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Why Healthcare Recruitment is Asking for the Big 5

By Elizabeth T. on Apr 17, 2020 11:04:36 AM

 

According to Healthline, only last week did US–based Atrium Health, “which operates 40 hospitals and 900 care locations in the Carolinas and Georgia—not currently COVID-19 hot spots—reported a 500% increase in telehealth usage”. 

Talent recruiting for healthcare organization has never been more important than ever before. Increasingly, top talent want to work for healthcare companies who can offer suitable healthcare jobs for the talent, which also affects employer branding in recruitment . As healthcare systems feel the pressure, hospitals and other industries can begin to activate a strategic move in mobilizing a digital-first, people management process through AI. The scale-up of manufacturing of masks, the distribution of treatments, and the duration of critical care means a greater demand for people---and the tools to find the qualified candidates. 

Finding the best caretakers is the ultimate challenge.

Yet there’s been an underwhelming amount of tools to find professionals that largely need to be people-centric.

At the University of Pennsylvania, they host an innovative approach to hiring community health workers, the IMPaCT program. What makes this program telling for healthcare recruitment is its turnover rate of 1.7% compared with an industry standard of 50-77% per year.

Community health workers are frontline public health workers who possess a clear understanding of the community they serve. With such intimate knowledge of a place, community health workers act as a liaison and/or intermediary between health services and residents. The IMPaCT approach has focused on finding workers with a particular bedside manner and a particular personality. 

College degrees and even previous clinical training did not matter in terms of providing best patient outcomes. They found attributes like community membership and altruism were the most important in recruiting candidates with longevity and effectiveness.

healthcare recruitment

 

The program’s community health workers reduced their community's hospital days by 65%. It came down to the person themselves when improved patient outcomes. 

Nearly every type of organization, big or small, understands that a person’s wiring impacts on the values and insights they bring to the table. Thousands of companies leverage the Big 5 Personality Model to help them understand their students, colleagues, and employees better. "A lot of companies use this (test) for hiring decisions or for allocation of different candidates to different types of tasks," Karen Macours of the Paris School of Economics tells National Press Review (NPR). Big 5 Personality Model offers solutions for recruiting best candidates in healthcare job. Organizations like the World Bank use the study to ascertain what jobs in healthcare demands and what kinds of skills the local population has, using it to deduce education and skill level. 

As for the scientific community, it regards the Big Five as the only scientific consensus in personality psychology

Since the late 20th Century, these factors have been used to measure, and develop a better understanding of individual differences in personality. 

What are the 5 dimensions of personality the Big 5 describes and how do they relate to healthcare recruitment?

woman in white coat smiling

Openness to experience

Think of those people who have a willingness to try new activities or who are open to unconventional, new ideas. This dimension expressed in the willingness to try out the unknown. Traveling to new places and visiting new cultures are a few indicators of a person more “open”. Candidates who have low levels are generally skeptical about the unknown and questioning the status quo. 

Openness dimension and healthcare recruitment:

This dimension raises importance in the area of appraisal for healthcare workers. The relations between nurses, doctors, and other medical professionals tend to be healthier when there is open appraisal and positive affirmation. Research found this did not mean necessarily praising coworkers for their performance, but simply affirming their human needs. 

Conscientiousness

This personality trait found in the Five Factor Personality Model examines impulse control. Individuals who are more conscientious on this particular facet of the personality scale are able to control impulse. They’re the co-workers who use a desk calendar in addition to their online calendar and journal calendar. Those who score high in this dimension tend to be organized and punctual.

Conscientiousness in healthcare recruitment:

Recent initiatives by major funding agencies have emphasized translational and personalized approaches to health research and health management. Most recruiters with conscientiousness assessment will assist health care professionals to know their patients better and potentially serve as a guide for more personalized care.

Extraversion-Introversion

This dimension refers to how people get their energy. Extroverts to get energy from activities and people. Introverts prefer the world of ideas and internal thoughts. Extrovert talent possess the special ability to advance projects quickly. Introvert’s special skills include picking up the moving dynamics of a particular situation. Knowing this dimension, hiring and recruitment could gain a greater diversity of candidates.

Extraversion-Introversion in healthcare recruitment:

People skills are highly valued in the healthcare job market. Both extroverts and introverts bring specific skills to their position. Introverts tend to be good listeners, which would be a good match when working with disorientated or distressed patients and team members. Extroverts lead hard-to-motivate teams, which is not uncommon in a healthcare system setting, or in any other organization. 

Agreeableness

Agreeable individuals take a rather maternal and a more cooperative approach to situations. They care deeply about people, more so than themselves. They are far more likely to consider and incorporate the feelings of others in decisions. Those who score low in agreeableness are viewed as “competitive”.

Agreeableness in healthcare recruitment:

Clinical competencies like trust, empathy, and cooperation are emphasized in healthcare. Agreeableness is the summary of these particular traits. Agreeableness may be more important in certain medical settings than others. For IMPaCT, it was an important trait to increase health outcomes. For evidence-based support and clinical research, it may be less important. Recruiting teams can gauge specific personality dimensions of talent to certain healthcare jobs.

Neuroticism

Neuroticism refers to the emotional stability a person has. If they tend to be emotionally stable ---meaning their moods tend to stay pretty constant--- they would be termed as “low neuroticism”. If their moods and feelings fluctuate over a period of time, they are labeled with “high neuroticism”. 

Neuroticism in healthcare recruitment: 

On the patient side, this dimension is associated with changes in physician visits. In recruiting for healthcare professionals, burnout syndrome affects many workers. Neuroticism is highly-correlated with burnout. By understanding which employees are a greater risk for burnout, talent management teams are able to organize and improve the quality of life for healthcare professionals.

Top talent is not the one who scores highest in all dimensions. For healthcare recruiters, a few dimensions may be particularly important when they offer job for talent . Sackett and Walmsley found one of the Big 5 dimensions as the most sought-after: conscientiousness. When an employee, nurse, or any other health worker is conscientious, they tend to be dependendable, organized, and persevering at work. The second most valued attribute was agreeableness, the ability to be cooperative, flexible, and work well with others. The psychologists summarized their study, “Our findings offer robust evidence that attributes related to Conscientiousness and Agreeableness are highly important for workforce readiness across a variety of occupations that require a variety of training and experience qualifications”. In hiring and recruiting, these two dimensions are especially important in setting up a healthcare ecosystem that has effective relationships with both teams and patients.

Overall, recruiters should make sure the dimensions you need and what jobs you can offer to make the candidates feel their effort are valued.

 

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Elizabeth T.

Written by Elizabeth T.

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