Advice for Employers and Recruiters

What employers can learn from Mayo Clinic’s patient-centered approach

Steven Rothberg AvatarSteven Rothberg
May 2, 2023

I live in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis / Saint Paul, Minnesota. For those unfamiliar with the geography, it is only 1.5 hours’ drive door-to-door from my home to Mayo Clinic. All cities have their pros and cons, but a definite pro of living in the Twin Cities is easy access to some of the very best healthcare in the world.

After graduating from the University of Minnesota School of Law in 1991, I lived in Rochester, Minnesota, home to Mayo Clinic, for a year. I worked as a law clerk to a couple of the judges that year, but everyone in Rochester knew multiple people who worked for Mayo Clinic, and almost everyone here received some of their healthcare from Mayo Clinic. I’m here this week, not for anything serious, but for diagnosis of and potentially treatment for a minor medical issue that otherwise might have taken visit after visit and month after month had I gone to one specialist, then to another, then to another. At Mayo, it isn’t unusual to see several world-class specialists within a day, the same the next day, and be home the third day.

The Mayo Clinic has consistently ranked as one of the top healthcare clinics, hospitals, and systems in the world. First-time patients and those accompanying those patients are always amazed not just at the medical skills of the healthcare professionals, but also the holistic and incredibly caring and friendly attitude of every single person you encounter, including those working in the nearby hotels, shops, and restaurants. In what can often be a very difficult and stressful time, the people who work for Mayo and the hotels, restaurants, and shops throughout Rochester, Minnesota are just fantastic.

Mayo Clinic’s patient-centered approach, focus on innovation, and dedication to quality care set it apart from other healthcare providers. Employers can learn valuable lessons from the Mayo Clinic’s principles, specifically when it comes to treating job candidates with the same level of care and respect. Some key factors in what makes Mayo Clinic so much better than many (most?) other healthcare systems, and what employers should strive to emulate:

  1. Prioritize the Individual

Just as Mayo Clinic puts patients first, employers should make job candidates feel valued and respected throughout the recruitment process. To achieve this, employers can:

  • Personalize communication: Tailor emails, calls, and interviews to address the candidate’s specific skills, experiences, and aspirations.
  • Provide prompt feedback: Keep candidates informed about their application status, even if it’s to let them know they haven’t been successful. Honest feedback can help candidates grow and feel respected.
  • Show empathy: Consider the stress and anxiety that come with job hunting, and be empathetic in your interactions.
  1. Foster a Collaborative Environment

Mayo Clinic’s team-based approach to patient care ensures a comprehensive and efficient experience. Employers can foster collaboration by:

  • Involving multiple team members in the hiring process: Encourage hiring managers, HR representatives, and future team members to collaborate in evaluating candidates.
  • Encouraging open communication: Enable candidates to ask questions and get to know the team during interviews, fostering a sense of belonging and engagement.
  • Promoting diversity and inclusion: Recognize the value that diverse perspectives bring to your team and actively seek candidates with varied backgrounds and experiences.
  1. Invest in Continuous Improvement

Mayo Clinic’s commitment to research and innovation has led to groundbreaking medical advancements. Employers can embrace this principle by:

  • Regularly evaluating recruitment processes: Identify areas for improvement and implement changes to enhance the candidate experience.
  • Staying up-to-date on industry trends: Be aware of emerging technologies, strategies, and best practices in the recruitment landscape.
  • Encouraging professional development: Invest in training and development opportunities for HR and hiring managers to ensure they remain knowledgeable and effective in their roles.
  1. Maintain Transparency and Accountability

Mayo Clinic builds trust with patients by being transparent about treatment options, risks, and outcomes. Employers can apply this principle by:

  • Clearly communicating expectations: Share job requirements, compensation, and growth opportunities upfront to avoid misunderstandings.
  • Addressing concerns: Encourage open dialogue and provide honest answers to candidates’ questions about company culture, work-life balance, and potential challenges.
  • Taking responsibility for mistakes: If a candidate’s experience is less than ideal, acknowledge the issue and take steps to rectify it.
  1. Measure Success and Satisfaction

Mayo Clinic continually monitors patient satisfaction to ensure the highest quality of care. Employers can adopt this approach by:

  • Collecting feedback from candidates: Solicit feedback through surveys or informal conversations to gain insight into the strengths and weaknesses of your recruitment process.
  • Analyzing data: Use metrics like time-to-fill, offer acceptance rate, and retention to evaluate your recruitment success and inform future improvements.
  • Setting goals for improvement: Establish benchmarks for candidate satisfaction and work towards achieving them.

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