Wellspan/York Hospital, York, Pennsylvania
(Engagement dates: April 2006 – September 2007)
Health & Physical
In 2006, York Hospital was a 528-bed community teaching facility in the process of expanding its size and services. Expansion plans included adding 30 beds by opening a new building with three new floors over several years, including new Cardiovascular Services, Orthopedics/Surgery, and Women's & Children's units. The hospital’s staff also was in the process of enhancing recruitment efforts to fill new positions created as a result of the expansion – the greatest nursing needs were in medical (20 FTE needed), surgical (14 FTE) and emergency department (16 FTE). They needed assistance improving the recruitment process, having only been able to hire 34.5 FTEs in the prior year and sustaining a vacancy rate of 11%. Also, according to officials, high overtime usage was causing nurse burnout contributing to turnover.
After performing an initial assessment, an RSI team determined that York had several process problems that needed to be addressed. For starters, job postings required a 14-day waiting period before offers could be made – that’s an eternity when trying to obtain top talent for hard-to-fill positions. In addition, there was turnover in the nurse recruiter position which was causing a delay in the hiring manager’s response to recruiters. Also, systems-related issues, such as inaccurate vacancy reports, a broken internal transfer process, ineffective use of the applicant tracking system, as well as poor advertising tactics and a slow application capture process, were compounding the problem.
After further analysis, RSI decided the best course of action would be to implement the RSI OnSite Program which would establish a permanent four-person team of specially trained nurse recruiters (a project director, two nurse recruiters, and a recruitment coordinator). This team would follow the RSI Rapid Hire model designed to ensure that an applicant is contacted, interviewed and has received a decision within eight days of submitting an application. The team also set out to redesign the internal transfer process and cut the job posting waiting period in half. RSI also designed and implemented a customized marketing plan (for external and internal use) that included a targeted direct-mailing campaign for hard to fill specialties; plans to attend national nurse conferences; conducting open houses in communities in bordering states to focus on previously untapped pockets of nurses; developing partnerships with local universities offering MSN programs; strengthening the employee referral program; and converting the contract/travel/per-diem agency nurses to permanent hires.
As a result of implementing RSI’s Rapid Hire program, York officials saw significant results almost immediately – for example, they hired 109 nurses (including 17 from out of state) within the first 10 months. Ultimately, RSI helped York complete 198 hires and reduce its turnover rate to 3.03% in the first 90 days of employment. In addition, the RSI OnSite team dramatically reduced York’s overtime usage, fully staffed the newly expanded units, and aided in the hospital’s journey to achieve Magnet Certification. Also, York staff have been able to focus on objectives other than recruitment, including improving patient satisfaction and employee relations.
The RSI Difference
The RSI team brings the HR department and nursing staff together for the common goal of recruitment. And that creates a significant impact. At the conclusion of the agreement period, the entire OnSite team was hired by York Hospital to continue in their focused recruitment efforts. This was a direct result of the solid relationship that the team had forged with the HR and nursing leadership.
“Having the opportunity to be a Project Director for RSI during the first contract year with WellSpan was a very enlightening experience. The support from both RSI and WellSpan was excellent, leading to a very successful contract completion. Coupled with this, WellSpan offered positions to our entire recruitment team after the contract, mostly due to the success of the group and the acceptance of the hiring model that RSI brought to WellSpan.”
-- Doug Burns, Manager of Clinical Recruitment, York Hospital