An Employer of Choice

Part of Tanner Health System’s mission includes establishing itself as the region’s healthcare provider of choice. However, Tanner already has made significant steps in cementing its reputation as an employer of choice in the metro Atlanta area, earning regional, state and national accolades from a number of industry-focused publication, including the Atlanta Business Chronicle, Modern Healthcare and Georgia Trend.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Take Our Survey!

The landscape for recruiting new talent at Tanner Health System is constantly changing.  Expanding services, shifting technology and changing demographics all play a role in keeping the challenges high for finding and hiring competent, caring team members.

We are constantly exploring new ways of communicating with potential new team members.

In recent years, we have established a small footprint in the area of social media with the addition of this blog, a Twitter site and the occasional job posting on the organization's Facebook site.

Now we need your help.

As we attempt to evaluate our current practices and determine the best strategy for our future, we ask you to take a moment to complete the following survey

Tanner Social Media Survey

The survey only takes a few moments to complete and your responses will help us figure out how to better craft our social media messages.

Thank you for taking the time to complete the survey !


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Missing Something?

So you've gone through the grueling exercise of completing an application for employment and are about to click the "submit" button; before you do, ask yourself this question:  "

"What's missing?"

Often otherwise competent candidates will hurry through the application process in an effort to "throw their hat in the ring" only to discover later that they have left out a lot of important information.

The Complete Picture
Since the application is really the only picture of you that your prospective employer will see at this stage, it is a good idea for the application to reveal the most complete picture possible.

Providing all the details requested on the application may take more time and research, but it could mean the difference between landing an interview and sitting out the process.

Even if the fully completed application does not earn you a spot on the employment roles, the process itself can be very beneficial to you in helping you to determine your own strengths and weaknesses, and what your responses say about you.

Here are just a few examples of omissions:
  • Gaps - if your recent employment history contains a gap of more than 60 days between jobs, you should account for that time and your information should - at best - be verifiable.  If you spent some time performing volunteer work, list that along with contact information for the volunteer organization

  • Contact information - Sometimes applicants will be lax in completing contact information for former employers.  This can result in substantial delays in the hiring process, since recruiters will have to do research to find out who to contact to verify your employment.  Giving complete contact information shows that you have nothing to hide.  Additionally, you will want to be sure the application contains your own most current contact information.

  • Credentials - Complete information on credentials earned is very important - especially in health care - it proves you are competent to do what you say you can do.  Your competency is vital to your patients, your co-workers and to your organization.  This is especially important if the certification, registry or licensure is part of the requirements for the job.

  • Schedule availability - It is a good idea to list all the schedules and shifts that you are willing and able to work.  Sometimes schedule requirements change after a job is posted and you may not be considered if you didn't indicate that you were available for the new schedule.
 In short, your application should fully demonstrate that you are qualified for the position and meet every requirement.  It should provide as much information about you as possible in a neat and concise manner.

It should not leave a lot of unanswered questions.
When it comes to the job search, missing information could result in missed opportunities.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Fresh Start

It's January and by now many of the New Year's resolutions have already been broken and fallen by the wayside.
Here in the Southeastern United States, we are digging out of an unusually persistent winter storm that served to slow everything down for a few days.

If you are in the job market, perhaps now is a good time to revisit the ways you are currently marketing yourself to potential employers.

What is your target?

To paraphrase one stand-up comedian: If you do not know where you headed - how will you know when you get there? 

Is your target too broad?  Are you just looking for a  job - no matter what the responsibilities or schedule?  If so, that aimlessness will likely come through in your resume or application and will be evident during your interview.  Most employers are not looking for someone that just wants a job; they are searching for someone with passion and commitment - someone who knows what they want.

Location. Location. Location.

It is not only important that you have a good idea of what you want to do; you should also know where.  
What organizations offer the type of work for which you are suited?  Where are they located?  Are you willing to go there?


After all the bustle of holiday shopping, most retail stores take inventory.  It is not very exciting. 
However, the mundane task of counting every item is crucial; it is the only way retailers can truly know what they have to offer.

It is a good idea to revisit your resume periodically, but that event should be preceded by a time of taking inventory.  What do you have to offer to potential employers?

To Market, To Market....

Now that you have re-evaluated your aim, identified potential targets and taken stock of what you have to offer - it is time to look at how you are marketing yourself.

