MultiCare Health System uses virtual events to transform their recruiting process and hire superheroes amidst a pandemic.
Increase in Event Hires
Decrease in Cost per Event
Decrease in Cost per Hire
MultiCare is a not-for-profit health care organization that’s been caring for communities in Washington state since the founding of Tacoma’s first hospital in 1882.
“We honestly had no clue what we were going to do,” said Leah Butters. “If we couldn’t hire, we couldn’t help.”
Statements like these make one thing extremely clear. If it wasn’t abundantly obvious before the pandemic, we all now understand that healthcare workers are real life superheroes. More than ever, healthcare workers are in high demand, center stage, and a top priority for hiring teams around the world.
“We had to change the way we think,” added Butters, “…and we had to do it fast.”
MultiCare Health System is the largest community based, locally governed health system in Washington, serving communities across the state. Paradox had the pleasure of sitting down with Leah Butters, from MultiCare’s talent team, to discuss the challenges her team faced while hiring in a pandemic.
Butters describes the situation, “MultiCare Health System is a not for profit — above all else, serving our community is our north star. In early 2020, when the impact of the virus was becoming obvious, we knew that to play our part in the fight against COVID-19, hiring would be mission-critical.”
Here’s the issue, in a moment when healthcare professionals are needed more than ever, MultiCare can’t utilize their traditional way of hiring: in-person career events.
“At the beginning of the pandemic, we were scrambling to contact healthcare workers and doing our best to engage candidates without using events.” MultiCare Health System had the unique challenge of keeping dozens of clinics and hospitals staffed with mission-driven employees.
Butters explains; “Because we are a not for profit, we are looking for people that care about their community. People who are mission-driven and in it for the right reasons.” Due to the nature of the communities they serve, MultiCare is uncompromising on hiring for values, especially during the pandemic.
In the past, MultiCare has used career events to expedite the hiring of a wide range of positions. “Sitting across a table, speaking to candidates about their previous experiences was important to us.
It was how we could engage a massive amount of people and still be able to gauge if they would be the right fit for our team.”
Without hosting career events, hiring managers struggled to recreate that experience in a virtual format. Butters explains, “We struggled to engage candidates the way we were used to, the hiring blitz completely consumed our team and it still felt like we were running in place.”
Butters and her team were stuck in a dire position; “We were left wondering, how can we hire a massive amount of people in a short period, without sacrificing personal experience?”
“We had an in-person event planned in April 2020, but when COVID hit, we quickly realized that wasn’t going to happen.” Butters explains, “At the time Paradox had just released virtual hiring events, we reached out to the team and within a month we launched our first event.”
Paradox’s conversational AI recruiting assistant, Olivia, helps the MultiCare team facilitate their virtual events. Olivia screens candidates, gauges their interests, and directs them to the appropriate event. She answers candidate questions and connects them with hiring managers in video meetings.
When asked how their virtual events strategy was different than in person, Butters responded: “We used to have company-wide events for all roles — it seemed normal a year ago, but looking back it was in-efficient.”
Since launching their first virtual event with Olivia, MultiCare has created specific events for different departments and locations. “With Olivia, we were able to take a much more tailored approach to our hiring events, focusing on our actual needs, and cutting out unnecessary expenses and work.”
“Our job search is very complex, cumbersome, and confusing. Olivia is helping us streamline candidates that we would have lost if we didn’t have this technology over this period.”
Instead of going onto their website, seeing hundreds of jobs, and having to search for their specific position — Olivia pre-screens event attendees quickly determines their interest and eligibility and connects them to the right hiring manager.
“I can’t imagine we would have hired most of these people if they weren’t immediately greeted by Olivia and delivered directly to the relevant hiring manager.”
Healthcare workers are busy, and often work unpredictable schedules, so sitting down in front of a computer for an hour is impractical for MultiCare’s candidates. Paradox’s virtual events platform offers candidates the ability to engage with Olivia over their mobile devices — getting screened, scheduled, and interviewed in a matter of minutes.
Olivia is available 24/7 to greet candidates — during their shifts, lunch breaks, on their way to work, or whenever is most convenient. MultiCare set up event windows, allowing candidates to jump into virtual meetings with hiring managers whenever it was most convenient for them.
“Giving candidates the power to join the event on their cell phone and the flexibility to chat with hiring managers when they wanted was most important to our team. Healthcare professionals are busy and without a mobile-first experience, I think we would have been in serious trouble.”
Olivia greets candidates when they enter the event, answering any questions they have about the position or company, and connecting them to a hiring manager in a virtual meeting. The best part is, hiring managers and candidates never need to download any third-party software or plugins to chat over video — it’s as simple as opening another tab in their browser.
Since launching Olivia’s virtual events capabilities, MultiCare Health System has increased the number of event hires by 25%. “We never thought it possible just a year ago, but using virtual events has opened up so many doors for us. We’ve extended our recruitment reach outside our local area, even outside of Washington — we’re now hiring in new markets, on a national scale.”
Without the need to reserve event space, purchase equipment, and staff events, Butters has decreased cost per event from an average of $4,000 to $1,000 — a decrease of 75% in just a few months. “It’s expensive to host in-person events, thus far we’ve been able to decrease our average cost per hire by 22%, and we expect those cost savings to increase as we continue using virtual events in the future.”
After switching to virtual events as a necessity during the pandemic, MultiCare Health System plans to double down, making it their main hiring strategy moving forward.
“Virtual events provide the same personal experience as in-person events — without the high cost. Before lockdowns, we might have done one or two events a year, but we can reach so many more candidates with the flexibility that Olivia’s virtual career fairs provide for us.”
As MultiCare Health System continues hiring superheroes, expanding their reach, and serving their community — Paradox is honored to partner with them along the way.
“Discovering Paradox was such a relief,” concluded Butters. “Sometimes the most stressful situations show us what we should have been doing all along."