A few weeks ago, I presented at the American Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration (ASHHRA) Conference.  I was a co-presenter with Heritage Community’’ of Kalamazoo’s VP of HR Myra Johnson about how long-term care organizations can go about improving the candidate experience. Here’s a recap of our presentation and four tips that long-term care professionals can use to improve the candidate experience.

1. Understand that candidates are your customers

How are employees expected to treat residents in your community? I think that it’s pretty safe to say that at most long-term care organizations, employees are expected to go above and beyond to meet the residents’ needs and to treat them with respect and compassion.

At Heritage Community of Kalamazoo, their Commitment to their Customers states: “We, at all times, strive to treat others as they would like to be treated.” When recruiting in long-term care, hiring managers and recruiters must share the mutual understanding that candidates should be treated as a customer.

2. Streamline and personalize the recruiting process

In order to provide a positive candidate experience, long-term care communities should strive to strike the delicate balance between automation and a personal touch. With the help of an applicant tracking system, long-term care organizations can streamline and personalize their recruiting and onboarding processes.

Through automating parts of the recruiting and onboarding processes, recruiters will have more flexibility to manage multiple candidates and numerous open positions. Long-term care organizations can also utilize an applicant tracking system to personalize the process for each candidate. Recruiters are able to send personalized emails to candidates and store notes of past conversations on the candidate’s contract record.

3. Involve top performers and residents in the evaluation process

By involving third parties such as top performers and residents in the interview process, long-term care organizations are able to introduce applicants to people who they would work with on a day-to-day basis. Peers are often better qualified than hiring managers or recruiters to answer candidate questions about job details.

Peer interviews can make candidates feel as if they have already made a connection with the staff and residents, thus enhancing the candidate experience by evaluating candidates who are already emotionally invested in the role. With the help of behavioral assessment software, long-term care organizations are able to generate position tailored interview guides based on the candidate’s behavioral assessment survey results to use in peer interviews.

4. Promote hiring manager accountability

One of the most important things that long-term care professionals can do is define who is measuring what when it comes to assessing your candidates. If the hiring manager is more capable than the recruiter to discuss clinical and technical competencies, that is what they should focus their interview and evaluation on. By defining who is responsible for what in the hiring process and agreeing to those terms, hiring managers will be held more accountable to do their part.

Applicant tracking systems allow long-term care organizations to set clear expectations with hiring managers through analysis of past hiring metrics to reduce the required time-to-fill.  They also help facilitate regular conversation between recruiters and hiring managers through reminders and automated emails. In order to hire the very best candidates to care for your residents, long-term care organizations must strive to provide a positive candidate experience.

Through the use of talent management technology, such as applicant tracking systems and behavioral assessment software, long-term care organizations will be able to spend less time on administrative tasks and more time on personal interactions with candidates. By treating candidates as customers, personalizing the recruiting process, carrying out high quality peer interviews, and promoting hiring manager accountability long-term care organizations will be able to improve the candidate experience and attract top talent.

Learn how you can harness talent management technology to promote person-centered care through your employees.Download our white paper: How Talent Management Influences Person-Centered Care to learn more. 

This article was first published at Long Term Care Talent Management