Maggie BleharOctober 06, 2022
Topics: Customer Stories

ChenMed's Hypergrowth Hiring Hacks

Providing a better talent experience is no longer optional — it’s critical to hire, develop, and retain today’s workers. With 80% of roles falling into high-volume clinical support staffing, fast-growing healthcare provider ChenMed knows this first-hand.

In our case study, we examined their specific hiring challenges and how they found successful solutions using the Phenom Intelligent Talent Experience platform — specifically through the use of a talent community to build a quality candidate database.

We also spoke with ChenMed’s Ali Schrader, Recruiting Candidate Experience Manager, and Christin Davis, Managing Director, HR Central Operations and Technology, on Talent Experience Live to dig a little deeper into their challenges and successes.

Schrader and Davis shared how the company has ultimately increased internal and external applies, reduced time to fill, and leveled employee turnover.

Watch the full episode below, download the case study, or continue reading for the highlights.

What does recruitment marketing mean to ChenMed?

According to Schrader, “Recruitment marketing is to take your corporate brand, build off it, and better represent the employer brand to attract, develop, and retain talent.”

How do you do that? By:

  • Applying an employer brand strategy
  • Creating engaging content
  • Working with recruiters to understand the roles they need to fill
  • Developing an authentic company culture
  • Implementing a retention plan

Obviously, a lot goes into the above strategies, and Schrader and Davis have had plenty of opportunity to put this into practice at ChenMed, which provides value-based healthcare to help seniors live longer and better, directly challenging the fee-for-service healthcare model.

The company is growing quickly across 15 states — from 2,000 employees in 2020 to 6,000 today — with the goal of adding 4,000 more employees to the workforce in the coming years.

Because of their rapid growth, they understand the need to create quality talent pools and expand into new markets to fill hiring needs.

“We have a mighty little brand, and we’re working hard to get that brand name out there,” Davis said enthusiastically.

What have been ChenMed’s main challenges toward company growth?

ChenMed had four challenges in their path toward building a 10,000+ employee company:

  1. They lacked a robust talent community from which to source and engage candidates — especially for roles in their primary location. “A lot of candidates in healthcare aren’t even applying because they’re in such high demand,” explained Davis.
  2. They were delivering a lackluster candidate experience for both external and internal job seekers. This was due to lengthy applications and the lack of a basic UX design. They also needed more actionable visibility into career mobility for employees.
  3. They needed to automate numerous TA processes en masse so recruiters could devote more time on high-impact activities.
  4. They were experiencing high levels of employee turnover. “There are more jobs listed than there are people to go to work,” Davis said simply.

Without solutions to these challenges, they knew retention would be an uphill battle, especially considering the competitive talent landscape where many healthcare workers have left the industry completely post-pandemic.

A recruiting process that could withstand pressure and rapidly escalating demand was what they needed, and this is why they turned to Phenom. “Phenom’s mission resonated with us, and ChenMed’s mission resonated with me,” said Davis. “We work hard to show that, because we believe our best candidates resonate with our mission.”

Related reading: The Definitive Guide to Employee Experience

How do you find the right candidates?

Video has been key to attracting candidates who fit the ChenMed culture. Day-in-the-life videos help candidates picture themselves in the work environment and decide whether they’d be a good fit, Davis said. Employee testimonials featured on the career blog and highlighting awards employees are winning are two more powerful outreach tools.

And then there’s ChenMed’s talent community, which candidates can join to receive helpful information and job alerts. “If someone doesn’t see their immediate fit, we’re there to stay engaged with them, keep that lead warm and attract that talent, and hopefully find a fit for them in the future.”

How has your talent community added value to your strategy?

ChenMed’s talent community — powered by their Phenom Career Site and Phenom CRM — helps recruiters work smarter and faster while remaining mindful of budget. They can search and filter by skills, experience, interest, location, and more to find best-fit candidates in the right areas and target them appropriately.

The CRM, in combination with Phenom CMS and Phenom Campaigns, also empowers recruiters to track the candidate journey and personalize outreach accordingly. For example, instead of a generic email about a job posting, a recruiter can say, “I know you weren’t ready when we spoke a few months ago, but how are you feeling now?”

