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Changing the Patient Experience Through Improved Hiring

By Steve Sasser, Chief Executive Officer, Assess Systems

At a time when hospitals are required to do more with less, the importance of having the right individuals in the right job becomes both a quality of care and bottom-line financial concern. The daily interactions between caregivers, patients, and their families create impressions that last long after the patient is discharged. Top performing employees demonstrate higher levels of patient care/service, increased satisfaction, and better engagement, all of which can ultimately impact your patient loyalty metrics.

While selecting for a specific skill set and experience (learned capabilities) is very important in the healthcare industry, identifying candidates who also have the natural tendencies (innate capabilities) to display the right behaviors and competencies to deliver a positive patient experience can contribute to higher HCAHPS scores. Our research with healthcare organizations has found that personality characteristics such as empathy, multi-tasking, frustration tolerance and collaboration, etc., while hard to see on a resume will become readily apparent on the job.

Yet, how do recruiters and hiring managers discern which applicants are the “right fit” from the applications they are inundated with on a daily basis?  On paper everyone can look good, but who will ultimately perform well?  Aberdeen’sAssessments 2013: Finding the Perfect Match report concludes that best-in-class companies incorporate the use of assessments as part of a well-defined section process to improve both the speed and quality of their hiring decisions. Additionally, these best-in-class companies utilize assessments throughout the talent lifecycle from recruitment through on-boarding, development, promotion, and succession planning.

Behavioral assessments, when properly chosen for the purpose intended and when implemented within a well-constructed selection process that include good training, offer many positive advantages:

  • Improves and standardizes the decision making process by providing objective data for comparison  between candidates
  • Measures things that are difficult to train and hard to see in the interview such as:
    • Positive service attitude
    • Work pace
    • Frustration tolerance; resilience
    • Empathy
  • Screens out candidates who are a poor job fit and help to identify candidates with high probability of success
  • Enhances interviews with probes/suggestions based on the candidate’s specific results
  • Provides hiring managers with additional insight into candidates, thus enabling them to more successfully on-board new hires

In a research study of entry-level employees in high patient contact roles, we found a strong relationship between behavioral assessment results and supervisor ratings of performance (see graph).

We are excited about our partnership with HealthStream and the opportunity to help their customers make better hiring, placement, and promotion decisions for their workforce by using behavior-based, non-clinical assessments designed for the healthcare industry: Select for Healthcare™ and Assess for Healthcare™.

When coupled with HealthStream’s research, learning, and competency solutions, we have an important, unifying purpose – to help our customers improve healthcare.

HealthStream Brands