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blog post 051616

Best Practices: What is Peer Interviewing for Healthcare?

This blog post continues our series of patient experience best practices from the HealthStream Engagement Institute. Every week we share information that demonstrates our expansive understanding of the challenges faced by healthcare organizations and the solutions we have identified for improving the patient experience and patient and business outcomes.

Here’s a scenario for you. As a leader, you have been interviewing to fill an open position for several weeks and have narrowed the field to three excellent candidates. Each one has much to offer the organization; their experience levels are fairly equal and references for all three are glowing. How do you choose which one will be the best fit? Answer: ask your team!

An Introduction to Peer Interviewing

The practice of peer interviewing—including members of a work group in the hiring process—is a valuable means of ensuring that a prospective employee will flourish. When employees are empowered to give their input on the choice of a candidate, they tend to select the person whom they feel will not only sustain and enhance the organization, but will also be a true team player. After all, who is a better judge of whether an individual will work well on the team than the group itself? 

When coworkers have a voice in the selection process, they naturally take responsibility for their choice. Since they have a vested interest in the coworker’s success, the entire team will bend over backward to ensure that the new person gets the training and support needed to do the job well. After all, it is their own judgment that is being evaluated.

How Does Peer Interviewing Work?

How does the process of peer interviewing work? First, a qualified applicant meets and is interviewed by the leader, who determines that the individual merits a peer interview and schedules it. At that time, three to five members of the team meet and interview the candidate without the leader. Their goal is to assess if the applicant is a right fit for the team and for the organization’s culture. It is recommended that a minimum of two peer interviews be conducted—three are even better. Afterward, staff discusses the outcome of the peer interviews, and the leader ultimately selects the candidate based on that feedback.

Peer interviewing:

  • Involves employees in the hiring process
  • Generates staff support for new hires
  • Promotes a strong team relationship
  • Enhances employee satisfaction
  • Makes staff feel accountable for each other
  • Keeps employee turnover to a minimum
  • Promotes a sense of ownership in hiring decisions

Learn more in subsequent weeks as we look further at peer interviewing for healthcare.


About the Best Practice Series

We are pleased to share the best practices developed by our expert coaches from the HealthStream Engagement Institute. This series of how-to publications offers proven techniques, key words and phrases, and processes to help you transform your culture to one of high performance.

Our Best Practices Series, based on employee-developed and employee-managed practices and programs, includes the following:

  • Hourly Rounding
  • Reward and Recognition
  • Peer Interviewing
  • Bright Ideas
  • Purposeful Rounding
  • Words that WorkSM
  • Service Recovery
  • Standards of Performance

Our goal for this collection is to offer you even more tools to achieve extraordinary service and higher levels of performance excellence.

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