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In the last few years, our old pals at Bersin & Associates argued that healthcare has lagged behind other industries in adoption and implementation of talent management automation and processes and that many healthcare organizations are working to make up for lost time. (Bersin & Associates 2009 Talent Management Factbook)

Any healthcare organization looking to jump-start a talent initiative should keep a few things front of mind:

  • Build with an eye toward integration - E-learning may be a natural starting point for healthcare organizations implementing new talent initiatives, but onboarding, performance management and succession initiatives all benefit from strong tie-ins to a learning management system (LMS). For example, performance assessments can automatically generate development plans for any area where deficiencies are identified. Don’t overlook targeted, formal development programs for employee supervisors. Extra training will prepare them to mentor and coach employees and maximize the value of your investment.
  • Automate job descriptions with a foundation of competencies - Establishing the competencies – the knowledge, skills and behaviors that are used to develop people in your healthcare organization – is a critical step for success of any talent management initiative. In the healthcare setting, it’s a requirement because compliance demands it. Maintaining one set of job descriptions and competencies is one way to integrate multiple locations common in large healthcare systems into a single culture and to build job profiles that will guide career development, training and performance improvement across your organization. You will also find it easier to deliver the ROI because the business impact of career planning is 45 percent higher for organizations with good or excellent leadership competencies. (Bersin & Associates,  Competency Management 2008)
  • Build internal talent pools - Every healthcare organization needs to fill positions in critical roles such as nursing, IT and senior management. Yet, suitable candidates are hard to find. Most healthcare employers understand that the only solution is to “grow their own” talent. Implementing appropriate talent management and learning tools and processes makes identification of high-potential employees and development of critical skills far easier to accomplish.
  • Collaborate to build a comprehensive succession strategy - Most healthcare organizations have a critical need to develop their next generation of leadership. The current senior leaders must understand the critical need to address this gap. HR can – and must – play a crucial role in facilitating this conversation, and technology can provide a key assist to identify the gaps and assign development plans for designated successors.
  • Leverage the power of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) - SaaS technology allows healthcare employers to rapidly implement talent solutions at a far lower cost and with greater operational efficiency than traditional legacy on-premises ERP implementations of the past. The advantages include rapid deployment and easy scalability, and a lower cost with higher satisfaction, as well as less time to ROI.

In the end, empowering your people is the essential first step toward addressing talent challenges and delivering safer, higher-quality patient care and satisfaction. Using talent management technology, employers can manage their staffing, training and performance operations with healthcare-specific functionality, including competency-based job descriptions, pre-integrated training and continuing-education content – all in a single, secure location.