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Why the best hospitals use automated reference checks

August 16, 2023
3 min read
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To become a top place to work, you need to hire great people. But sometimes that’s easier said than done. One way to make strides within a competitive market is to observe and replicate what top-ranked hospitals do to hire talent.

In the 2023 Becker’s Hospital Review, many healthcare organizations named top places to work are customers of SkillSurvey, an iCIMS company.

Simply put, iCIMS SkillSurvey automates the process of getting feedback from references. But the organizations that adopt our automated reference checking report outcomes that are more profound, like:

  • Less time to onboard new nurses, doctors and staff
  • More educated decisions that lead to higher quality hires
  • Improved employee engagement
  • Reduced turnover

These great outcomes help healthcare facilities become known for their exceptional patient care and attract nurses and doctors who want to be part of a prestigious work environment.

That’s not just a claim. A study showed that hospitals using iCIMS SkillSurvey have higher HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) star ratings than other hospitals, specifically in areas that measure patient satisfaction.

So, how exactly can automated reference checking help your healthcare organization hire the best talent? Here are two key features that can set you apart.


1. Use reference checks to evaluate only the most relevant skills

Hospitals using the pre-defined, scientifically validated workflow ask references to rate about 20-30 behavioral competencies and provide feedback on the candidate’s strengths or areas of improvement.

This includes competencies that align with HCAHPS measures, which means you can evaluate job seekers based on how well their skills align with the criteria patients use to evaluate your hospital.

To make sure that candidates are evaluated on the skills most relevant to their job, iCIMS SkillSurvey provides a library of more than 185 job-specific surveys for healthcare roles. For nurses, there are more than a dozen surveys—from advanced-practice RNs to visiting nurses. For non-clinical staff, our survey library maps to over 9,500 unique job titles.


2. Predict the likelihood of turnover

According to the 2020 NSI National Health Care & RN Retention Staffing Report, nurse turnover is estimated to cost the average hospital between $3.6 and $6.1 million per year. One way to keep turnover low and mitigate this impact is to make the right hiring decisions in the first place.

iCIMS SkillSurvey explored how feedback from references can predict turnover and found that there are clues in the reference-checking process that help your recruiting teams understand which candidates are more likely to be terminated for cause.

Data from more than 10,000 registered nurses across 13 different healthcare organizations showed that two factors heavily influence the likelihood of termination: lower competency ratings and fewer references who comply with the reference request.

Candidates who had less than 80% compliance with their request for a reference and competency ratings that fell within the 1st to 5th percentiles were 3.5 times more likely to be terminated for cause within just one year of hire.

With this kind of data, your recruiters can quickly flag candidates who fall within these categories and focus their efforts on talent that is statistically likely to stick around.


Use reference data to pinpoint great hires

With iCIMS SkillSurvey, your recruiting teams can confidently decide whether a candidate will be the right fit for the role or environment. Detailed feedback from ratings and surveys allows you to focus interview questions on the skills with the greatest impact on patient care, so you can hire practitioners that will earn your great reputation.

iCIMS SkillSurvey is thrilled to help so many leading healthcare organizations hire and retain the best talent. Schedule your free demo today to learn how automated reference checking can help your hospital become a top place to work.


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About the author

Anna Ruby

Anna is passionate about empowering businesses to grow profits through purpose. She enjoys using her creative and marketing backgrounds to tell compelling stories and hopes to inspire business leaders to choose solutions that deliver tangible results.

Bitten by the creative bug at a young age, Anna graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University with a BA in theatre. In addition to acting and directing, she enjoys DIY projects, gardening and obstacle course racing.

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