Healthcare Connect: Designing and Marketing Your Talent Development Strategy

“We were able to create a program that changed mindset to create opportunities from the outside in and from the inside up, and that has made a difference.” – Susan Thomas

Measuring business impact is one of the most essential elements for workforce development and human resources professionals across the country. Demonstrating value is essential in today’s business environment. At Healthcare Connect, leaders discussed how they create and market a  data-informed, compelling talent development strategy to obtain buy-in from key stakeholders, including leadership, employees,  clinical managers and the community.

Track Sessions

Session 1- Know Your Workforce Needs by Assessing Supply and Demand

Session 2- Making the Case for Talent Investment

Know Your Workforce Needs by Assessing Supply and Demand

Staggering demand for healthcare workers, combined with low unemployment rates, means that forecasting is as important as ever. Data tools helped the presenting organizations to address recruitment and retention strategies. By using data to drive investments and decision-making, these presenters are seeing their organizations implement practices that acknowledge the changing demographics of the workforce and ensure that benefits and programs are meeting the needs of their personnel.

Organizations and Presenters
  • Joanne Pokaski, Senior Director of Workforce Development and Community Relations, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Chair, CareerSTAT Executive Committee
  • Gerard Camacho, Director of Workforce Development, Parkland Hospital
  • Laura Beeth, Vice President Talent Acquisition, Human Resources, Fairview Health Services
  • Jackie Beard, Norton Health, System Director, Talent Acquisition and Workforce Development
Discussion Highlights
  • Norton Health is looking at increasing the number of millennial employees by ensuring that parental care programs, loan forgiveness and other benefits mirror the priorities of the population.
  • At Fairview Health Services they are using data to show how retention can be used to improve education programs, pathways, trainings and
  • For Norton Health, their homegrown workforce forecasting tool allows them to compete and attract the best workforce.
  • Parkland Hospital used data from focus groups of frontline workers to better understand their needs surrounding education and training, career planning and advancement, financial stability, and recognition programs.

Using data helps these vastly different healthcare organizations meet the needs of their managers, patients and executives.


Making the Case for Talent Investment

Throughout the session, participants discussed how they were able to take an issue such as job vacancy and put numbers to help make the case for addressing this issue. Beyond the clinical aspects, vacancy has costs and resources associated to the organization brand impacts, HR costs, recruitment costs and others.

Organizations and Presenters
  • Lisa Soricone, Director of Research Jobs for the Future
  • Tony Bohn, Principal, Bohn Consulting Services LLC
  • Heather Sprague, CHRO, St. Alphonsus
  • Lourdes Valdes, System Director of Workforce Development, RWJBarnabus
Discussion Highlights
  • Lisa Soricone, Director of Research at Jobs for the Future kicked off the session by talking about meaningful and feasible business impact metrics. Ms. Soricone talked about common measures of business impact:
    • Workforce Availability
    • Employee Competency and Advancement
    • Employee Engagement
    • Patient Experience
    • Community Impact
    • Quality and Safety
  • For Lourdes Valdes, the case for talent investment started with an employee survey. After the survey, follow-up focus groups were conducted to understand the findings and how to provide opportunities for economic mobility. By focusing on understanding needs, RWJBarnabus was able to develop programs to address these needs.
  • Heather Sprague discussed how their investments in talent have focused on promotion, completion, retention, diversity, inclusion, community impact and patient satisfaction. St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center is across from a community of refugees that faced several barriers to healthcare employment. By focusing on pre-apprenticeships, that can address languages and creating a pathway; the organization can attract community members into entry-level healthcare jobs such as environmental services and customer service jobs.
  • Tony Bohn spoke about bringing together a consortium of providers to address community workforce needs holistically and locally rather than at the organizational level. By working across organizations rather than at a facility level, consortiums can look more objectively at the need for positions and the market’s capacity.

Making the case for talent investment isn’t about one thing. It’s looking at your organizational needs, mission, goals working across the organization to understand how talent gaps are affecting patient care and patient satisfaction and building on key areas determine and understand business aspects.

Panelists throughout the day addressed the business case—it’s clear that employers are seeing the benefit of investing in current and new workers through apprenticeships. But the most rewarding win is the stories of apprentices themselves. Whether it’s the individuals who caught the “healthcare bug” and have gone on to enroll in nursing or even physician assistant programs, or the person who has landed a medical assistant position that they love and are happy and thriving, apprenticeships are making an impact on the lives of staff members themselves.

Learn about the other workshop tracks at Healthcare Connect:

Developing Pipelines and Pathways for Frontline Workers

Implementing Healthcare Apprenticeships to Fill Skill Gaps

Adopting Equity and Inclusion Practices for Frontline Workers


The National Fund for Workforce Solutions and Hope Street Group partnered to convene members of CareerSTAT and the Health Career Pathways Network in New Orleans on October 24 and 25, 2018. Healthcare Connect brought together nearly 200 healthcare professionals to share best practices in developing their frontline workforce in full-group sessions and selected breakout workshops. Learn more about CareerSTAT and the Health Career Pathways Network (HCPN).

Denise Kennedy

-- Founder and CEO, Anthology Communications