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Northwell Health’s President and CEO, Michael Dowling, got it right last month in Becker’s Hospital Review when he wrote that calling last year “a tumultuous year for the healthcare industry” was a gross understatement. In 2017, the industry was thrown many curveballs between policy changes, healthcare retailization and mergers and acquisitions. It seems that 2018 will bring more of the same with much left unknown, forcing organizations to address change as it comes.

In Dowling’s article, “4 most important healthcare trends in 2018”, he detailed the top trends in 2018 that will affect everyone in healthcare this year. Here’s what stood out:

  • A strong emphasis on adapting to change
  • The key to staying competitive will be innovation and a superior customer experience

It’s Individuals That Will Get You to the Top

At SkillSurvey, we believe talent determines the success or failure of every business. This will be especially true in the upcoming year for the healthcare industry. Hospitals, health systems, and newly emerging organizations alike will need to hire and retain people who are adaptable, innovative, and customer-focused to keep up with a complex, competitive landscape and ever-evolving industry.

But how do you find the right people to help move your business forward and positively impact your organization in these uncertain times?

  • It Starts Before the Offer

    Improving reference checking is a place to start , because past behavior is the best predictor for future behavior. Reference checking is one of the most effective ways to evaluate a candidate’s skills and behaviors that will have a potential impact on your organization. There is only so much applications and interviews can tell recruiters about a candidate and how they will perform as a member of our workforce.

    In short, you can gain a full understanding from references regarding a candidate’s ability to communicate with patients, adapt to change, and bring new ideas to the table than from the single perspective that the candidate provides.

  • Look Beyond Hard Skills

    Hard skills are important but it’s soft skills that truly make a candidate successful. HR professionals must be on the hunt for candidates that have strong soft skills, like professionalism, problem-solving and interpersonal skills. This will be the key to successfully building an adaptable workforce that is committed to providing a top-notch customer experience for every patient at every interaction with your organization.

    Evaluate a potential hire’s soft skills during the reference checking process by asking the right questions that will shed light on a candidate’s ability to adapt, communicate, lead others, etc.

    Here are a few resources to learn more about hiring for soft skills:

    • Innovate through technology partnerships

      Dowling encourages hospitals and healthcare organizations to innovate through partnerships to stay competitive this year. One way to do that is by adding new technologies to your tech stack to help you recruit top candidates faster and smarter.

      Consider SkillSurvey Reference, an automated reference checking technology solution that applies a data-driven, scientific approach to this step in the hiring process. It allows organizations to receive confidential, candid feedback on job candidates’ skills as they pertain to the specific position they are applying for. SkillSurvey has created a library of hundreds of job-specific surveys, developed by a team of I/O psychologists – including more than 150 for healthcare positions such as Nurses, Medical Assistants, and Patient Care Specialists. Its online process typically delivers feedback from 4 of 5 references in 2 days or less.

Healthcare organizations will benefit immensely in 2018 by adopting technology solutions that advance critical hiring processes, like reference checking, in a way that allows recruiters to evaluate candidates in a more in-depth manner prior to making a job offer. This will help provide greater insight into a candidate’s hard and soft skills and whether they will be dedicated to delivering the best patient care. Having these insights helps reduce turnover, boost HCAHPS scores, and succeed in ever-changing industry environment.

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