• March 14, 2018
HCMx Radio 79: Using Assessments to Build a More Patient-Centered Workforce

Guest: Russ Wakelin, VP of Product Management at HealthcareSource.

Host: Rachel Cooke, Chief Operating Officer, Brandon Hall Group


In this episode of HCMx Radio, we discuss the challenges of building a more patient-centered healthcare workforce by selecting, aligning, continuously developing and retaining highly-engaged people, and the role of assessments in addressing these needs.

Russ Wakelin shares his varied career experiences and the trajectory he followed to his current position as VP of Product Management at HealthcareSource. With more than 3,000 healthcare organizations as customers, HealthcareSource is the leading provider of talent management solutions for the healthcare industry. The HealthcareSource Quality Talent Suite helps healthcare organizations build a more patient-centered workforce by selecting, aligning, continuously developing and retaining highly-engaged people. We discuss the unique challenges facing healthcare talent management including:

  • Extremely low U.S. unemployment rate
  • Extremely high employee turnover
  • Wide span of control
  • Learning and performance challenges are thought of as compliance issues, not retention/development solutions

Russ provides the following insights into how to deal with these challenges:

  • Building and using assessments
  • Extending assessments through the full employment cycle:
  • Driving engagement with customized, automatically populated development plans
  • Continuous feedback via remarks and recognition
  • Vitals: Instant view into performance
  • Hiring:Optimized Sourcing
  • Frictionless apply
  • Ensuring good cultural and behavioral fit
  • Recommended learning
  • Assessing Future Leaders

Brandon Hall Group’s 2018 Assessment Survey explores best practices and trends for organizations implementing pre-hire and/or post-hire surveys. It also provides an in-depth understanding of the reasons for use, the types of assessments used, and their impact on business outcomes.

Highlights include:

  • The predominant reasons organizations implement pre-hire assessments are: to improve quality of hire (73%), to identify qualified candidates (skills, knowledge, competencies) (57%), to understand work style (40%) and to predict job performance (39%).
  • The top-selected reasons for administering post-hire assessments are: skill and knowledge development (47%), improve engagement/understand engagement drivers (38%), and to improve team performance (37%).
  • Organizations consider these competencies to be most-important when selecting an assessment provider: analytics/metrics (58%), predictive accuracy with results (49%) and competency models (41%).

This data comes from a survey of HR, talent acquisition, talent management, technology, and business leaders and practitioners from October 2017 through January 2018. There were 301 total usable responses.

To listen to the Russ Wakelin interview, you can download or stream the podcast anytime at the HCMx Radio site.


Rachel Cooke

Chief Operating Officer Rachel Cooke Rachel is responsible for business operations including overseeing client services, research events and project management. Prior to joining Brandon Hall Group, Rachel was the Chief Operating Officer Co-founder of AC Growth. Rachel has over 15 years of experience in sales, marketing, business development, and sales performance management. Prior to AC Growth, she held several senior management roles and was on the leadership team at Bersin & Associates, a pioneer analyst firm in e-learning and now industry leading HR and talent Research Company. In her Senior Director role, Rachel developed the strategy and led the commercial execution of the solution provider vertical, and grew the vertical into the company’s largest market segment. In her role as Director of Sales, Rachel developed and led a team of senior account executives focused on acquiring global strategic accounts. Rachel was solely responsible for developing key business relationships with over ninety companies including industry icons, such as: Adidas, Hewlett-Packard, Toyota, Oracle, Starbucks, Avnet, Boeing, Kaiser Permanente, Safeway Inc., Wells Fargo, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Clorox and Affiliated Computer Services. Rachel began her career in the banking, media and hospitality industries. In these industries, Rachel held several key senior management and executive sales positions. Rachel received a BA in social science and interdisciplinary studies with honors from Florida Atlantic University. Rachel continued her postgraduate education by completing a series of executive management education courses from American Management Association.

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