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Inclusive hiring involves a set of practices that gives local community members and incumbent workers an opportunity and provides employers with an expanded pipeline to fill high-demand positions.
Recruitment from the Community
Health care employers, particularly urban hospitals, are intentionally recruiting and hiring individuals from the communities in which their patients and families live in order to offer opportunities to residents, increase workforce diversity, and demonstrate local investment. University Hospital in Cleveland, OH is a national leader that is committed to hiring from their local community and recruiting residents from low-income, high-unemployment neighborhoods surrounding the main campus of the hospital system.
Create an Incumbent Worker Pipeline
Recruiting and hiring incumbent workers into high- demand occupations offers employers a pipeline of employees that meet important organizational hiring criteria, are a cultural fit and have a strong track record. Jersey City Medical Center, an affiliate of RWJBarnabas Health in New Jersey, supports incumbent workers in environmental services, patient access, security, and patient transport in training and career development, which helps the organization address key staffing shortage areas and supports incumbent workers into better goods.
Structure Onboarding of New Hires
Frontline workers’ success in transitioning to a new position and their experience during the first 90 days of employment is critical to retention and requires
a structured onboarding process that includes orientation, assessment, training, and mentoring. Homebridge, a nonprogit home care agency in the San Francisco Bay Area that invests heavily in on-boarding new entry-level personal caregivers, and it sees results. In addition to intensive paid training, new home care providers are engaged in work readiness workshops, barriers assessments, and cultural sessions followed by months of supported one-on-one coaching and mentoring.
Making learning accessible to incumbent frontline workers frequently allows them to attend programs that develop new skills and knowledge while simultaneously maintaining their work schedules and salaries. These practices demonstrate a high level of organizational commitment to developing the talent of entry-level workers in a manner that is both good for employees and good for business.
Basic Skills Development
Offering basic skills instruction in the workplace helps to remove barriers to advancement for entry- level frontline workers, particularly when coursework is contextualized in the health care setting. LifeBridge Health, located in Northwest Baltimore, is a leader in providing basic skills development to its employees and offers a suite of no-cost programs and services to assist individuals to develop the necessary skills needed for career and academic success.
Innovative employers are utilizing different types of structured work-based learning practices to promote skill mastery and to expand their talent pipelines. Work-based learning involves activities that occur in the workplace that allow individuals to gain the knowledge, skills, and experience needed for entry or advancement. Penn Medicine is a Philadelphia-based health system serving the community through its network of hospitals, clinical care providers, and the nation’s first school of medicine. Penn’s Patient Service Excellence Academy provides on-the-job training using an apprenticeship model to meet its growing demand for patient service representatives.
Competency-based education is a form of instruction that focuses on student mastery of skills rather than on “seat time” in the classroom. Competency-based instruction is particularly valuable for learning in the workplace context, because it clearly defines skills and knowledge tied directly to careers. Partners HealthCare recognizes the value of competency-based education for its frontline workers, particularly those in nonclinical positions who aspire to complete a post-secondary degree. It works in partnership with College for America of Southern New Hampshire University to offer employees across its integrated system the option of low-cost, online, self-paced, competency-based associate’s and bachelor’s degree programs in health care management.
Flexible Learning Options
As part of their efforts to make the workplace “learning friendly,” health care employers work with educational partners to provide exible learning models that better accommodate working adults. Onsite, online, and accelerated learning options are all available. East Boston Neighborhood Health Center has taken extraordinary steps to provide workers with the opportunity to train for new, more-advanced positions without having to leave the worksite.
Individuals seeking jobs in health care often see frontline positions as their rst step toward a higher- level, higher-paying position. Employers who champion career advancement provide access to tools, resources, and opportunities needed to make advancement a reality.
Enhanced Training to Meet New Performance Standards
Health care workers at all levels must meet higher performance expectations in today’s Affordable Care Act environment, and frontline workers are no exception. As the demand for caregiving shifts from acute care to outpatient settings, workers may need to retool their skills. The League of Voluntary Hospitals and Homes of New York is a labor-management partnership that provides training and education to meet the League employers’ and industry needs. The League works with non-profits and its partner organizations to give employees the time, financial resources, and support needed to gain new skills and credentials as well as multiple options for securing new or advanced positions.
Career Exploration Tools and Opportunities
Transparency—making possible career paths, and the actions and educational preparation required for each step, visible and comprehensible to all employees—is central to helping employees advance. To illustrate the different types of jobs found in post-acute care facilities, Genesis HealthCare created a career map that outlines the education and training requirements for different positions and career pathway options.
Career Counseling and Coaching
Career counseling and coaching—to assess workers’ interests, guide their choices, and address their personal and academic challenges—are essential to supporting worker advancement. Career coaches use labor market information and online resources to expose frontline workers to possible pathways and help them think about how to navigate them. At Baltimore’s MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital, the coach is an RN and education specialist who supports frontline workers’ interest in transitioning into new jobs. The role of the coach is to help workers identify short- and long- term career goals, create an individual career development plan, and help them navigate continuing education to earn new credentials and move into new jobs.
Provide Career Pathways
Career pathways offer frontline workers options for advancement on the job, including career moves within or between job families and occupations. Employers from across the continuum of care are working together with community colleges and community-based organizations to create career pathway programs that include comprehensive supports to facilitate academic success. The employer-led Health Careers Collaborative of Greater Cincinnati organized ve hospitals/ health systems, including TriHealth, Inc., and three community colleges, to provide training and wraparound supports to prepare incumbent workers for careers in nursing, allied health, rehabilitation, clinical lab, and health information technology.