A Day in the Life: Resident hiring panels go with gut

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A Day in the Life: Resident hiring panels go with gut
A Day in the Life: Resident hiring panels go with gut
Administrator Leslie Pedtke considers herself just another visitor when she goes to work each day in Aviston, IL. Her workplace, Aviston Countryside Manor, is her residents' home — not hers, she says, which might explain the success of her resident-focused approach to hiring employees.

Inspired by a program that started at Sunny Hill Nursing Home in Joliet, IL, Pedtke introduced the concept of resident-hiring panels in her own Southern Illinois facility.

“I've been here since 1994 and used to feel like all the decisions had to be made by me — that's what my job is supposed to be. What we've learned with culture change is that a team approach is definitely better,” Pedtke says.
Now when her facility has a job opening, the top two candidates for any open position at the 97-bed facility must submit to an interview by a panel of eight residents. To be hired, a candidate must gain unanimous approval from the panel.

Pedtke says that hiring managers, including herself, can be plagued by tunnel vision in the hiring process due to the stress involved.

“The resident committee doesn't have that problem and sometimes they make better decisions,” Pedtke adds. She says residents have a stronger gut reaction to candidates, especially when it comes to direct care workers.
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