Photo of a new hire meeting her co-workers for the first time. Photo of a new hire meeting her co-workers for the first time.
Our People

Recruiting Remarkable Talent

April 14, 2023

The blueprint for success includes a mix of tools and programs that bring teams together.

Like many industries nationwide, healthcare is facing a global labor shortage, presenting new challenges to clinical care settings. Meeting these challenges head on is at the forefront for HCA Healthcare’s local and enterprise leaders. We remain committed to supporting our teams by recruiting the best talent and ensuring that our patients continue to receive high-quality care. Recruitment and retention both play important roles in developing a workforce of unrivaled ability. Advanced technology, improved processes, compensation and leadership development are several strategic priorities taking center stage for HCA Healthcare’s talent acquisition teams.

Bio photo of Rachel Hawksworth, HCA Healthcare vice president of talent acquisition.

Rachel Hawksworth
HCA Healthcare vice president
of talent acquisition

“Recruiting is a sport where everybody participates,” says Rachel Hawksworth, HCA Healthcare’s vice president of talent acquisition. “We own the process; we own the technology by which we hire talent, but there are a number of key players we have to partner with to ensure successful hiring.”

Increasing recruitment capabilities and investing in retention practices have become critical aspects of navigating the current climate. The ability to recruit is in itself constrained by the labor market and the availability of talent – particularly nursing talent. More employers than ever are posting jobs, but they’re being sought by a limited pool of candidates, which makes proactive strategies even more essential.

HCA Healthcare’s mission comes to life when the right people are in the right seats. Staying front and center with job seekers ensures that our offers are top of mind for anyone who may be actively seeking a role in our organization. The enterprise strategy of investing in tools and programs to help us attract the very best requires buy-in from teams across

HCA Healthcare – for the sake of those we serve.

“It’s vital. I tell my team all the time that we are the engine that’s fueling the company,” says Rachel. “We are on the front lines of ensuring that the hospitals can achieve their outcomes by bringing great talent to them.”

I tell my team all the time that we are the engine that’s fueling the company. We are on the front lines of ensuring that the hospitals can achieve their outcomes by bringing great talent to them.

— Rachel Hawksworth, HCA Healthcare’s vice president of talent acquisition

Attracting Talent

Attracting great talent in a competitive market often requires a multifaceted approach. This is where

HCA Healthcare shines, says Rachel. Successful recruiting efforts are achieved by employing a variety of tactics.

HCA Healthcare’s scale and reach cast a wide net when it comes to talent pools. And advancements in technology, innovation and patient care agendas set us apart within that search.

“All of those things work in our favor because, behind the scenes, we have a lot of resources working on the things that are most important to the talent that’s going to come and work with us,” says Rachel. “Some of our smaller competitors don’t have the same offerings that we have when it comes to process, innovation or care models.”

At the end of the day, mission-driven colleagues with a passion for people-first care are the ones who innovate and inspire, and who keep

HCA Healthcare’s promise alive. Inviting great talent onto our teams is the first step in growing HCA Healthcare.

Internal Efforts: Retention and Advancement

Recruitment opportunities are also an important part of the journey for colleagues who are already employed at HCA Healthcare. Currently, roughly 30% of the enterprise’s open positions are filled internally. There are opportunities to increase this percentage by encouraging colleagues to check internal career websites and sign up for job alerts if they’re seeking advancement or even a lateral move to broaden their HCA Healthcare experience.

HCA Healthcare’s presence across the globe allows for a tremendous amount of opportunities at a variety of locations. Our 182 hospitals and areas of specialty among more than 2,300 ambulatory sites of care create a broad reach that enables HCA Healthcare colleagues to grow and advance in unique ways.

Rachel says leaders are committed to keeping vested colleagues by ensuring the organization lives up to the standards that initially drew them to HCA Healthcare.

“We get a lot of feedback that the reason they’re attracted to

HCA Healthcare is truly our mission, the care and improvement of human life,” says Rachel.

The care and compassion that are demonstrated in our facilities are not only adopted and valued by our colleagues, but also by our leadership.

Dr. Thomas F. Frist, Sr., is quoted as saying, “Good people beget good people.”

Delivering on our purpose means as much to those who join

HCA Healthcare as it did to those who founded it.

