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Although the Internet generally is the first place people look for job opportunities these days, one director of case management does not see a real need to go on-line for qualified case manager candidates. "I personally don’t have to bother," says Elaine Cohen, EdD, RN, director of case management at the University of Colorado Health Services Center in Denver. "I’ve been fortunate to have an extremely good staff, and I like to recruit from within," she says. Typically, Cohen uses her facility’s human resources professionals to promote floor nurses and other employees into case management positions.
However, Cohen acknowledges that the Internet is a good tool to contact and interact with potential employees; one of her colleagues has set up an extensive network for that purpose, she says. Communication exchange is important, and the Internet is a convenient way to connect the department with job applicants, Cohen adds.
In addition, the Internet can provide employers with a significantly larger pool of candidates from all over the nation, and it can help narrow those down to the ones they really want, says Ted Elliott, president of JobScience.com, an Oakland, CA-based health care jobs Web site. In fact, JobScience.com currently boasts 25,000 active, registered users, and it’s only one of the many Web sites of its kind. To provide for all those job-seekers, Elliott is actively campaigning to put more employers on-line. "Last year, health care activity on-line was a bit on the slow side, but this year, it’s picking up. Because there’s an increasing shortage of candidates, [employers] are deciding they have to look outside their neck of the woods to attract qualified employees," he explains.
Case management positions are included in JobScience.com’s specialized search engine, which once focused solely on careers in California but has recently expanded to include more than 30 state job markets. "There are plenty of case management positions, and there will be more," Elliott confirms. "Every [human resources] executive I talk to says, We’ve got problems across the board.’ They’re having tough times filling positions."
One of the top issues managers have is that "they need an idea of where the candidates are coming from. In health care, there’s a real need to screen out people who are not qualified," Elliott explains. One of the ways to do that is by specialty focus. Employers can list jobs by department or by advance practice specialty, and job seekers can collect all the jobs under those headings and send their resume out to all of them with the click of a mouse.
Elliott estimates that only 1% of health care human resources departments do not consider turnover a problem. "Retention is the real issue," he says. Hospitals, in an effort to employ qualified staff, often are spending two to three times their budget when they hire temporary and per diem employees, Elliott adds, so it’s even more important for them to find the right employee.
Cohen agrees that retention is key. She says that with the current and predicted work force shortages in health care, it’s important to keep her case managers happy. She does that by recognizing their levels of expertise and maturity. Even though the job is challenging, she says, with practice statistics and payer regulations, it offers employees a leadership opportunity. "They have chosen the case management route to expand, to develop professionally . . . and I’ve seen it help me in attracting and recruiting," Cohen adds.
[For more information, contact:
Elaine Cohen, EdD, RN, Director of Case Management, University Hospital, University of Colorado Health Services Center, Denver. Telephone: (303) 372-7624.
Ted Elliott, President, JobScience Inc., Oakland, CA. Telephone: (877) 298-6598. Web site: www.jobscience.com.]