Q and A with Rachel Hawksworth Q and A with Rachel Hawksworth
Our Colleagues

Colleague Q&A: Getting Personnel

July 15, 2021

Hiring the right people takes a special talent — especially in a large organization. That’s where experience pays off.

Rachel Hawksworth Vice President of Talent Acquisition HCA Healthcare Nashville, Tenn.

Rachel Hawksworth
Vice President of Talent Acquisition HCA Healthcare Nashville, Tenn.

Rachel Hawksworth joined HCA Healthcare in the fall of 2020 after two decades working in a variety of corporate retail positions, including operations management, human resources and recruitment. The Western Illinois University graduate now oversees a department that is responsible for roughly 80,000 hires annually. Here she discusses what it means to join the HCA Healthcare family.

We’re looking for people who have a passion for serving others, who are compassionate and who bring the right skills to the position.

— Rachel Hawksworth, Vice President of Talent Acquisition, HCA Healthcare Nashville, Tenn.

Q: You have a strong retail background. What attracted you to healthcare?

A: I was looking for a change from retail to an organization that had a higher purpose, and healthcare was a target industry as I explored new opportunities. The mission of HCA Healthcare spoke to me from the day I heard it. I was sold and couldn’t wait to learn more.

Q: What makes HCA Healthcare a good fit for you? Is your retail experience helping you?

A: Believe it or not, there are a lot of similarities — mostly operational — that resonate with my retail background. I’ve had a sharp learning curve, but I can rely on my experiences as a guide. As a recruiter, you develop an appreciation for the art and science of making a great hire. 

Q: What are your current goals, and what recruitment strategies are you working on right now?

A: Our No. 1 goal is to acquire the right talent at the right time. We’re focused on attracting high-quality, diverse talent, and our strategy has been a big focus for 2021. This encompasses how we attract candidates, which includes branding and marketing to prospective applicants, creating an engaging experience on our careers site platform, and improving our technology to make it easier to apply. 

Q: Have you developed a vision for nursing recruitment? 

A: This is the most critical position we recruit for, so we’re focused on hiring experienced RNs as well as new graduates. We’re in the process of refining our vision, which includes providing a signature experience to our candidates. We want them to be engaged and feel great about joining HCA Healthcare. Our vision is rooted in ensuring we have a process that is seamless and fast, delivering quality talent in a fair and consistent way.

Q: What are the qualities you look for in nursing candidates? 

A: In general, we’re looking for people who have a passion for serving others, who are compassionate and who bring the right skills to the position. We’re in the people business, so ensuring that the talent we hire will contribute well in our culture is important. There are so many options; we offer everything from bedside nurse positions to case management to leadership. Depending on your career goals, I’m certain you won’t find more options anywhere else.

Q: Can you comment on how HCA Healthcare creates a family atmosphere for colleagues?

A: At HCA Healthcare, we “care like family.” I haven’t seen this in any other organization I’ve worked for. In my short time here, I’ve personally witnessed genuine displays of this value with colleagues who need some additional level of support. I continually hear about our family commitment through mission moments that we share regularly.

Q: Closing thoughts?

A: Being a recruiter is a special job. We work with candidates during very important — and in some cases life-changing — decisions for them and their families. I am proud that I get to represent this organization.