“Those are the personalizations that candidates are looking for today,” Davis pointed out, and they’re the same kind of personalizations that ChenMed shows their patients as well.

Personalizing at scale is a common challenge when you’re in hypergrowth mode, but by investing in Phenom, the team has been able to surface personalized opportunities within the organization for employees to find and apply for new roles or gigs, see learning opportunities, chart their own career path, or seek relevant mentorship.

ChenMed’s team is also making personalization happen by:

  • Utilizing templates that match specific interactions, saving recruiters and sourcers hours of time
  • Following best practices for audience segmentation (e.g., 300 or fewer recipients versus “fishing” with an email to 5,000)
  • Analyzing metrics with Phenom Talent Analytics to show effectiveness, which helps recruiters see the benefits and secure buy-in

Related reading: 6 Ways to Personalize Your Career Site and Convert More Candidates

How do you measure your content’s effectiveness?

By sticking to short messages and small target groups, recruiters get quick insights into what’s working and what’s not, Davis said. The team strives to be as data-driven as possible, extracting a range of metrics from campaigns to guide decisions, including:

  • Application volume
  • Drop-off rates
  • Where drop-off occurs
  • Response by location

As mentioned earlier, day-in-the-life videos are a highly effective tool for quickly getting the most qualified candidates in front of hiring managers, saving time, Davis said. And considering that many hiring managers at ChenMed are physicians, time saved translates to more time spent with patients — an immeasurable benefit.

“We really want to make sure [candidates] understand what we look like, and that has helped us get them here faster. Our pools need to be organized and filled with the right people who ChenMed appeals to.”

Other types of video that ChenMed has found effective include:

  • Internal mobility videos featuring employees who have grown their careers with ChenMed.
  • Physician thought-leadership podcasts that help showcase the physician leadership career pathway, a major employment value prop.

What positive results have you seen since evolving your recruitment processes?

ChenMed’s sourcing team focuses on driving applicants to their career site. Then, recruiters step in, working to ensure they’re funneling in candidates who align well with company culture, work environment, and job specifications. “By the time a candidate gets to me, they are a full culture and a full tech fit,” Davis said, speaking from her own experience as a ChenMed hiring manager.

Since evolving their recruitment processes with Phenom, they’ve seen amazing results. For example, one campaign alone resulted in 5% of their database applying for a new job at ChenMed. “We usually strive for a 1-3% apply rate on a campaign like that. We were thrilled to get five,” Davis reported.

They’ve also found that time spent within ChenMed’s internal talent marketplace hosted by Phenom increased 21% in the last year — with 76% of employees who click on a job description applying to that position. And with Phenom Referrals, they’ve witnessed an 85% increase in employee referrals year over year.

In addition, they’ve decreased time to fill and leveled employee turnover.

The bottom line, Davis said, is that ChenMed puts trust into recruiting staff, treating them as hiring experts. While the team relies on hiring managers to assess chemistry and team fit, recruiters are empowered to make early decisions. “Not all hiring managers have that skill — to suss out whether somebody will be a good culture fit…but we trust our recruiters.”

If you could share one recruiting marketing hack, what would it be?

With the goal of adding 4,000 new hires to their company, the team is doubling down on efforts they know will deliver results. They’re planning a career site refresh, and will expand the knowledge base of their Phenom Chatbot, which is already generating 12% of applications.

For Schrader, success in recruitment marketing is all about creating content that will resonate with job seekers. That means focusing on building relationships with people, managers, and CEOs within the business who serve as a direct line to the stories candidates want to hear.

Meanwhile, Davis pointed to the use of customizable templates that help recruiters quickly target best-fit candidates. This gives recruiters the freedom to use their expertise, along with a tool to increase speed and efficiency without overcentralizing processes. This, she said, is “a bit of our secret sauce to success.”

To dive deeper into ChenMed’s success, download the full case study here.

Maggie Blehar

Maggie is a writer at Phenom, bringing you information on all things talent experience. In addition to writing, she enjoys traveling, painting, cooking, and spending time with her family and friends. 

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