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When healthcare organizations adopt online reference-checking they do more than speed up the time it takes to onboard new nurses, doctors, administrators and staff. These organizations make better decisions that lead to better quality hiring, reduced turnover, improved employee engagement and superior patient care.

Digital reference checking also helps these organizations reduce risk, uphold The Joint Commission Standards for verifying candidate competencies and supports hiring a diverse workforce. Because of effective hiring processes, these healthcare facilities become known as places patients seek out for better care. Nurses and doctors and flock to these hospitals to be part of prestigious work environments known for offering excellent care.

We’re thrilled to learn that, 40% of the healthcare organizations named in Becker’s Hospital Review’s  150 Top Places to Work in Healthcare, are SkillSurvey clients. In addition, nearly 30% of the over 500 hospitals designated by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) as “Magnet Hospitals” (a prestigious designation that helps facilities attract patients, nurses and other medical staff) are SkillSurvey clients. These distinctions come on top of a 2018 study, conducted by our analytics team, showing that hospitals using the SkillSurvey Reference platform have higher HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) star ratings than other hospitals, specifically in areas that measure patient satisfaction.

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How can digital reference technology make that happen for you? Hospitals using the Pre-Hire 360® workflow in SkillSurvey Reference® ask references to rate about 20-30 behavioral competencies of the candidates, as well as provide any narrative on their strengths or areas of improvement. SkillSurvey has more than 185 job-specific surveys for healthcare roles that seek input on candidates’ specific competencies, including those that align with HCAHPS measures, a national, standardized, publicly reported measure of patients’ perspectives of hospital care (conducted by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services). SkillSurvey’s survey library includes more than a dozen job-specific nursing surveys, from advanced-practice RNs to visiting nurses. For non-clinical staff, the surveys in the SkillSurvey Reference library map to over 9,500 unique job titles.

The feedback you get from digital reference checking can also help you make better hiring decisions, enabling you to bring on the employees who will provide the best patient care and the best patient experience from the time someone walks in the door to your organization, to receiving follow-up instructions and the necessary paperwork. And, for candidates you do choose, the data can help you reduce turnover rates.

Nurses fill a huge role in healthcare organizations but are one of the fields with the highest rates of turnover.  The SkillSurvey analytics team has explored how feedback from references can predict nurse turnover within the first year of hire. In its analysis, the SkillSurvey team also found that job candidates who had less than 80% compliance with their request for a reference, and competency ratings in the 1st to 5th percentile as compared to an RN norm group of over 200,000, were 3.5 times more likely to be terminated for cause. That compares to those with reference compliance of more than 80% and competency ratings in the 35th to 99th percentile.

They also presented their research on verbatim feedback from references at the 33rd Annual Conference of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP). In data from 2,475 comments on more than 10,000 registered nurses (RNs) from 13 facilities reference checked with SkillSurvey Reference® Pre-Hire 360®, the team found there was a decreased likelihood of voluntary turnover within the first year of hire when references commented on a candidate’s “team orientation” as a strength. When the team looked at comments for “areas for improvement” that were more frequent for candidates who turned over for cause, themes included: Works Too Much, Too Passionate, Take More Responsibility, Work-Life Balance, Attention to Detail/Accuracy, and Punctual. Getting feedback like this can help focus interview questions to find out if a candidate will be a right-fit for the role or environment. You can use assessments from references on your candidates’ areas for improvement to structure interviews and explore potential performance issues. Feedback can also help hiring managers identify areas to provide training or mentoring.

That kind of information can help you get to know your job candidates better, and then you can make a better choice to hire the right candidates who’ll offer the highest care and best experience to your patients. They’ll stay employed with you longer, too.

We’re thrilled to help so many leading organizations hire and keep the best healthcare practitioners. Great organizations hire great people. And that’s what’s best for patient care.

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