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Best Practices: Why is Peer Interviewing Important 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.

Value for the Organization

Peer interviewing contributes to employee retention and reduced turnover, which translate into a significant financial benefit for your organization. Giving employees a voice in the selection process means they will take ownership of that person’s success and demonstrate needed support for their new peer. Moreover, that individual feels gratitude and commitment to the team for being chosen. This synergy results not only in enhanced performance, but also in employee retention. Reduced turnover allows the organization to enjoy improved financial performance because expenses associated with recruitment, interviewing, orientation, and training are lower.

Value for Staff

Entrust the hiring of new employees to those who are currently part of your culture, and you’ll witness an amazing transformation. They become owners. They demonstrate loyalty. They “buy in” to the process because you’ve shown them how much you value their perceptions and knowledge.

Peer interviewing engages and empowers employees. Because they are a valued part of the interviewing process, they become invested in the person selected and feel responsible for that new employee’s success. This process serves to foster friendships, team cohesiveness, and high morale. Plus, it helps to make the workplace one that doesn’t just provide a paycheck, but delivers intangible rewards by being part of it.

Value for the Applicant

Peer interviewing is beneficial for candidates, as well as for employees and your organization. First, applicants have the privilege of hearing firsthand about the job they are seeking. They can learn about the position from those who are involved daily in providing service excellence. Second, applicants are able to ask specific questions and address concerns.

In return, they receive answers from employees who are in the best position to provide information. Candidates can be candid with queries about leadership, as well as the organization’s culture and all that it represents. Finally, the peer interview process gives applicants an introduction to potential team members and their diverse personalities. Thus, candidates can judge for themselves whether or not they would be comfortable with future coworkers.

Value for the Human Resources Department


Peer interviewing helps the organization’s human resources (HR) department confirm that they are recruiting people well-suited to the organization’s culture. Leaders’ feedback on the process provides valuable information to use in future recruiting efforts. In addition, by trending areas where turnover is less than acceptable, your HR team can seek to improve candidate screening processes.

Value for Our Customers


There is yet another value attached to the process—choosing employees who will be service-oriented. Customers tell you through patient satisfaction surveys what their expectations are; the organization strives not only to meet, but also to exceed these expectations through highly defined behaviors and standards of performance.

When you use peer interviewing, team members have the opportunity to evaluate a candidate’s potential for being customer-focused and fully engaged in delivering performance excellence. As a result, the team is not only choosing a peer, but also selecting the best fit for a culture devoted to customer satisfaction via high performance.

When you hire the right people, you:

  • Lower the high cost of recruitment
  • Avoid loss of time screening and interviewing
  • Reduce time and money to train new employees
  • Promote continued workforce friendships
  • Keep teams cohesive
  • Maintain high employee morale

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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