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St. Joseph’s Health


Source, hire, place and retain the best employees

The Goal

St. Joseph’s Health is undergoing a transformation within talent acquisition to increase effectiveness and alignment, both strategically and operationally. The first step was to unite the hospital’s recruiters into one team and maximize efficiencies and expertise. The second step, is to streamline and automate technologies and processes to focus on more strategic efforts for the long term benefit of the Hospital and its employees and patients.

The Challenge

Historically, recruiting was split into three independent groups responsible for individual categories of hiring – physicians, nurses, and non-nurses. There was little to no interaction between the areas; there were no shared processes, no cross-pollination of ideas or information.

Very talented and experienced recruiters were spending far too much time on manual processes and tasks that took away from core job responsibilities. There were significant untapped opportunities in terms of hiring strategies that would deliver long term benefits to the organization.

An additional challenge is posed by job location, particularly for physician recruitment. When searching for qualified candidates around the country, site visits are critical so that candidates can experience all that the Syracuse area has to offer. That means getting candidates in quickly… and making sure that they are truly high potential so as not to waste the time of the Hospital staff or the prospective employee.

How We Helped

To complement the consolidation of the various recruiters into her organization, St. Joseph’s implemented our solution to automate and align key processes while freeing up time. Online reference checking was immediately impactful for the recruiters.
“Online reference checking immediately took away the phone tag traditionally involved in getting three references per physician candidate, which is a big deal. What used to take me 4 – 7 days to collect is now typically completed in less than 48 hours.”
John Cerniglia

Physician Recruiter, St. Joseph's Health

Not only are references coming in quickly, they are coming in with more detail, and much more honesty. Recruiters are able to deliver far more comprehensive reports to hiring managers that lead to easier decisions and a head start on development and training plans. Those candidates who receive great references are invited more quickly for site visits, and those who do not are weeded out prior to that phase.

“Now I can deliver a whole report with quantitative and qualitative details about what a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses are. This is very powerful in the decision making process, and also has implications for our longer term development strategy,” noted John Cerniglia, Physician Recruiter at St. Joseph’s Health.

References themselves are now considered a passive lead source for future openings at St. Joseph’s, which facilitates the team’s sourcing efforts with a warm audience. Information uncovered assists with effective placement efforts, especially for Nurses where every candidate is critical. Matching applicants to the positions that make the most sense for both sides is important for long term employee success and satisfaction.

“The team is more fulfilled and doing the work they are passionate about. We will be turning our analytics more towards the future, really thinking about predictive hiring and how that can take us to the next level. The ability to use reference feedback that is quick and honest has been and will be a game changer when it comes to hiring, placement, training, and retention.”

Erika Duncan

VP of Human Resources, St. Joseph's Health

The Results


Reduced overall time to
hire by 10 days


An average of 4.3 references
responding per candidate


On average, reference reports
are available in 2 days


440 new candidates opted into their talent network


80% of references responding
per candidate

About St. Joseph’s

St. Joseph’s is a non-profit regional health care system based in Syracuse, NY with more than 4,000 employees providing services to patients throughout Central New York and Northern Pennsylvania.

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