19 August 2013
They Don’t Have 6-8 Years of Experience? Reconsidering Candidates Who Don’t Meet Experience Requirements
Author: The ExecuSearch Group
Hiring the right, qualified employee to treat your patients, work with their families, and serve as the liaison between your facility and the community is an important process that takes a great deal of consideration. When making the hiring decision, one must take a variety of factors into consideration, including the candidate’s credentials (highest earned degree, licensure, and certifications), background, and years of experience. However, in an effort to meet the increase in demand for health services, many organizations are ramping up their onboarding process, are strictly sticking to their predefined job requirements by quickly disregarding resumes that don’t match every checkbox. Prescreening resumes by years of experience is one of the most common ways employers are finding candidates. While you may believe this practice is the most efficient way to find new hires, or at least separate the no’s to an interview from the yes’s, in reality, you may be doing yourself a disservice; candidates are more than their resume. For example, if you’re looking to hire a new nurse, isn’t it just as important for them to have all the necessary certifications as it is for them to have excellent interpersonal skills? After all, you want to make sure the nurse can deliver quality care with a high level of skill and compassion, so that every person who steps into your facility has the most positive experience they can, despite the circumstances that may have brought them there. Compassion is just one quality that is impossible to quantify from someone’s years of working in the field. In fact, a lot of things are hard to read from simply a number on a piece paper. For instance, if you are looking for a candidate with 8 years of emergency room experience, how do you really know that someone with the exact credentials you are looking for, but only has 5 years of experience, isn’t qualified and should be immediately discarded? Here are some alternate things to consider outside of experience: Size of Previous Places of Employment: Someone’s 5 years of experience at a smaller facility may be stronger than someone else’s 8 years of experience at a larger facility. Smaller facilities typically allow their employees to take on more responsibilities and gain stronger, hands-on experience. If you are in between 2 candidates – one that has more experience at a larger facility, and one that has less experience at a smaller facility – it may be worth bringing them both in for an interview and discussing their experience in further detail. Their breadth of experience may surprise you. Nursing/Physician Shortage: Depending on the organization they worked at and the number of medical professionals on hand, an applicant who has less years of experience, but the right credentials, might have more in-depth knowledge of the field. For example, at short-staffed organizations, employees are typically fast tracked and given more opportunities. As employees quickly rise the ranks, they gain a wider scope of responsibilities that may make them more valuable than someone with more years of experience who has had a much more stagnant career. Cultural Fit: Perhaps one of the most important things to take into account during the onboarding process is whether or not the candidate is a cultural fit. A candidate can look great on paper, but when meeting them in person (or even during their first few months), it may become quite clear that they just aren’t the right fit. Unfortunately, when candidates or new hires simply aren’t a fit, the employer is forced to go back to the drawing board, and start what can be a stressful, time consuming, and expensive process over again. By automatically discounting applicants who may be missing a couple of years of experience, you may be missing out on a really great candidate who could be an excellent fit. To put it into perspective, think of qualifications as just one piece of the puzzle. Factors such as credentials, experience, degree of education, licenses, etc. are important and do lay the foundation for the puzzle by serving as a starting point. However, it is those intangible qualities and experiences that can’t be necessarily read from a piece of paper that complete the puzzle and put the image into focus. Healthcare recruiters are often invaluable in the process, as their ability to sort through resumes, pre-screen candidates, and really read people can assist organizations in finding an excellent fit (professionally and culturally) as opposed to only seeking candidates that match every check box on the list. We’ve seen that there are a number of great professionals out there who have less “traditional” experience in terms of their number of years working in the industry. However, what they lack in “traditional” experience, they make up for in other ways, and often go on to be successful placements. As recruiters, it is our job to find our clients the best candidates possible, and we have realized that if we want to find the best fit, one must be open to broadening their horizons and thinking of experience as more than a specific range of numbers. Alison Kuhns – Managing Director, Healthcare
19 August 2013
Author: The ExecuSearch Group
By 2014, there will be a sudden influx of newly-insured patients seeking care, and it’s predicted that in many cases there will be a shortage of professionals to meet the demands of the exponentially rising patient base. With some 32 million Americans soon gaining access to new insurance, and a projected 45,000 physician shortage by 2020, facilities will ultimately find it difficult to keep up with physician hiring. The new solution to this impending physician shortage? Hire Nurse Practitioners. There’s going to be a great imbalance of patients to doctors, and the only way to keep facilities running smoothly and ensure continued quality will be to build a sturdy support team. And hiring NPs—essentially, RNs with graduate degrees and the ability to perform many of the same responsibilities as doctors—is a great way to set the foundation for that team. Though our firm also offers locum tenens staffing and physician placement, many healthcare facilities are overwhelmed and simply do not have the resources to hire a new fleet of physicians. If this sounds like your organization, it may be time to consider hiring Nurse Practitioners instead. “At The Execu|Search Group, we have been seeing an increase in both Nurse Practitioner candidates and Nurse Practitioner positions in the job market,” says Becky Garson, a Director in The Execu|Search Group’s Healthcare recruiting division. “There are a lot of RNs who have gone back to school to become NPs and in the future will take the place of physicians, especially in urgent care and outpatient settings. It seems that this trend will continue and that NPs will serve as a pertinent solution to the physician shortage.” The duties of a Nurse Practitioner vary, and those seeking the certification can choose from a number of specialties to pursue including primary care, pediatric care, geriatric care, oncology, and psychiatric care. In each respective field, Nurse Practitioners can conduct check-ups, diagnose patients, and decide on proper treatments. Some NPs even take their own patients, much like a physician would. However, the legal duties of an NP and their ability to overlap or replace physicians currently vary by state. For example, in New York, NPs can only prescribe controlled substances with some degree of physician involvement. In others, they can prescribe independently of physicians. Currently, according to the New England Journal of Medicine, NPs are not being used to their full potential. The journal reports that they are limited to the care they can legally provide by state, and often less, whereas their education and training prepares them for the full scope of their current duties and beyond. As a result, take a look at your state laws to evaluate if your NPs can do more than they are currently doing. If they’re not, you should consider giving them more freedom to ensure you provide the best possible quality of care for patients, take some of the weight off physicians, and prevent patient rehospitalization and the associated fees put forth by the Affordable Care Act. If you do see your state’s laws limiting Nurse Practitioners responsibilities, this news may be of interest to you: in light of the impending wave of patients, a number of states are currently looking into reforming their laws to allow more responsibilities to Nurse Practitioners. In the process, there is a lot of disagreement over whether or not NPs should be allowed to perform independently as physicians do. Whereas Nurse Practitioners believe they should be allowed to take on such responsibilities, some doctors have responded that patient safety could be compromised if there are no supervisory physicians available. This could be the case, and independent NP practice may need more careful review, but one thing is certain: Nurse Practitioners, even with their current limitations, are a great solution to physician shortages in the coming years and can provide excellent support to already overwhelmed doctors and facilities.