0507 Pearson Reid

By Staff Report

Jul. 1, 2005

Mercy Iowa City, located in Iowa City, Iowa, has served its community for more than 130 years. The hospital is accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, and has enjoyed a longstanding reputation for the high quality of its primary and specialized care. Mercy also benefits the community by promoting programs to foster optimal health, by educating individuals on the effective use of healthcare services, and by facilitating services for the poor and underprivileged.

Identifying, recruiting and retaining the strongest healthcare professional available is critical to maintaining Mercy’s high performance standards and its mission. In support of these performance standards and mission, Pearson Performance Solutions has provided a leading healthcare assessment tool to Mercy Iowa City since 2002.

Mercy’s Need

Mercy is a rarity in its hiring practices – it is an organization that seeks to have personal contact with all applicants. The hospital also seeks to offer applicants many convenient ways to apply for positions, including through its Web site and an on-site kiosk. As an employer of choice in the area and with its speedy applicant-friendly hiring process, Mercy sought to be able to identify quickly the strongest candidates in its pool for interviewing and to ease the heavy workload on its recruiters. In order to supplement the process of employment application and resume submission, Mercy elected to administer a standardized assessment solution that could help evaluate all non-physician candidates across key performance measures in a uniform, reliable way. The assessment solution also needed to be integrated into its existing hiring process and to facilitate the candidate funnel for the hospital’s recruiters by helping determine which candidates would continue in the process.

Our Solution

To help Mercy better select superior employees, Pearson Performance Solutions has supplied its Healthcare Employee Productivity Report assessment. The instrument was developed specifically for the healthcare industry to help select applicants who exhibit the traits necessary for quality patient care, including conscientiousness, reliability, punctuality, responsibility, consistency and service relations. It can be inserted quickly into an organization’s hiring process at the juncture that works best within that organization’s hiring process. The instrument is used by many leading health systems nationwide to help improve selection procedures. In line with Mercy Hospital’s applicant-friendly approach, the assessment takes many applicants as little as 15 minutes to complete. Candidates have reported to Mercy that the flexibility to apply for positions via the Web site or on-site kiosk has introduced valuable convenience to the process.

How We Did It

Pearson Performance Solutions assessments are easily configured onto our automated application platforms and offer flexibility to clients with existing hiring processes. Mercy Iowa City requests that all applicants complete an initial application; a resume is also requested for certain positions. An assessment is required as part of the application process for all positions.

Using the application, resume and assessment tool, qualified candidates are then forwarded electronically to departmental managers for further review, and the managers can then determine if they would like to conduct an interview. Individual candidate assessment results, including scale-by-scale evaluation, as well as overall organizational reporting are available via the Pearson Performance Solutions system, so Mercy can quickly determine which candidates are recommended to continue in its process.

Net Business Result

Mercy quickly became convinced of the value of the Healthcare Employee Productivity Report assessment. Uniform evaluation of candidates after the application and resume review stage added consistency to the hospital’s hiring process, both within job families and organization-wide. Perhaps most important, the hospital’s recruiters found that the assessment aided the applicant process as one of the tools determining which candidates were appropriate for further consideration and which were not, while keeping the hospital’s personal touch with candidates intact. Mercy believes that the assessment has, in conjunction with other human resource initiatives, contributed to reduced turnover and strong patient care. Another benefit is that the assessment helps interviewers focus on key areas with individual candidates that might not have been otherwise brought to their attention. The ability to use the information to quickly identify the strongest candidates, and to hire and retain those candidates, is a critical advantage for Mercy in its efforts to be as selective as possible.

The Healthcare Employee Productivity Report instrument can be an important part of a successful hiring program for healthcare organizations. Pearson Performance Solutions recommends that organizations follow a few basic principles as part of the hiring process:

  • Hire for attitude; train for skill
  • Interviewers have bad days; assessments don’t
  • Process efficiencies can help to identify the right people with the right attitudes
  • The best practices lead to the best people
  • Quality RNs and healthcare professionals want to work with quality RNs and healthcare professionals


To learn more about how Pearson Performance Solutions can facilitate HR cost savings and help improve employee retention for your organization, please call, click or write:

Pearson Performance Solutions
1 North Dearborn Street Suite 1600
Chicago , IL 60602 (800) 922-7343

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