The Froedtert & MCW health network has 10 hospital locations, more than 2,100 physicians and 45+ health centers.
1. What changes have you made to your candidate experience recently? What
improvements are you most proud of? How do you know that your changes are making a difference?
COVID changed many of the dynamics in recruitment in healthcare. We saw a record number of individuals leaving healthcare due to burnout, so the competition became very fierce within healthcare. With that being said, we saw a need for change to be able to expedite the process for candidates. Our team was able to go back to hosting in-person recruitment events offering interviews and on-the-spot offers.
Additionally, we had to find ways to move our current candidates along more quickly in the process to be able to provide offers before our competitors could. Our team created processes that allowed us to schedule interviews around candidate’s availability, on-the-spot offers at interviews and immediate availability of hiring leaders to conduct interviews based upon candidate preference.
2. Why did you decide to make changes to how candidates were being treated? What data or evidence prompted you to make a change?
In 2021, we participated in the CandE Awards but unfortunately did not come out as a winner. We took the feedback to focus on ways that we could provide a better candidate experience, specifically with how the workforce had changed due to COVID. We knew our focus was on how we could do it better and faster than our competitors to provide top-notch experiences to candidates. We focused most specifically on the data we were receiving about the workforce to make our changes to the process.
In addition, we also do monthly candidate and new-hire surveys about their experience in the recruitment process. We have begun to dive into that data to create an action log. We first focused on the pain points of the candidate as they are going through the recruitment process.
We have been working on ways we can make different parts of our process better, most recently focusing on our pre-boarding process. We moved to electronic paperwork, and we moved to an electronic I-9 form for candidates to fill out. Education verification was typically a delay that impacted candidate’s ability to start on time, so we began providing an education attestation form up front for candidates to fill out that assisted our team in helping to validate someone’s education sooner. The new-hire start experience was viewed negatively at times. When we would clear a candidate at the last minute, not all pieces were ready for their first day, including IT access, which caused both frustrations for our candidates and our hiring leaders. As a result, we came up with a strict cut-off for clearance so that all access would be set up by day one, making for a smooth start to joining the organization.
3. How did you build support and commitment within your team and the broader organization? How did you demonstrate the importance of candidate experience?
We used a top-down approach in many cases. Specifically for our expedited process, we
had the support of the CNO within the organization. Our recruitment leaders created the
process and shared with the CNO. The process and expectations were shared with the
hiring leaders, and then, once we worked through their questions, we rolled this out with
our recruitment team to execute.
4. How do you measure candidate experience? How do you report on your recruiting process? How do you use that data to demonstrate financial impact as well as manage recruiter and hiring manager behaviors?
We have used survey data from new-hire and candidate surveys. As mentioned above, we send out monthly surveys. The candidate surveys are sent to those individuals that completed an application in the previous month, and the new-hire surveys go out to individuals who accepted a position within the organization from the previous month. We survey candidates on our application process, communication throughout the process and whether they received adequate information throughout the process. Candidates are also able to provide more specific feedback within the surveys, as well. Specific feedback enables us to understand some of the specific pain points, but the responses help us see overall trends.
We track withdrawals and declinations to enable us to see what factors contribute to candidates exiting the process. This allows us to identify and evaluate steps in the process that are obstacles to a great candidate experience.
Candidate experience was identified as one of the four major pillars of strategic focus for our talent acquisition team this year. Therefore, it has received greater visibility and focus with both leaders and recruiters alike. There is common understanding that we not only have to provide an expedient and efficient process, but also one that is candidate-focused.
We feel that our CandE journey has been critical in emphasizing the impact of candidate experience on Net Promoter Scores, as well as the intent for individuals to continue to utilize our organization from a business perspective. We understand and embrace the notion that a candidate who may not be successful is still a potential future patient within our health system. This ties very closely to patient experience and quality-of-care goals in the long run.