We recently invited industry analyst, Tim Sackett, to sit down with Carlos Fernandez, director of talent acquisition at Houston Methodist, to discuss how their team has been rethinking approaches to healthcare hiring — in particular, through the use of conversational AI and automation. Transforming their hiring process has allowed Houston Methodist to create faster, simpler, and more personalized experiences for their candidates with their conversational assistant, Mia — while always staying nimble and prepared for future challenges.
Continue reading the conversation between two TA veterans and discover how healthcare organizations can create a frictionless hiring experience to stay competitive with 24/7 communications and mobile-first engagement.
Here's some of their conversation.
I'm excited to have you on. Carlos, where are you at right now? What part of the country are you in?
I'm here in Houston, Texas at Houston Methodist, we're a system of hospitals with over 28,000 employees in the Greater Houston area.
Alright, so a lot of hiring — big systems. Real quickly, what percent of hires are nurses comparable to the rest of your hiring?
On average, we're about 7,000+ hires annually. We've been exceeding those numbers year-over-year as we continue our growth.
But from a nursing perspective, they make up about 30% of our vacancies, and 30% of our workforce as well.
Historically, healthcare has been really kind of a laggard when it comes to talent recruiting technology. So, how did you guys make that leap? Because there are still so many healthcare organizations that are not there yet.
I think we're fortunate in that we have support on the innovation side. We have a center for innovation at our hospital, so part of that R&D is certainly to be able to explore and pilot. It's a ‘fail fast, learn faster, adapt to a faster’ environment.
Interesting. The only reason I ask is because, when I was in healthcare, I was constantly in the situation of not having enough resources in TA to be effective. And I felt like, "Well, wait a minute, we're spending all this money because we're not effective. If we spend less of that money, then that money should be able to come back to TA."
And I think it's a great way for us to sit down and have a really educated business conversation with our CFOs and CEOs, to determine if we can get this great technology?
Exactly. We came to our leadership with a few ideas, and one of those initiatives was around how to connect with candidates more efficiently, more effectively, and how to really identify opportunities on the TA and recruitment side.
So that's where the business case came about. And we were able to position it through Paradox and our team as really a supplement to our process. We're supplementing the process to be able to enhance our delivery.
Is there a specific place within the recruiting process where automation has been most beneficial for you guys?
Yeah, for us, it's on the sourcing side, to really help us connect with candidates through automated scheduling — the leg work, or what we call “administrivia” here locally.
So taking that off the recruiter's plate has really help them do what they do best, connecting with talent, engaging with their hiring leaders and getting themselves motivated through making offers and hires. So as much as we can take that off the plate, that's where we want to go.
In your process, is there anything that you feel is working really well and is worth the ROI that you're putting into it?
Texting, conversational AI, virtual chat and just providing mechanisms to connect. Certainly, the tech stack is very key to that. But still, I think the other piece to it is getting on the phone and being that direct gateway to a role. I think that's an important piece of the backend process, that there’s that human interaction regardless of the tech stack. Because, you can have great technology but if there is not that follow-up piece, there will be challenges around that.
Candidates have a number of opportunities in this environment. So where we can, we definitely position our sourcers, recruiters, and hiring managers to connect with talent often, but then also be able to have a backend process to keep candidates informed.
[edited lightly for clarity]
Here's the full webinar recording.
Looking for more insights from Tim and Carlos’s discussion? Here you go: