You’ve read the resume and the prospective employee looks great on paper. But during the interview process, even the most seasoned recruiter often finds that determining whether or not a candidate is a good fit can sometimes feel like a Herculean task!
Fortunately, there are specific tools and resources designed to make the process a lot less daunting. People Scout reports that healthcare recruiters are beginning to rely more and more on data-driven talent management through pre-employment testing and assessments. Here are some specific practices recruiters can utilize.
Pre-Employment Aptitude Tests
It’s difficult for a recruiter to ascertain a candidate’s problem-solving and critical-thinking skills just by looking at a resume. However, these types of exams are instrumental in measuring skills that are crucial for the success of any team.
Pre-Employment Personality Tests
Organizations have been using these tools for decades to determine if a prospective employee is the right fit within the culture of a company, and this is particularly important in any healthcare environment. Unlike an aptitude test, there are no right and wrong answers on a personality test, but the results can speak volumes as to whether or not a prospective employee has the temperament to work within the demands of a position.
Pre-Employment Skills Test
Determining if a prospective employee is literate within the field of medicine is another important factor in hiring the right candidate. Is the employee well-versed in medical terminology? Do they understand the importance of patient safety practices? Do they have knowledge that’s unique to the healthcare work environment?
Identifying Soft Skills and Hard Skills
Pre-employment testing is also instrumental in identifying candidates with strong work ethics, eliminating candidates who may be unreliable, and helping HR executives craft training programs to advance the agenda of the healthcare organization as a whole.
Hands-On Recruitment Assessment Advice from the Front Line
Pre-screening is the first step to helping recruiters find the right candidates for their organizations. Once the pre-screening process has been completed, Lesley Hastings, a lead recruiter for a drug and alcohol treatment center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, implements next steps to identify candidates for open positions within her center.
Since the demand for skilled healthcare professionals in this field often outweighs the number of applicants, one of her challenges is getting prospective candidates to keep their appointments for initial interviews; last month she reported 15 no-shows, so her first recommendation is to make the initial application process more rigorous.
Her first foray into the in-person interview process begins by asking candidates to describe in-depth what they envision a typical day within the center would look like. This helps her determine whether or not the job description for the open position accurately describes what the prospective employee would be doing and whether or not the candidates are passionate about the specific roles they would be filling.
She asks candidates early on, instead of at the end of the interview, why they left, or want to leave, their prior position, and she finds that most people are amazingly honest. Instead of simply wanting a higher compensation, the majority of candidates are looking for bigger roles and more challenges. In addition, she asks what prospective employees added to their former employer’s organization. Did they focus on team building? Were they able to create best practices within the organization? Were they able to advance the mission with their former organization, and how can those achievements help advance the goals of the treatment center?
Once the candidate interviews with Hastings, she schedules interviews with the hiring managers, and she also asks employees within the center to volunteer to meet with the candidate. These participants range from peers to direct reports and even people who could potentially report to the prospective candidate.
After she compiles the feedback from people within her organization, Hastings puts on what she calls her "investigator’s hat." She rarely checks references, because she knows that prospective employees normally submit lists of only people who will only give glowing reviews. Instead, she scours the candidate’s list of prior positions and reaches out to each organization to verify that the job descriptions and prior duties match.
In the end, Hastings feels that recruiters need to trust their gut and make what’s best for the overall organization a top priority. She says that in the early days of her recruiting career, she rarely pushed back when a hiring manager insisted that a particular candidate be hired and found that often resulted in some candidates failing to be to a good fit. She is adamant that each and every prospective employee demonstrate a commitment to schedule flexibility, a willingness to put in extra hours, and a passion for getting the job done—because each person within the center is an essential worker.
This article first appeared on Health eCareers. Reprinted with permission.