The job search is very much a process of sales and marketing as you seek out prospective employers and sell them on your ability to best fill their needs.

What does your resume/application say about you?  Does it reflect neatness and order? Is it too broad?  Too narrow?  Does it leave unanswered questions (like ambiguous dates and unexplained gaps)?  Is it concise? Does it effectively portray how your experience matches the requirements for the position of interest?  Does it include any negative statements about previous employers?

Finally, how are you communicating to potential employers?  Are you tapping into the potential of social media?  A lot of employers are reporting higher usage of Twitter and LinkedIn and other social media tools.  Are you effectively using the tools available on the employers' career center website?   Are you using volunteer and social opportunities to network and learn about potential openings?

So here's hoping 2011 will find you stepping back a moment in order to start fresh with your job search!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Good Hiring Decisions

Who benefits from a "good hire"?

A "good hire" in Human Resource jargon is a new employee that is competent to do the job, motivated and is a proper fit as it relates to attitude, drive and character.  It's nice when a hiring manager can point to one of their employees and say to the recruiter "that person is a 'good hire'".

Despite the welling pride that such a revelation produces, the recruiter is not the only beneficiary of a good hiring decision:  everyone benefits.

A newly hired employee who pulls his/her own weight is a great asset to co-workers. Especially when those same co-workers had to put in extra hours or extra work while the position was open.

Of course in  healthcare, our first priority is to be certain our patients and their families are properly cared for; good patient care is a by-product of good hiring decisions.

If patient care goals are being met and the team is working together in harmony - then the hiring manager and other leaders are certainly happy.

Finally, the new employee benefits.  He or she is able to make a meaningful contribution with their knowledge, skills and abilities; and can do so on a team and with an organization they like.

On the other side of that coin is the employee who is hired into a position for which they are not a proper fit.
This can lead to conflicts at work and anxiety; in some cases patient care may be compromised.  Have you ever found yourself in the wrong job?  It can be quite frustrating.

That is why companies everywhere invest so much time and attention into the hiring process - they want to be sure the person they hire is a proper fit; they want to make a good hiring decision.

It is also why applicants with Tanner Health System may find that the application process takes a little longer and requires more attention to detail.  Sometimes our interviews may even seem - grueling.  At times we even turn down applicants that appear to meet all of the requirements for a position.

It's all in an effort to make a good hiring decision.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tanner in the Fall

Autumn is my personal favorite among the seasons.  Rustic colors, cooler temperatures, football and hayrides are just some of the aspects of this time of year that warm the heart.

When you work at an organization like Tanner Health System, Autumn can also be a very busy season.

For instance just over the past week, employees that do not normally perform invasive procedures have pulled out their scapel and scissors and have put them to use . . . carving pumpkins. 

The annual pumpkin carving contests at Tanner Medical Center/Carrollton and Tanner Medical Center/Villa Rica always bring out some very interesting and creative entries.  Pumpkins are adorned with a variety of acoutrements from hats to hosiery; and the carvings span from the traditional "Jack O' Lantern", to architecture, to babies and one even bore a remarkable resemblance to one of our VP's.

Higgins General Hospital just completed their annual Chili-Cook Off.  Team members not only get to show off their culinary prowess by preparing the dishes, but they also get to sample all of the entries.  There are awards for "Best Tasting", "Hottest" and "The People's Choice!".  The point is that everyone has the opportunity to share in the fun (and maybe the heartburn, too).

Other happenings this Fall have included participation in a 5K Moonlight Run, an "Ideas in Motion" process improvement exposition, blood drives and community health fairs - not to mention an accreditation survey at the Carrollton facility.  
In the near future there will be Farmer's Market events and a big "Choirs for Cancer" concert.

Healthcare is an adventurous career choice. Employees share in experiences that are both exhilerating and difficult; celebratory and sometimes sad. 

Struggling together, laughing and crying together.

These shared experiences help solidify relationships and teamwork.  Out of this grows a great organization that is also a wonderful place to work.

Like Tanner Health System.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Things Change

Earlier this week, I had the rare opportunity of attending a nurse recruitment career fair at a nearby college.  Career fair adventures are usually reserved for members of our recruitment team - but being an honorary member of said team - I am sometimes endowed with the privilege.

As I talked with potential candidates ranging from those that were already licensed RN's to those that were just hoping to make it into a nursing program, I was struck with a sense of irony.  Two years ago hospitals were in the throes of a nursing shortage and a new graduate could choose from any number of potential employers. 

