By Deborah Coffman, senior recruiter
As a recruiter, I attend many conferences – CMSA, ACMA, AONE, and OR Manager, for example – to meet candidates and grow my network. But this was my first time attending the ASHHRA conference, and I was excited to get to Seattle!
Here are five things that caught my eye at the 2017 ASHHRA Conference:
1. An enthusiastic crowd. I spent quite a bit of my time at our booth in the Exhibit Hall and was thrilled to see the enthusiasm of the other exhibitors and the attendees. The other exhibitors were all very interested in talking about their company as well as finding out about what we do at Novia Solutions. Many were not only excited to be at ASHHRA, but also to be in Seattle and happily talked about the best places to go for dinner and to enjoy the nightlife.
2. Experienced attendees. With around 700 attendees, ASHHRA is a relatively small conference compared to some of the others I’ve attended. But the audience is highly experienced, with 9 out of 10 attendees in mid-level or executive HR positions, according to ASHHRA. We were able to have some very robust conversations with people who visited our booth – everything from market trends to recruitment best practices to specific recruitment needs.
3. Outstanding presenters. The presentations and educational sessions were great! One of the speakers was so exceptional, hospital representatives wanted to hire her on the spot. Many of the presenters were Chief HR people with lots of experience to share. The breakout sessions featured healthcare-specific topics you won’t find at other HR conferences. I left with a variety of take-away tools and resources, and best of all, I made long-lasting connections with my peers in healthcare HR.
4. Inspired new ideas. One of the sessions that really caught my attention was titled “Win Talent in a Candidate-Centric Market”. The presenters discussed how many healthcare organizations go to the same pool of talent to fill their needs, which is an employer-centric approach rather than a candidate-centric approach. The presenters discussed the benefits of a more candidate-centric recruitment approach, in which the process is easier, faster and with quicker response times. This approach certainly presents challenges for placement firms, but I’m certainly taking these learnings to heart! As a smaller placement firm, Novia Solutions has the advantage of one-on-one personal interaction, status calls and constant communication with our candidates to ensure we’re working together to meet their career goals. (By the way, you can learn more about our approach here.
5. The importance of employee engagement. There was a running theme throughout the presentation sessions: the critical importance of focusing on employees and engagement. Success for every company – whether it’s a recruitment and placement firm like Novia Solutions or a hospital or healthcare system like our clients – depends upon employee engagement. For us to be successful, we need to continue to focus on the quality of our placements. This is what will ensure each interim or permanent candidate is a good fit with our client and ultimately deliver the best outcome for the patients.
Debbie Coffman leads our recruitment efforts, scouring the country for the best interim and permanent healthcare leaders. She prioritizes communication, providing regular updates and feedback so candidates know the status of their placement search. Debbie’s background includes more than 10 years in healthcare staffing and recruitment. You can contact her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 858.602.3046.