Ask the Employer: A Conversation About Recruitment with CBI Health

Have you ever wanted to sit down with an employer and ask them about their recruitment practices? If you're job hunting at this very moment, you've probably thought about it once or twice. Well, guess what? We did just that. At the Caring Support Podcast, we recently had two talent acquisition specialists from CBI Health, Canada's leading community healthcare provider, and we asked them questions that will help healthcare workers understand recruitment better and find success in their search for new employment opportunities.

Keep reading to discover what we talked about with Jackie Riches, Provincial Talent Acquisition Manager at CBI Health, and Shannon Porter, Talent Acquisition Coordinator at CBI Health's Home Health Services division.

Ask the Employer: A Conversation About Recruitment with CBI Health

CARING SUPPORT: Jackie and Shannon, When did you join CBI Health and what attracted you to the company?

JACKIE RICHES: I joined CBI in March of 2020, at the very beginning of the pandemic. This is my first gig in healthcare and it was certainly a very interesting time to join. At that time, I spent about three days in office and then we were quickly whisked to work from home so that we could keep all of our frontline staff safe. So, I was attracted to CBI Health, and especially the home health services side of our business, because of the difference that we're making in people's lives every day, Having had family members that have required home care, you see what's needed and how important it is to those people to see those caregivers coming in their home every day. This is especially true now that we've got an aging population and those people want to stay in their homes longer and be independent for as long as possible, surrounded by their family and the things that they love, their comfort.

SHANNON PORTER: The home health care has been so important during the pandemic as it's kept people out of the hospital so that the nurses and doctors can care for the critical cases. So, I joined CBI Health in August of this year, after I completed my Human Resource Management Certificate. However, I also have my Bachelor of Nursing and my background has always been in community healthcare. When I interviewed with CBI Health, it just felt like the right fit. And that's proved correct over the last few months.


CARING SUPPORT: What do you enjoy the most about your roles at CBI Health?


SHANNON PORTER: I get to learn a lot from the candidates about different cultures, religions, and backgrounds. Meeting people every day is exciting. It's so nice to help people feel at ease as their first contact with CBI Health. Having recently completed my HR certificate, I learned a lot about the laws and regulations and CBI's focus on diversity, equity and inclusion challenges, and I get to apply these practices in the work that I do.


JACKIE RICHES: I agree with Shannon. I learn something new every day at CBI from the moment I joined. Even though I've been in recruitment for a number of years, having been new in healthcare, it's just such a diverse scope. I learn new terminology that I didn't know or that I wasn't aware of. There are really a many different avenues that someone can focus their work experience towards, like personal support workers can bridge to become RPNs, and within these roles themselves, they can focus on specific specialties ranging from developmental disabilities to palliative care. And then, of course, working with all different types of age groups, too. So it really gives them a very diverse scope and they can take those skills anywhere or keep them within CBI Health, which is where we would like them to stay. The teamwork within CBI Health is practiced in every role. So, whether you're the frontline caregiver and care coordinator working with scheduling or any type of our office support staff, we're all working together as one big team.


CARING SUPPORT: Jackie, what do you think makes CBI Health a great healthcare organization?


JACKIE RICHES: Easily, hands down, I would say our staff. All of our frontline caregivers, everyone has been very welcoming from the moment I walked through the door. The health and well-being of our Canadians is at the heart of what we do. Our staff are making meaningful differences in people's lives every day, and they're very passionate about the care that people receive and they're accepting and value everyone. So I find all of our staff are very committed to learning, improving and growing and working as a team. We're very dedicated to innovation within CBI health too. Our people are just very caring and act like a very large family.


CARING SUPPORT: Now Shannon, what has been the most challenging aspect of recruitment at CBI Health and what changes to your recruitment strategy did you need to introduce?


SHANNON PORTER: Well, there's such a high demand for frontline personal support workers, and getting to candidates quickly in a competitive market can be a challenge. We've learned to be quick and mindful of our candidate's time. Some are working other jobs, have family responsibilities, and we need to adapt to their schedule and not leave candidates waiting to hear from us.


CARING SUPPORT: Shannon, how does Caring Support help with your recruitment?


SHANNON PORTER: Caring Support allows us to quickly connect with candidates through your messaging system on the platform. It's user-friendly and I've been able to connect with over 300 candidates on the caring support platform alone.


CARING SUPPORT: Please share some of the roles that you hire for on a regular basis, apart from PSWs and nurses.


JACKIE RICHES: So, some of our behind the scenes positions are care coordinators. Our care coordination team is responsible for the scheduling our home health staff. So, matching up our clients to the right caregiver in the right area and ensuring that their scheduling is uniquely compatible, I guess is the best way to say it. They have to be very organized so that they're able to travel in between clients, and get to that client's home at the right time, if it's a timed type of visit. And all of our caregivers in the home health services side are doing that. So whether it's a PSW, a nurse, or part of our therapy team and the home health services within therapy home health, we hire occupational therapists, physiotherapists, speech language pathologists, dietitians and social workers, all going into clients' homes. RPNs, and RNs are working in clients' homes and other communities as well. And then, of course, we have our personal support workers in some of our regions. We also have support with home support workers too. But the care coordinators really need good customer service. They're glazing between clients and their families. They're working with our community care access support, as well as our caregivers, field staff, our management staff. They're really needed.