Now things are different, for the time being at least, the market has shifted and even nursing jobs are fewer. Sadly, I spoke with several candidates that graduated some time ago and have not yet landed solid employment.

My purpose in posting this blog today is not to discourage those of you that find yourself without meaningful employment - rather I hope to encourage you.

There are positions available (if you don't believe me, browse through our Search Tanner Jobs area) both for licensed health care providers and for non-clinical workers; but organizations are being more selective these days. So it is important that your job search begin with a look in the mirror.

"Stop the whole car"
My dad, who spent most all of his life in sales and marketing, used to tell the story about a time in which he and another salesperson were driving along about to start a day of sales calls.  At some point, the driver remarked that they had no particular plan and no particular list of prospects to call on.  The other exclaimed, "stop the whole car!!".
"Stop the whole car" he repeated, "- and pull over so we can build a plan!". 

If your job search has no particular plan, it is time to stop everything.  Hold your resume up to the mirror so-to-speak and take a fresh look at it. Ask yourself some hard questions:

Does it present you in the best light? 
Is it honest?
Is it easy to follow or cluttered and confusing?
If someone handed it to you - would anything compel you to take the time to read it?
Would you hire you?

Take a Look at Yourself
Next take a look at yourself.  When you meet potential employers, are you dressing the part - even if you're only showing up to apply?  How about that smile, are you reflecting confidence and a proper attitude?

Your frame of mind is reflected in your facial expressions.  If your mind is set on the negativity of your situation, chances are that your smile - or the lack thereof - will reveal it. There is nothing compelling about a bitter or angry person.

Details. Details.
Are you paying attention to details?
I have a little book that was published early in the twentieth century, it is filled with short articles about a variety of subjects.  One such article discusses preparing for a job interview - I find it interesting that it points out that one should be mindful of dirty fingernails and offensive breath. That advice is still timely.  When the job market is tight and employers may have several equally qualified candidates to pick from; the minor details can make all the difference in the world.

Finally, are you growing while your search is ongoing?  Are you taking advantage of education or volunteer opportunities?  Are you reading articles or books that will give you new insights?  Are you getting out and talking to a lot of different people?

My career fair experience this week served as a reminder to me that things do change.  If you feel that you are locked into a situation of permanent unemployment - it is helpful to remember that - things change

Often the first step to changing one's situation is to change one's thinking.

Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The "Run-for-Cover" Cover Letter

Today I read a cover letter for a resume.  To me it read something like this:


I am interested in working for your organization.  I would like to have a job that involves a lot of clerical work, so that I can write more letters like this one and also be responsible for duties that will require a great deal of accuracy.

If you hire me, you will not only reap the benefits of my extensive education but you will also have the joy of knowing that all of your correspondences will be filled with fragmented sentences and misplaced words - just like this cover letter.  In fact, when people read your letters that I have typed, they may get the general impression that you cannot convey a complete thought on paper.

In addition, I would also like to be given responsibility for all your important figures and reports in order that I might handle them in the same flippant and haphazard way I produced this letter.

In fact, Mr./Ms. Employer, I would consider it a great privilege to join your organization for the sole purpose of making you look bad.

Eager Applicant.

As you have already guessed, I did not actually receive a letter with these very words, but I have seen cover letters that convey the same message.

Often candidates piece together some type of introductory letter to accompany their resume because they have been advised to do so.  However, some do not seem to realize that the cover letter can be a major part of the initial impression your potential employer develops.

If you are going to take the time to write a cover letter, please take the time to do it correctly.  It, along with your resume and application, present a snapshot to your prospective employer.  Make sure these documents reflect you in the best possible light!

There is nothing compelling about a cover letter filled with poor grammar, misspellings and redundant statements.  The hiring manager expects that the cover letter and resume represent one's best effort.  If it is poorly constructed, it is likely they will assume that your work will be the same.
Ask someone - an instructor, advisor, or other professional - to review your cover letter -critically - once you feel that you have all the kinks worked out.  Then act on their advice.

Branch Rickey, the Brooklyn Dodgers coach that first signed Jackie Robinson, once said "baseball is a game of inches".  In like manner, the process of obtaining employment in today's economy can be a "game" of minute details.

Be sure you have paid proper attention to those details as you continue your search!