Director of Human Resources Megan Dean oversees HR and talent acquisition for Greystone Health, a premier owner-operator of skilled nursing facilities and home health agencies. With more than 6,000 employees nationwide, recruiting in-demand clinical talent remains one of the team’s biggest challenges—one that was complicated further by the impacts of COVID-19. Here’s how Megan and her team moved forward quickly to overhaul the system’s recruiting processes and achieve hiring success.
Greystone Health’s day-to-day operations were impacted significantly by COVID-19. What were the impacts to your recruiting efforts?
Before COVID-19, onsite events at our facilities drove most of our hiring. We would schedule an event, promote it over social media and invite candidates through text and email. We also pre-screened those who responded to help ensure candidate quality.
Depending on the facility location and hiring need, which is typically for CNAs, LPNs, RNs and directors of nursing, we would anticipate anywhere from a handful of attendees to around 100 at any given event. Of course, we were always highly dependent on that final step—qualified candidates showing up on event day—to complete the hiring process.
Following the coronavirus outbreak, our facilities had to restrict visitors and that meant all job applicants, too. While we were able to rely on text recruiting and email to communicate with candidates, we quickly saw that those channels can’t replace the face-to-face interactions that are essential to Greystone’s hiring process and candidate experience.
How did you and your team respond to this dramatic shift?
We knew we had to do something that would mirror the onsite event experience, so I began reviewing what was available in the market for what seemed like the next best thing—virtual recruiting events.
I began by assessing what we already had in place to support virtual recruiting, which included our existing video conferencing tool, an applicant tracking system and the ability to connect with talent via text and social media. So, we certainly had a few tools on hand, but all of it felt piecemeal when I thought about everything we needed to do for a smooth transition to virtual events.
For example, one aspect that was definitely missing was the ability to automate the virtual recruiting event process, from scheduling candidates for a phone screen to capturing the right metrics on event performance. Automation was a non-negotiable requirement as I needed a system that could eliminate manually intensive and time-consuming work for my recruiting team. GR8 People’s Virtual Recruiting Event Solution offered everything we were looking for, plus an incredibly fast implementation. We were up and running literally in two days.
What does the virtual recruiting event process look like for Greystone now?
We use our GR8 People landing page, registration form and email templates to promote and manage all our virtual events, we even created event-specific notifications and screening forms for each facility.
There’s also the solution’s pre-screening questionnaire with knockout questions, which allows us to fast-track candidates who meet our qualifications because a passing questionnaire score triggers an automated and personalized email that prompts candidates to self-schedule their interview time based on availability.
The demands placed on our clinical teams are more intense than ever, and every minute of their day is precious and dedicated to serving our residents. This functionality has made a tremendous difference to our organization because it lets recruiters and clinical directors focus their time on qualified candidates.
How are you measuring success?
One of the most significant measures of success is that our new virtual recruiting event process has reduced average time to fill from more than one week to, in some instances, just one day. This is phenomenal as being able to fill openings this quickly benefits every other aspect of the organization’s operations and, ultimately, Greystone’s residents and patients.
In addition, we’re taking advantage of easy access to GR8 People reports that track candidate flow and recruiting activity metrics. What I love most is that the reporting is highly visual. For example, I get an at-a-glance overview of each event’s status through the event cards located on the dashboard and can immediately see how many clicks we’re getting on our social posts, as well as the number of registrations received and how many candidates have moved forward to self-schedule an interview.
Plus, I’m able to act right away if I see that an event might need a boost on social media to generate more candidates. And, most importantly, I have insight into exactly how and when to allocate my team resources to support these events, which has led to even greater hiring efficiency and effectiveness.
Any final thoughts or lessons learned that you have for talent acquisition teams working to make a successful transition to virtual event recruiting?
First, make sure the software you select is easy to use and to implement. My role requires that I continually review many types of HR software solutions, and all too often I come away thinking, “How would my team even get started with this?” There are solutions out there that combine powerful features with ease of use, so don’t settle for something that isn’t the right fit.
Also, make sure you have a plan for how you’ll stay connected with virtual recruiting event attendees who are high-potential candidates but not a match for current openings. In our case, when we meet talented individuals who are a match with our culture—Where People Matter—we absolutely want to stay in touch, so we move them to a talent pool for ongoing nurturing and engagement.
And, finally, make sure you find the right partner for this journey. I wanted a solution that could help us get the most of our existing resources and to work with a partner, not just a vendor, who would add tremendous value. And that’s exactly what we found with GR8 People.