CARING SUPPORT: Jackie, what do you envision for the future of recruitment in healthcare?


JACKIE RICHES: So I find everyone's mobile. Social media has become a part of everyone's lives. And it's something that you can access from your phone, from your PC, smart TVs. You can access everything everywhere. So having something like Caring Support and social media, whether it's Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok; people have easy ways to see what's going on inside of an organization to make an informed employer choice. So I think platforms like Caring Support that give candidates an immediate interaction with employers are the future. Gone are the days when employers would post and pray and you'd see those applications coming in. You've got candidates now that are holding back in providing their applications until they've learned a little bit more about an employer and done some research. First, deciding that they're going to join an organization or that they want to join an organization. So having an opportunity like Caring Support, where we can interact with a candidate, we can find a candidate for starters, but we can also interact with them through messaging, picking up the phone also and calling them and coordinating that conversation with them, that is convenient to them being on the go, especially in healthcare and home care. You've got candidates who are travelling quite a bit and adapting to their schedule and being flexible in that mindset to their flexibility from an employer standpoint is really helpful to the candidates as well.


CARING SUPPORT: What are some of the other developments you think will happen in healthcare from your perspective? Are you looking forward to them?


JACKIE RICHES: I think there definitely would be some additional developments. I think one strategy from a recruitment standpoint is having realistic conversations with candidates, and getting to know their goals. And this needs to happen outside of healthcare as well. It's not just something within healthcare, but getting to know the candidates' long term goals when it comes to their employment, their learning and development will be important. Candidates used to apply to everything and hope for calls back. And they're being a little bit more selective and wanting to learn what's available to them, what's in it for them. And so having someone like Shannon, who's very comfortable having those conversations and putting candidates at ease themselves, too, is great. Now candidates don't have to feel anxious going into an interview since it's an open conversation between the employer and the candidates.


SHANNON PORTER: Just putting people at ease, like Jackie said. Conversations just flow so much easier when you put somebody at ease. There doesn't need to be a hierarchy between employers and candidates, we are all working towards the same common goal. You want to find a place to work that meets your values and that will value you. And we want to provide that.


CARING SUPPORT: Would you like to add anything else?


JACKIE RICHES: Simply that CBI Health has been it's a great place to work. Caring Support, the partnership that we've had together has been really good for us to build some candidate pipelines as well. We just would love to see people who are interested in healthcare and want to treat people with respect and dignity and really care for others to be joining our organization.


SHANNON PORTER: Jackie pretty much touched on it all, but yes, if anyone wants to come join the team, it really is an amazing place to work. I've been in health care for over ten years and I love CBI health. Everyone is amazing. So much knowledge is shared all the time. If you have any question, there's five people that will answer within 10 minutes.


About the interviewees:

Jackie Riches, Provincial Talent Acquisition Manager at CBI Health

Jackie is a graduate of Mohawk College’s Continuing Education Human Resources program in addition to Business at Fanshawe College. Jackie has been working in Talent Acquisition for over 12 years with experience in high volume, end-to-end recruitment in Health Care and Business Process Outsourcing industries. She’s managed a team of up to 8 recruiters filling roles across Canada ranging from entry level customer service to management and skilled positions. In her current role at CBI Health, she manages the Home Health East Talent Acquisition Specialists hiring community health care workers across Ontario and Atlantic Canada.

Shannon Porter, Talent Acquisition Coordinator of Home Health Services at CBI Health

Shannon is a graduate from Fleming College’s post-graduate Human Resource Management certificate, as well as has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Trent University. Shannon is new to the Talent Acquisition role, although she has over 10 years experience in community healthcare, including working in Supportive Housing to Adult Day programs, she has mainly focused on Mental Health, Dementia Care, Palliative care, as well as individuals with Chronic Illnesses and Injuries. Shannon’s current role as a Talent Acquisition Coordinator at CBI Health is to be the first point of contact with new candidates across multiple regions in Ontario.

Read More:

All About Healthcare Employers

How to Hire a PSW for your Home

How To Write An Ideal Resume For Registered Nurse Jobs

Most Common PSW Job Interview Questions

Tips for a Great PSW Job Interview


To listen to the full interview with CBI Health, head to the Caring Support Podcast or our YouTube Channel. You can also follow us on social media and enjoy some clips from this interesting interview.

Stay tuned for more content from our fantastic employers as we have more interviews like this one coming soon. For now, we thank you for reading this article and being part of the Caring Support community.

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