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Recruiting staff in a marketplace with 2 large hospital systems: Milwaukee ASC executive director Fawn Esser Lipp weighs in

To move forward in the competitive healthcare marketplace, equipping an ASC with the right staff is imperative. Hiring and maintaining staff is no easy feat, and being forthright with potential hires about what an ASC expects from its employees is of the utmost importance, according to Fawn Esser Lipp, RN, BSN, CNOR, executive director of Milwaukee-based The Surgery Center.

"I like to let candidates know what is expected of them and what they will get in return and that nothing less is tolerated," Ms. Esser Lipp says. "My favorite question to ask is how they handle confrontation with physicians, patients and/or other team members."

Varying expectations can result in a plethora of issues, such as lack of productivity. The Surgery Center overcomes these potential issues by seeking employees who strive to work with one another to accomplish a task. Operating under the mantra that no task is beneath any employee, the collaboration among the ASC's team members allows the center to retain motivated employees. Staff retention is crucial for the center as the Milwaukee marketplace is competitive, with The Surgery Center vying for candidates against two major hospital systems.

"These two major hospital systems continue to grow, which can reduce our pool of employees. It's harder to find candidates with ASC experience," Ms. Esser Lipp says. To find staff that will fit well with the ASC, The Surgery Center employs the help of current employees. Staff members often post on their personal Facebook pages about open positions. The ASC has eliminated print ads, replacing this with other platforms such as Indeed, MilwaukeeJobs.com and LinkedIn for upper level positions.

As operating margins narrow and reimbursement trends lower, reducing staff turnover can differentiate successful ASCs from others struggling to stay afloat. To limit potential turnover, ASCs should properly vet employees during the interview process.

"I prefer not to hire fast just to fill a position," says Ms. Esser Lipp. "That leads to so much more work." If the interviewer knows a candidate may have to come in at 5 a.m., that person should ensure that expectation is made known to the potential candidate during the interview. All parties involved in the interview process should be honest to ensure the position is a good fit.

Learn more from Ms. Esser Lipp at the 24th Annual Meeting: The Business and Operations of ASCs in October 2017. Click here for more information.

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