Job descriptions define perfect candidates
By Toni Cesta, PhD, RN, FAAN
Senior Vice President
Lutheran Medical Center
Your job descriptions should clearly define the minimum amount of education that you require for the role of case manager or social worker. While most hospitals today look for a bachelor's degree for the case manager, you might have difficulty recruiting this level of employee. Consider keeping your job description flexible if this is an issue in your area. For example you might want to indicate "bachelor's preferred."
As you consider what educational preparation you would like your candidates to have, here are some points to consider:
- the level of education related to your department's goals and expected outcomes;
- the roles and functions of the position;
- your budget;
- your ability to fill the positions.
In terms of requiring certification in case management, you might want to say that you prefer certification or that you expect the candidate to achieve certification within two years of employment. If you are hiring staff without experience, it is reasonable to expect that passing the certification exam might take at least two years. There are many added values in expecting that your staff achieve certification:
- upholds the quality of the profession;
- establishes the minimum level of knowledge and experience regarding the practice of our profession;
- ensures that certificant meets acceptable uniform national standards;
- promotes consumer protection;
- establishes a professional identity;
- promotes continuous learning and upgrading of skills.
As you review your expectations in terms of clinical and/or case management experience, consider the following points:
- number of years of experience in case management and/or clinical experience;
- total years in the profession;
- previous experience in related areas such as discharge planning, utilization management, quality management, psychosocial counseling, home care, etc.