October 11, 2022
There was a time, not that long ago, before the Great Resignation, quiet quitting and working virtually that employers might have had the upper hand in a tight job market. A global pandemic turned the world on its head, and recruiters see it as clearly as anyone.
Potential employees have more options now, and they’re choosier than they once were or could be.
It’s a serious consideration but nothing The University of Kansas Health System’s talent acquisition team isn’t prepared to face.
We're all in this together, and we are all recruiters for the health system. We have so many opportunities, and I think we really have something for everyone. - Cecily WilkinsonDirector, Human Resources Support Operations and Employee Relations
Working together to fill positions
“Our message really, especially this year, has been about our shared partnership with leaders,” said Cecily Wilkinson, director for human resources support operations and employee relations. She took on the added role of interim director of talent acquisition this year.
Emerging from COVID-19, Wilkinson and all of the human resources team knew recruiting would take precedence to fill open positions.
“We're all in this together, and we are all recruiters for the health system. We have so many opportunities, and I think we really have something for everyone.”
A new approach to recruitment
My blog originates here, on KansasHealthSystem.com. A dedicated team of communicators supports the site, as well as an intranet site for our employees. Throw in social media channels and we tell hundreds of stories a year about our patient care and workplace. So when the health system moved forward to support talent acquisition’s need to provide an engaging and user-friendly online experience for job seekers, now live, it signaled a growing emphasis in maintaining what we believe is the best healthcare staff anywhere nearby.
“Candidates have a lot of options right now,” said Natasha Douglas, a St. Louis native who spent years in healthcare recruitment before being recruited herself to The University of Kansas Health System. She says leaning into the challenge is working out better than bemoaning how rocky the workforce can feel.
“We want to be able to capitalize on that and present why working here is one of the best things that they could decide to do. And what that is and getting our story out about what makes this organization so, so special and so unique.”
The challenge of hiring the right people
Here’s the balancing act: Yes, we have a generous supply of open positions to fill for a hungry economy in the greater Kansas City community and throughout Kansas. We’re also picky.
Leadership has put a premium on having the best employees, who, in turn, name us a best employer. And that means being selective even in a loose job market. One way is to find that talented, “passive” seeker, someone who has a job but would be open to a move. The talent acquisition still uses the recruitment standards: job fairs, text and email recruitment campaigns and healthy benefits and wellness packages. They’ve challenged the rest of us to keep our eyes peeled for those in our circles of influence who might one day want to put on the health system badge.
Wilkinson’s and Douglas’ raving about the health system was unprompted. They don’t need any convincing, and that’s a real asset when our recruiters tell their own stories.
“You think it’s going to be amazing, but you have no idea what a difference you make,” Wilkinson said. “Even the things we do on a daily basis to care for our patients and how we go above and beyond is just amazing to me because as recruiters, that’s story we can tell.”