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August 22, 2017

Dignity Health, SSM top Glassdoor's best places to interview in 2017 list. Here are their secrets.

Daily Briefing

Read Advisory Board's take on this story.

Glassdoor has named Dignity Health and SSM Health as two of the top 10 places to interview in 2017 across all industries—and shared their tips for interviewing success, Ilene MacDonald writes for Fierce Healthcare.

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For its 2017 "Best Places to Interview" list, Glassdoor assessed interview reviews submitted by candidates and employees on Glassdoor's website between July 2, 2016, and July 1, 2017. Companies were eligible for consideration if they had at least 1,000 employees as of July 1, 2017, and if they had garnered at least 50 Glassdoor-approved interview reviews.

For each of the 100 companies listed, Glassdoor provided an "interview experience" score, an "interview difficulty" score, and how long the average interview process took. The list included nine Advisory Board members:

  • Dignity Health (#1);
  • SSM Health (#6);
  • Northwell Health (#19);
  • BDO USA (#38);
  • Sunrise Senior Living (#40);
  • Baylor Scott & White Health (#74); and
  • GE Healthcare (#81);
  • Lockheed Martin (#94); and
  • Philips (#98).

Dignity, SSM share secrets for success

According to Wanda Cole-Frieman, Dignity's VP of talent acquisition, the health system's success in interviews is rooted in a focus on evaluating a candidate's behavioral competencies for kindness, compassion, and human experience.

To develop the process, the health system two years ago assembled a team of learning and organizational development professionals, talent acquisition professionals, and mission leaders. The leaders were trained to listen to how candidates spoke, so as to pick out words and phrases that indicate an applicant possesses empathy, self-awareness, and deep interest in health care—indications, Cole-Frieman said, that suggest an applicant will provide patient-centered, high-quality care.

For instance, during the interview process, a leader asks candidates to share which of Dignity's values speaks most to them, as well as how they express that value in their professional lives.

Cole-Frieman said, "If we do it right the first time and we assess candidates based on the fit of the organization, ideally we will have more engaged employees who deliver care in a way that is patient-centered." She continued, "We really want to attract folks who believe at their core, not just intellectually but in their heart, that kindness can heal."

Separately, Thomas Ahr, VP of talent at SSM Health, said his health system aims to make the interview process reflective of the organization's overall commitment to exceptional experience for patients and staff. To that end, the health system launched an interview program, called "Hire for Fit," to support effective hiring and to collaborate with internal and external consumers. The program also:

  • Uses an interview self-scheduling tool for applicants' convenience;
  • Communicates with applicants and new hires via a texting program;
  • Offers online chat abilities for candidates throughout the country to interact with recruiters; and
  • Provides tips on interviewing and resumes to candidates (MacDonald, FierceHealthcare, 8/16; Best Places to Interview methodology, accessed 8/22; Best Places to Work list, accessed 8/22).

What it takes to win top talent

Advisory Board's Micha'le Simmons told the Daily Briefing that Dignity and SSM Health are taking important steps to ensure that their hiring process is a positive experience for the candidate and health care organization alike—and that others should follow their example.

"In 2016, one in three people who left health care organizations had less than one year of tenure," Simmons noted. "Part of what contributes to this early turnover is hiring candidates who aren't a good match in the first place." To make better decisions, Simmons said hiring managers and recruiters must consider both technical skills and fit for the team and organization, such as by conducting pre-hire assessments or incorporating behavioral-based questions into interviews.

To win top talent, health care organizations also need to make qualified candidates feel valued throughout the hiring process, Simmons said, including by "making recruiters accessible, selling candidates on what the organization can offer them, and speeding up the time to offer."

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