NorthStar Anesthesia makes the switch from Workday Recruiting to the iCIMS Talent Cloud


Irving, Texas




Applicant Tracking and Candidate Relationship Management



  • A Top 10 Provider of Anesthesia Services in the U.S.
  • One of Inc. 5000’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies in America
  • The Fifth Fastest-Growing Company by the Dallas Business Journal

NorthStar Anesthesia is one of the largest anesthesia management companies in the United States. Founded by an anesthesiologist and a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) more than 10 years ago, NorthStar has built a foundation of anesthesia expertise unparalleled in the market. NorthStar delivers a transformational anesthesia model, emphasizing a culture of mutual respect and accountability. NorthStar’s clinical leadership works in partnership with its providers to implement experience, efficiency and leadership initiatives throughout the entire perioperative process. Today, NorthStar runs successful anesthesia programs at more than 200 facilities in more than 20 states with nearly 2,400 providers.

The Challenge

As one of the top 10 providers of anesthesia services in the U.S., NorthStar Anesthesia holds firm the belief that its people are its product. Providing more than 200 hospitals and surgery centers across the Midwest and Eastern U.S. with specialized anesthesia care teams, NorthStar’s typical candidates are highly qualified, hard-to-find and require a high-touch approach. Consisting mostly of anesthesiologists and certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs), these candidates won’t go through a lengthy application process with a lot of manual data entry.

NorthStar also faced higher expectations from candidates as the cost for talent continued to increase (CRNA salaries jumped an average of 4% in the last year alone). As education requirements for these roles become more stringent and a wave of baby-boomer retirements looms around the corner, NorthStar’s supply of available talent started to seriously slow down.

Included at no additional cost with its human capital management (HCM) software, NorthStar was utilizing Workday’s applicant tracking system (ATS) for recruitment. However, the recruiting team was still manually maintaining spreadsheets due to the system’s inadequacies and lack of integration capabilities.

“Pulling data out of Workday was so difficult that we just could not get anything we needed in any useful format,” said Tony Blake, NorthStar’s former chief people officer.

Reporting, analytics, and compliance

The inability to:

  • Create the reports that were most needed (candidate workflows, year-to-date hires by site or by recruiter, recruiter activity) or repair errors with existing reports.
  • Change a manager on a job requisition, resulting in the wrong manager receiving sensitive I-9-related tasks and information.
  • Pull one comprehensive list of archived and inactive candidates, in order to know when they were moved into each stage or dispositioned out.


The inability to:

  • Configure or edit the sort order of candidate search results, a critical function for enterprise recruitment.
  • Track candidate communication on a profile and easily review notes for collaboration.
  • Enter notes on active employees seeking transfer.

Proactive sourcing and candidate experience

The inability to:

  • Recognize duplicate candidates unless the candidate had applied for a specific job, which is uncommon in proactive pipelining.
  • Tag candidates for their skills or interests.
  • Utilize email templates for event follow-up or mass recruitment marketing efforts.
  • Promote or share the referral program with active employees.

NorthStar began to feel the need for a solution that could help it scale for the future. NorthStar initially considered remaining full suite with Workday, but quickly realized doing so would continue to negatively impact its bottom line. The leadership team wanted to keep Workday for core HCM processes but needed a dedicated recruitment platform that could support its complex hiring needs while providing an exceptional candidate experience. Ultimately, the decision came down to iCIMS and Jobvite.

“In comparing iCIMS to Jobvite, we liked iCIMS’ functionality better, and felt more comfortable with the company’s stability,” said Blake.

Several of NorthStar’s current employees, who had previously partnered with iCIMS in the past, voiced their appreciation of iCIMS’ great support and service, confirming that iCIMS delivered on its commitments without overselling. Aside from learning that the Talent Cloud could seamlessly integrate with Workday for core HCM and payroll, NorthStar was impressed to discover that four of its largest competitors were also using iCIMS’ technology.




How iCIMS Helped

After moving to iCIMS, NorthStar is able toprovide its specialized candidates with a high-touch, personalized experience, while leveraging automation for scale.

“We chose the best-of-breed recruiting platform to maximize the quality and functionality of the experience and minimize the wasted motion for all users –recruiters, candidates and hiring managers,” said Blake. Since most key candidate data is derived from in-depth phone discussions, NorthStar’s recruiters depend on the ability to effectively enter data into.

After just one presentation showcasing the latest results with iCIMS, one of NorthStar’s founders made a point of thanking the recruiting team for being the highlight of the board meeting. The team now has expansive understanding of how their work impacts the organization. With iCIMS. The team now received appreciation from across the organization.

Since NorthStar’s operations team is dependent on the recruiting team’s data, having it quickly and easily accessible through the Talent Cloud has eliminated the hours previously spent trying to manually pull information and cobble it together with Workday. Not only has this resulted in time saved, but it has also provided more visibility across the business, which enables NorthStar to make better business decisions.

“The operations team now recognizes the value our team is adding. We are able to produce more timely position-filled reports and pipeline status reports, allowing us to talk to specific scenarios, such as how many candidates were contacted for a specific job, all of which we were previously unable to access in Workday,” said McMullen. The ability to use all of this data to help educate other teams throughout the business, in addition to the credibility gained through using iCIMS’ software, has been a game changer.

iCIMS serves as NorthStar’s centralized recruitment hub while integrating with Workday for core HCM processes. This integration has allowed NorthStar to improve the quality of new-hire data by giving the HR team the ability to audit and verify it. “

The quality of our new-hire data was less than stellar when recruiting solely in Workday. Candidate data that became new-hire data didn’t meet the ‘perfect’ HR standard. Now it does,” stated Blake.

Not only has NorthStar eliminated manual processes and benefited from impressive recruitment results, but the recruiting team is also enjoying themselves in the process. “With iCIMS, fills per month have increased by 50%. Honestly, we’re having a lot of fun with it,” said Tessa Guevara, regional director of CRNA services.

“We chose the best-of-breed recruiting platform to maximize the quality and functionality of the experience and minimize the wasted motion for all users –recruiters, candidates and hiring managers.”

Tessa Guevara,
regional director of CRNA services, NorthStar Anesthesia