Healthcare is a demanding and competitive industry, highly dependent on an engaged workforce dedicated to providing and supporting quality patient care, yet very sensitive to higher turnover and caregiver burnout.

— Michael Andrus, vice president of shared operations, Human Resources Group

Technology’s Role In Recruiting

Retention remains at the core of HCA Healthcare’s Human Resources Operations Center (HROC), says Michael Andrus, vice president of shared operations, Human Resources Group. The team devotes their energy to maintaining an environment of continuous improvement as they manage complex processes designed to ensure consistent and positive colleague experiences.

This requires that they become experts in all aspects of services provided, which leads to a high degree of continuous training. The team of more than 250 HROC colleagues constantly pursues technology improvements, such as leveraging cloud-based platforms, robotic process automation or advanced analytics. Additionally, they provide onboarding support and technology to newly hired HCA Healthcare colleagues, plus license, certification and education verification services; internal movement support; and personal-data administration.

Photo of two ladies during an Human Resources related interaction.

Simply put, they create processes and platforms that are easy to use and that help colleagues perform their jobs more efficiently.

The team regularly seeks feedback, which is an essential part of

HCA Healthcare’s Vital Voices program. Vital Voices determines colleague satisfaction through semiannual pulse surveys on engagement.

Michael’s team creates action plans from the feedback to address concerns raised, monitoring progress monthly. Such programs have become even more important since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, with so many colleagues now working remotely. Recruiting and retaining top talent becomes a constant balancing act.

“Healthcare is a demanding and competitive industry, highly dependent on an engaged workforce dedicated to providing and supporting quality patient care, yet very sensitive to higher turnover and caregiver burnout,” he says.

What’s Next in Recruiting

New recruits attend an orientation class.

With resolute strategies in place and many advancements in talent acquisition and recruitment planned for the coming year, Rachel is optimistic about the future.

These updates include a colleague referral program in which

HCA Healthcare employees can refer talent within their professional network. Additionally, a new automated process will assist the recruitment team in scheduling and processing thousands of interviews.

Finally, Rachel says her team will continue its focus on increasing and improving diversity recruitment with new strategies to attract and retain a varied mix of talent, backgrounds and experiences.

“We’re always innovating and introducing new and creative ways and tactics of recruiting talent, so we’re well positioned to deliver outstanding recruitment services in 2023,” she says.

Veterans as Vital Team Members

When HCA Healthcare formed our Military Affairs department in 2011, the veteran unemployment rate was 12.1 percent, says Jon Snider, program manager of military affairs.

Just 11 years later, as of November 2022, that unemployment rate stood at 2.7 percent, reflecting an encouraging increase in veteran hires across several industries. Since 2012, HCA Healthcare has hired more than 40,000 veterans, active-duty personnel and military spouses.

“We seek to attract and recruit military talent because the values and skills instilled in them through their service further strengthen our culture to support our mission,’” says Jon, also a veteran. “Our veterans are not only hard working, but their ability to adapt, overcome and continue their mission makes them valuable to any team as healthcare is continuously evolving and our care teams face new, complex challenges.”

HCA Healthcare attracts and retains qualified veterans by offering purpose, community and development in addition to a career opportunity. In late 2022, HCA Healthcare was recognized by Military Times as one of the country’s best employers based on the organization’s efforts to recruit, retain and support current and former service members, military spouses and military caregivers.

Whether at the patient’s bedside or in an office building, veterans find purpose in their roles by contributing to the care and improvement of human life – the same mission-oriented culture they transitioned from. Our Veteran Colleague Networks offer veterans support and connection, embodying the organization’s commitment to care like family. Colleague Networks are also active in their communities, promoting continued service through volunteer events. The veteran community offers growth and development through mentoring and coaching as colleagues find purpose in their next mission within the organization.

HCA Healthcare’s Military Times recognition honors the work we are doing to support and employ veterans, including:

  • Launching an internal mentoring program for veterans and military spouses, to help recently transitioned veterans navigate the civilian workforce.
  • Maintaining a Veteran Colleague Network, a voluntary employee-led network facilitating collaboration among colleagues.
  • Offering military leave and supplemental pay to eligible colleagues and supporting those continuing to serve as active-duty military while working.