SeekOut's Talent Visionaries series features innovative leaders and their extraordinary work in creating and scaling high-performing teams. The personal philosophies and invaluable insights of these workplace champions offer new perspectives in an ever-evolving talent landscape.
Cathy Henesey is Vice President of Talent Acquisition at AdventHealth and President of the Association of Talent Acquisition Professionals (ATAPglobal.org). With over 20 years of experience in recruiting and staffing, Cathy holds expertise in training recruiters and developing new recruiting strategies. Cathy shares her perspective on the draw of HR as a career, how building great recruiting teams builds great organizations, and what’s ahead for healthcare recruiting in 2023.
On HR as a career with a bit of everything
I always knew I wanted to work in HR. I love that HR has a bit of everything, including law, finance, strategy, growth, and an opportunity to make a real difference in people’s lives.
At the same time, everyone who knew me said I should be in sales. Recruiting is the perfect combination of HR and sales. It’s been really rewarding to help people find their careers, passions and then let that grow the organization.
On the surface, HR seems like an exciting and alluring career. There are a lot of fun aspects like hiring events, extending job offers, and groundbreaking strategic initiatives that can change a person’s life by where they work. But HR also takes courage and tenacity. With the high points come many unique, dynamic challenges that employees face where they need an HR partner to assist them and guide them through very sensitive situations at times.
As a recruiter, the demands are high. Stakeholders want roles filled with urgency and that’s not always possible.
It is a fun career, but it’s not easy.
On hiring great talent and creating a metric-driven HR team
My secret to success is simple. I hire great people on my team first. If you want to hire great people for your organization, it starts with a great recruiting team.
"If you want to hire great people for your organization, it starts with a great recruiting team."
And when someone joins our team, we focus on growth and development. Everyone on my team has a development plan so they can advance in their own careers. We’re building great leaders and have been able to promote from within for most of our leadership positions.
Next, it’s about accountability. We measure over 60 different metrics for our recruiting team.
The most important two metrics deal with time: application to disposition time and hiring manager decision time. Application to disposition is the time it takes a candidate to get through the hiring process (whether the candidate was hired or declined) and is a good measure of overall efficiency. Hiring manager decision time measures the time it takes for a hiring manager to make a decision once they’ve been passed a candidate.
“We measure over 60 different metrics for our recruiting team.”
On the outlook for healthcare talent in 2023
It’s still a difficult and competitive market for talent in healthcare. Based on data from the Department of Labor, we expect the nursing shortage to get worse in 2023 and 2024.
Beyond this, we’re working with savvy candidates who want faster answers and a better process. We’ll continue to prioritize process improvement, with the goal of making the application process as seamless as possible.
We’re providing our team with tools to find qualified candidates more quickly. This will reduce the time spent on finding talent, so we can spend more time on candidate engagement, and reduce time-to-fill.
On must-read books for HR professionals
I recommend "Dare to Lead" and "Atlas of the Heart" by Brené Brown. Brené has an uncanny ability to help people think about empathy and relationships in a more fun, practical way than the traditional HR lens.
Another one is "Reset: A Leader’s Guide to Work in an Age of Upheaval" by Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., the current president and Chief Executive Officer of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). It provides interesting and practical insights into how the HR function will change.
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