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Making strides with recruitment in a fiercely competitive environment

The pandemic has amplified some of the long-standing issues within Ontario’s health care workforce, leading to heavy workloads and province-wide staffing shortages.  This, coupled with unprecedented demand on the health care system due to high patient acuity and volume, has been extremely tough on Quinte Health’s dedicated staff and physicians. 

We are currently in the most competitive recruitment environment we have ever faced, but our Human Resources team has been aggressive in their recruitment strategies. Taking into account staff who have retired or resigned, there are an additional 94 clinical Quinte Health employees than we had at this time last year. Even though there have been an impressive 412 new recruits so far in 2022, Quinte Health has not been able to recruit staff fast enough to keep up with the unprecedented growth in demand for hospital services over the past few years. 

In June, Lyndsay Kerik was hired in a new role as Quinte Health’s Recruitment and Retention Specialist. It has been Lyndsay’s mission to find innovative ways to attract and engage with potential recruits, and she’s been quite successful in garnering interest and applicants to Quinte Health.

Lyndsay and the Human Resources team have been attending virtual and in-person job fairs throughout the

Members of the team representing Quinte Health
at a recent Loyalist College job fair.

province. They recently attended a bustling job fair for college students and high school students at Loyalist College, and they have plans to hold their own Quinte Health job fairs for specific positions such as Physician Assistants and Critical Care nurses.  

Quinte Health’s online recruitment presence has also improved in the recent months. “With Lyndsay in the new recruitment and retention role, Quinte Health’s Indeed (job search) impressions are up 55% and we have seen 28% more application starts,” said Bree Gaber, Director of Human Resources. “We have also seen a 33% increase in followers on Quinte Health’s LinkedIn as we try to connect with new candidates and reach new audiences. Lyndsay is also making contact with everyone who has created a profile on our Careers website but hasn’t yet applied for a job, and others who had previously applied to Quinte Health, so she can highlight potential new opportunities for them. She’s even started making cold calls to potential recruits that she finds on LinkedIn. We are actively doing everything we can to pull people in.”

“We’ve also been tapping into some programs that have led to new hires, such as the Supervised Practice Experience Partnership (SPEP) program through the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO),” said Lyndsay. “Through the SPEP program, we hosted five participants who required a period of work to qualify for their CNO registration, and four out of five participants accepted positions at Quinte Health after their work period. We have also begun to explore internationally-trained candidates and, through this, have welcomed three full-time staff members to our hospitals. And earlier this year, we utilized a provincial incentive to hire 13 people.”

Of course hiring is only the half of it – Lyndsay is also focused on making work life better for the dedicated staff who make up our Quinte Health teams. Monthly wellness events started in October to engage staff in fun activities both on and off site. October saw walking groups and on-site yoga, and November features a step challenge to motivate and encourage healthy competition. There have also been strides made toward bringing more food options into our hospitals so staff have nutritious options at work – more to come on this in the New Year. Also in the New Year, we will celebrate our long service staff members who are celebrating work anniversaries from 2021 and 2022.

“The Human Resources team has been hard at work, collaborating with managers to hire more people to join our teams,” said Susan Rowe, Vice President, People and Strategy. “The team has been innovative, resourceful and tenacious in their efforts to recruit and retain, and they’ve really been living our values, especially We all make a difference. Thank you to the HR team and to everyone whose actions have cast a positive light on the work that we do, and the care that we provide, at Quinte Health.”

Lyndsay Kerik, Recruitment and Retention Specialist, leading
some Quinte Health team members in an October walking group.