Technology Tools Empower Job Seekers

Creating clear expectations and connections with candidates

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Kiersten Kanaley, Executive Director of Talent Acquisition at Cleveland Clinic, has a vision to create meaningful moments for job candidates throughout the application process. That’s an impactful goal considering the view of most people seeking employment.

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In CareerPlug’s 2021 Candidate Experience Report, 67% of job seekers indicated they had at least one negative experience in the hiring process in the last year and 58% of job seekers declined a job offer due to a poor experience.

“The application process is a time of uncertainty. You are taking a risk by leaving your current employer or taking that first professional job,” says Kanaley. “Potential employers should create trust and psychological safety from the very beginning of the relationship with candidates.”

Cleveland Clinic is using technology to create a more efficient pathway to employment and humanize the candidate experience.

Making the right first impression

One of the first points of contact potential employees have with the healthcare organization is its careers website. The Talent Acquisition team is revamping the website so it’s more user friendly, starting with job postings.

Rather than post generic job descriptions, the team collects detailed information from hiring leaders about the role and how it relates to the overall mission of Cleveland Clinic, co-workers, career pathways, job flexibility, schedules and more.

“Our goal is that when you read a job posting, you can truly imagine yourself in the role and understand who you will be working with and what you will be accomplishing,” says Kanaley. One component that facilitates that goal is the inclusion of caregiver videos.

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“We are allowing our caregivers to share their unique experiences and amplifying their voices through a new technology called the Caregiver Video Studio,” says Kanaley. “The videos present a realistic job preview, at the job posting level, from someone actually in the role.”

Other caregiver created content will discuss the Cleveland Clinic culture, wellness initiatives, employee benefits, diversity and other important topics that matter most to current caregivers.

“That’s important for us because we have 70,000 caregivers, and we want a job candidate to be able to connect with a story that is most relevant to them and their experience,” says Kanaley. The healthcare organization’s goal is to have caregiver videos for 80% of online job postings in 2022.

Another way that Cleveland Clinic is humanizing its careers website, which lists thousands of job openings, is through an automated hiring assistant which filters job openings. Candidates can search for jobs not only by profession, but also by geography, facility, shifts and schedule.

Streamlining the application process

The healthcare system is also using automated tools to streamline the application process. Once job candidates have found a position they would like to pursue, they complete a short online application and immediately receive an automated text message from Cleveland Clinic with more questions about their experience and the role they seek. If the job seeker continues to advance, the next step for many is a video interview.

“This format allows the candidate to complete the interview on their own time from the convenience of their mobile device, so they control the advancement of their application rather than waiting for a recruiter to take action,” says Kanaley. At this point, the candidate also has access to videos from a recruiter or manager with more information on the job.

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For critical-to-fill jobs, candidates can self-schedule an interview with a recruiter and hiring leaders.

“Because we have collected more information about the job seeker, their skills and their interests along the way, the first conversation they have with the recruiter should be more of a candidate intake call,” says Kanaley. “It’s a truly personalized experience for the candidate.”

These technology tools also help Cleveland Clinic redirect candidates to jobs they might be more suited for, if necessary. In addition, the streamlined process has decreased the average number of days to fill a role from the time of the initial job posting from 70 in July 2021 to 57 in October 2021.

Tips for HR professionals

Kanaley offers advice to talent acquisition colleagues on creating a more efficient, effective job application process:

  • Educate your recruiters. “We are developing our elite recruiters and hiring leaders so they understand how to navigate a candidate’s market,” she says. “We have to be able to model our culture, be responsive and ask candidates more questions about their expectations of the role they are pursuing and their timeline for making a hiring decision.”
  • Get feedback from those you hire – and don’t hire. Cleveland Clinic surveys job candidates and new hires and collects data to continually improve the process. “We filled more than 22,000 jobs in 2021, so we have lots of experiences to build on,” says Kanaley. “The goal is to make it 10% better every time we recruit for a position.”
  • Eliminate bias in pre-screening. “It’s important to think about how we develop and sustain a fair and consistent application process,” says Kanaley. “How do we ensure we are looking at skills first rather than the traditional model of years of experience and education?”
  • Be agile. “We have to meet the needs of the workforce locally and nationally,” she says. “We are no longer competing against other local healthcare organizations. We are competing against retail and other industries.”

The ultimate objective is to create more pathways for candidates to find meaningful employment, which benefits the job seeker, the organization and the community we serve.

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