Martie L. Moore, RN, MAOM, CPHQ

Brent was the type of person that you wanted to meet. He had a smile that was like a ray of sunshine upon you. He knew everyone’s name, and people knew him. I stood next to the hiring manager, and she said he was the best hire she had ever made in her career. 

Later, she shared with me that she almost did not hire Brent. He had no experience in healthcare. Did not check the boxes nor even pass the application screening system she used to sift out applicants. 

It was a fluke that Brent’s application landed on her desk. She was doing random audits of applicants that were screened out of the system. It was a new computer system, and she was not 100% confident that it was matching well the keywords programmed to the applications. 

She studied Brent’s application. He worked at a national coffee shop. He had been trained in customer engagement: how to create an incredible experience and, when failure occurred, how to do customer service recovery. 

He was trained in process methodology and workflow. He put on his application that he could handle multiple orders, answer questions and not make a mistake. He loved chaos and did his best work when it was crazy busy. When asked why he was applying for the position, he responded that he felt the skills he had learned in his current job needed to be used for the betterment of others. Healthcare and seniors seemed to be the right place for him, so he applied.

The hiring manager went on to share with me that since Brent was hired, their satisfaction scores have increased. He is like the best kind of infectious spread, the spread of positivity.  Employee turnover has slowed, and there seem to be more applicants for positions. People want to work within a team where they feel valued for their contributions. 

Brent learned that as well in his previous role. He told me, “If the team is strong, then I am strong, that is how we get the work done”.

When she hired him, her judgment was questioned. Her team commented that they implemented the computer system for a reason. He did not even have experience in healthcare. She knew that he had the right experience, and the rest could be learned. 

I asked her if they had reprogrammed their system to assure that candidates with the right experiences are not screened out. She laughed and said not yet, as it is a system used by other facilities. What she has done is that the applicants who are not selected, she reviews. She calls this action her gem hunting. She has found some precious gems by looking at applicants with the lens of curiosity and openness. It is a lesson she has applied beyond hiring practices. Openness and curiosity have led her through a lot of challenges. 

She asked me if I thought healthcare could get out of its own way and think/act differently… 

Can we get out of our own way, are we so deeply entrenched in our box-checking and ways of business that we cannot see beyond what is in front of us? 

Can we think and lead differently, brilliantly, to a new way of healthcare, or will we reinvent what we already know? 

I will be truthful, her questions caused me to pause…

Martie L. Moore, MAOM, RN, CPHQ, is the President/CEO of M2WL Consulting. She has been an executive healthcare leader for more than 20 years. She has served on advisory boards for the National Pressure Injury Advisory Panel and the American Nurses Association, and she currently serves on the Dean’s Advisory Board at the University of Central Florida College of Nursing and Sigma, International Honor Society for Nursing. She was honored by Saint Martin’s University with an honorary doctorate degree for her service and accomplishments in advancing healthcare.

The opinions expressed in McKnight’s Long-Term Care News guest submissions are the author’s and are not necessarily those of McKnight’s Long-Term Care News or its editors.