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Conference Recap: Navigating Healthcare Talent Acquisition

Published April 25, 2024
Client Story: Navigating Healthcare Talent Acquisition

At a recent conference, industry leaders Bob Hanley, former CHRO and SVP of HR at the University of Chicago Medicine (UCM), and Zach Coffey, VP of Strategic Partnerships at Hueman RPO, shared valuable insights on navigating the complex landscape of healthcare talent acquisition. 

Like many healthcare systems, UCM grappled with talent acquisition challenges. It was during Hanley's tenure that the strategic partnership with Hueman RPO was forged, a decision that would significantly impact UCM’s recruitment strategies and outcomes.  

Keep reading, or watch the recording below, to learn how UCM and Hueman RPO collaborated to address talent acquisition challenges, fostered a culture of innovation, and achieved remarkable results.  

 

Journey to an RPO Partnership 

 

Talent Acquisition Challenges  

When Hanley joined UCM in 2013, they had a traditional internal recruitment model with a team of 12 – 15 recruiters. However, the team was stretched thin and overwhelmed by the volume of requisitions they needed to manage. The strain became evident when certain clinics lacked the necessary staff, highlighting the urgency for additional support.  

Hanley also noticed a lack of structure in their recruitment process, leading to inefficiencies and missed opportunities. The exclusive reliance on platforms like CareerBuilder further compounded the issue by limiting their access to a diverse talent pool and modern recruitment technologies.  

Recognizing the need for a transformative change, Hanley began to seek a comprehensive solution to revamp their recruitment strategies.  

Why Recruitment Process Outsourcing? 

When exploring solutions for UCM's unique recruitment challenges, Hanley conducted thorough research to identify options that could meet their dynamic needs. Key components of their ideal solution included cost predictability and service flexibility. 

Among the solutions evaluated, Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) emerged as a fitting choice that aligned with UCM's requirements. This decision was grounded in strategic considerations encompassing three critical aspects:  

  • People: Outsourcing to seasoned experts in the recruitment domain offered UCM access to specialized knowledge, industry best practices, and a robust infrastructure tailored for talent acquisition.   
  • Process: Building an internal recruitment process from scratch would have entailed significant investments in time and resources. Opting for RPO provided a streamlined path to enhancing their talent acquisition efforts through formal processes. 
  • Technology: Partnering with an RPO would provide access to cutting-edge recruitment technologies and tools that could improve efficiencies and enable data-driven decision-making for better hiring outcomes. 

  


Why UCM Chose Hueman RPO 

UCM was looking for a true partnership, not just a vendor. One of the qualities that distinguished Hueman RPO was its exceptional people and cultureThis cultural alignment was paramount for UCM, ensuring that the team dedicated to their recruitment needs shared their passion and commitment.

Hanley emphasized, "During my first visit to Hueman's headquarters, I witnessed firsthand the high level of engagement and passion among the employees.Hueman’s culture manifested itself in the team that they put together, and that was a huge advantage for us. We had people that were really engaged that were part of our team." 

Flexibility was another a key differentiator. Hueman’s scalable business model allowed UCM to adjust resources as needed, ensuring optimal efficiency and responsiveness. The transparent pricing structure, charging per recruiter instead of per requisition, provided the cost predictability and financial clarity that UCM sought in an RPO partner.  


 

How the RPO Partnership Evolved 

The partnership began with a strategic project solution, where UCM entrusted Hueman with 50 job openings to assess their capabilities. The response was nothing short of remarkable, with over 3,000 qualified applications flooding in within one weekend of posting. This early success set the stage for a robust and enduring partnership. 

As the partnership evolved, so did the recruitment function. By the time Hanley retired in 2022, Hueman had expanded its role to manage recruitment for over 5,000 positions, encompassing both clinical and non-clinical roles. Beyond recruitment, Hueman's support extended to onboarding processes, leadership recruiting initiatives, and comprehensive recruitment support for various departments. 

 

Key Elements of UCM and Hueman's RPO Partnership 

 

Team Integration 

Hueman invested significant time and effort into understanding UCM’s organization. This involved diving into their internal practices, cultural nuances, core values, union dynamics, and existing operational frameworks. By immersing themselves so deeply in UCM's environment, Hueman aimed not just to perform the job but to embody UCM's identity in their recruitment efforts.  

Effective Communication  

A commitment to transparent and open communication further bolstered the partnership's success. Recognizing Hanley's initial apprehensions, regular meetings were established every two weeks between Hanley and Hueman’s CEO to review updates, discuss challenges, and ensure alignment.  

This ongoing communication strategy remained a cornerstone of the partnership until Hanley’s retirement, highlighting Hueman’s dedication to fostering a transparent and collaborative environment. 

Performance Tracking 

Central to the partnership's effectiveness was a data-driven approach to performance tracking. Regular reporting meetings focused on critical metrics and recruitment Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), allowing for comprehensive reviews of overall performance, goal alignment, and daily recruiter effectiveness.  

This continuous feedback loop enabled the partnership to identify areas for improvement and optimize outcomes, ensuring sustained success over time. 

 

 

UCM & Hueman RPO Partnership Impact 

  

Attracting Top Talent with Ease 

One of the partnership's main successes was the seamless ability to consistently attract and onboard high-quality talent. Hueman's expertise and resources provided a continuous flow of skilled professionals to fulfill organizational needs. 

With Hueman's hiring approach, they were able to identify and hire candidates who not only possessed requisite skills but also resonated with UCM's value proposition. This alignment with UCM's culture and values led to the retention of loyal and engaged employees over the long term. 


Navigating Challenges with Confidence 

Amid turbulent times such as the COVID-19 pandemic and labor strikes, Hueman provided innovative solutions that enabled UCM to navigate challenges with confidence. Hanley candidly shared that collaborating with a trusted RPO partner offered a level of assurance not commonly experienced by his counterparts in other health systems.  

The consistent delivery of results by Hueman instilled trust and confidence within the UCM team, providing reassurance that they had a loyal partner committed to finding effective solutions. This reliability and commitment were pivotal in overcoming obstacles and maintaining operational continuity during challenging periods. 



  • Topics: 
  • Healthcare,
  • Talent Acquisition Strategy,
  • Talent Management