael Health System has recently struggled to recruit staff in Texarkana, Texas, as other employment options increase in the surrounding area.
Three new free-standing emergency rooms in the area have appealed to talented physicians that want more flexible hours.
At the same time, large store chains have drawn in potential hospital staff that make hourly wages.
Chris Karam, CEO of the system, said in order to recruit staff the organization has touted more flexibility, and its faith-based culture as a selling point. “They are driven to our mission,” Karam told the audience of the 8th annual Modern Healthcare Workplace of the Future Conference in New Orleans.
Along with competitive wages, health systems and hospitals are marketing the mission and culture of their organizations in order to appeal to potential employees. At the same time, providers are making sure mid-level managers are part of the hiring process to ensure they are a good fit with their teams.
Individual and team interviews are conducted at Christus St. Michael before a new hire is selected, Karam said. This allows the system to truly know if they are a good fit with many people in the organization. Direct supervisors are a crucial part of the interview process as well.
At Ochsner Health System in New Orleans, behavioral questions centered around personality has helped gauge whether a physician should be hired, said Mary Gehr, vice president of system talent acquisition and human resources at Ochsner.
Another way to draw in more applicants is to use the company's website to show what it is like to work there, said Jena Abernathy, managing partner at Witt/Kieffer, an executive search firm based in Oak Brook, Ill. About 40% of potential applicants will look at an employer's website in an attempt to understand its culture.
Millennials are particularly interested in work environment, Karam said. The system offers millennial residents flexible work hours when they noticed many opt to live hours away in larger cities like Dallas or Little Rock.
Karam attends every new hire orientation and describes what it's like to work at Christus. And then for the first 90 days of their employment, managers check in with new hires to see how they're adapting and address any concerns. "This is especially big deal for millennials -- they want to be involved,” he said.
Ochsner has adopted similar tactics and also follows the organization's reputation. The communications team monitors reviews on websites like GlassDoor and Indeed, which allow former employees and current employees to give companies star ratings.
“Every bad review on there we have to counter because anyone will go there first,” Gehr said.