Not sure if you’ve heard or not, but recruiting and retaining healthcare professionals is a hot topic these days. No one has really figured out the secret sauce or found the magic bullet. That’s why Chad & Cheese sat down with Angad Madra, director HR technology and analytics at Ardent Healthcare, at iCIMS Inspire in San Diego. On this episode, get ready to snack on a tasty dose of healthcare recruitment, best retention practices and impact of the gig economy. You’re blood pressure is sure to normalize after this one if you’ve been stressed about hiring in this sector.
TRANSCRIPTION SPONSORED BY: Disability Solutions partners with our clients to build best-in-class inclusion programs and reach qualified, talented individuals with disabilities of every skill, education, and experience level.
Chad Sowash: Hide your kids. Lock the doors. You're listening to HR's most dangerous podcast. Chad Sowash and Joel Cheeseman are here to punch the recruiting industry right where it hurts. Complete with breaking news, brash opinion, and loads of snark. Buckle up, boys and girls. It's time for the Chad and Cheese Podcast.
Joel Cheeseman: Oh, yeah. What's up, boys and girls. We are live from iCIMS INSPIRE, beautiful San Diego, California. I am Joel Cheeseman, your co-host, joined as always, Chad Sowash. And we are happy to welcome Angad Madra to the podcast today.
Chad Sowash: That is a strong name.
Joel Cheeseman: Very strong.
Chad Sowash: I don't know we've ever had a strong name as a strong name.
Joel Cheeseman: I need "Gad" connected to my name, Joel Gad Cheeseman, Joel Gad...
Chad Sowash: Angad Madra.
Joel Cheeseman: Angad, welcome to the podcast.
Angad Madra: Thank you.
Joel Cheeseman: You're with Ardent Healthcare. Your title would be?
Angad Madra: Director of HR Technology and Analytics.
Joel Cheeseman: Love it. Out of Nashville...
Chad Sowash: Hot Chicken, Tennessee.
Joel Cheeseman: Tennessee.
Angad Madra: Hattie B's. It's the only one.
Chad Sowash: Hattie B's, baby.
Joel Cheeseman: So we are at the end here, of day one. What were some of your major takeaways, things that you learned, things that blew your mind up? Talk about that.
Angad Madra: I think some people might have said this already, Raya Mars, just looking at the data, one of the things that was intriguing was looking at her data of the population that's coming into the workforce from a age standpoint. And then hearing that same analogy from Johnny Taylor, but talking about, "Hey, we should focus on not just the college campuses and not just the Gen Zs that are coming in, but also focus on 40 above, 50... People above the age of 50. And I think as an industry, we've just neglected that population, so it's caused a lot of chaos in TA to freak out about candidate pool. And here's a amazing amount of people who have a lot of experience, are ready to work, and we're not paying attention to that. So I thought that was really interesting.
Chad Sowash: I think we... There's a selective neglection that happens. [laughter]
Angad Madra: Totally, totally.
Joel Cheeseman: Selective neglection...
Angad Madra: I like that phrase.
Chad Sowash: We're going to neglect you, and then you...
Angad Madra: Purposefully.
Chad Sowash: Yes. And then you...
Angad Madra: Right.
Chad Sowash: So it's weird when we find value in certain segments of the workforce. Talk about what your passion is, especially on the technology side of the house. Why does tech, especially in this space, 'cause not everybody thinks it's sexy. I do. I'm a geek.
Joel Cheeseman: Ditto.
Chad Sowash: Obviously, you are too. What's your passion around it?
Angad Madra: It's 'cause I'm Indian, man. [laughter] It's in my blood. I was in HR and people are like, "Are you in IT?" And I'm like, "Man, maybe I do need to switch to HR IT at least and blend those two worlds." I'm kidding, I'm kidding. [laughter]
Chad Sowash: Oh, that's it. We're gonna stop the podcast now. That's too good.
Joel Cheeseman: We out.
Angad Madra: No, I mean, when I was in HR, that was a comment that I got a lot, that people would find out I'm an Indian, they're like, "Oh, you're in IT?" "No, I'm not." But even within HR, I just really enjoyed...
Chad Sowash: That's profiling, and profiling ain't cool.
Angad Madra: That's why I shaved my head, I look like Middle Eastern now, so... [laughter] I'm kidding.
Chad Sowash: It's a sexy head, I'll tell you that right now.
Joel Cheeseman: Yeah.
Angad Madra: You resonate. There's problems, you know...
Chad Sowash: Thank you. Can feel it, yeah.
Angad Madra: Sunburn.
Chad Sowash: Yeah.
Joel Cheeseman: Feel like I'm in between a couple of Ban roll-on deodorants.
Chad Sowash: Go ahead.
Angad Madra: No, I think being in HR, it is a people business. Recruiting was awesome, gained a lot of experience, but for me personally, doing the same thing, having the same conversation, pulling up the same interview guides, I just needed something else. So I would play around in the system and stretch the system and really fell in love with technology that supports recruiters to do their job better. So my passion is taking technology and making it work for people who are, like, my favorite phrase is, "Oh, I didn't know it could do that." So that's my passion, is helping people find what the system can do, which they already have, they've already paid for, but it's underutilized.
Joel Cheeseman: You have previous experience at Dollar General, which is, I assume, a 180 from the work you do now.
Angad Madra: Yeah.
Joel Cheeseman: But compare and contrast recruiting at Dollar General versus what you do now at Ardent Health.
Chad Sowash: Wow.
Angad Madra: So yeah, I was a recruiter for Dollar General, finding store managers in the middle of nowhere. So it brings a very unique challenge, and the labor market is very different, the pay is very different, so you have to be creative. And Dollar General is a machine. They have 19,000 stores. And our metrics were ridiculous. Like I'd have 1000-1200 stores that I was recruiting for, and my goal was to be 99% staffed, which meant I could only have 10 stores open without a store manager. So the strategy there was not to sit around, wait for a store to be open, but was to build really deep relationships with your district managers and say, "Hey, if your store manager sneeze in the left instead of right, I need to know," so we could have a backup plan and we can figure out this before the store manager leaves.
Chad Sowash: Wow.
Angad Madra: So it was a very different situation to now being at Ardent Health, our number one job we're looking for is, you can guess it, registered nurses.
Joel Cheeseman: Yep.
Chad Sowash: Yeah.
Angad Madra: And even though I am not recruiting, I'm helping the teams recruit using the technology that we have. So, one of the... We're paying crazy amounts of money. If you add up our sign-on bonus and retention bonus, it adds up to the store manager's salary. So we're spending a lot of money to bring these people in, and we saw at iCIMS INSPIRE, the stats from Raya and Johnny Taylor of how many jobs we'll have open by 2030, the gap that there's gonna be. So I think our challenge is, again, how do we build those relationships with these people and bring them in and not just do what other people are doing. Your standard campus recruiting and your standard, "Alright, here's Indeed, I'm gonna dump all this money... " And do the things that... You're competing with everyone else. How are you gonna make yourself unique in the market and bring people in?
Chad Sowash: So we talked to an energy company earlier today who actually bought a university because they knew they had to pipeline. I mean, you wanna talk about talent pipelines...
Joel Cheeseman: They bought the apple tree basically.
Angad Madra: Wow.
Chad Sowash: Well, they bought the entire farm, planted the seeds, watered them. Right? So when you take a look at nursing, you take a look at the entire healthcare system, we need to do vocational better, we need to get deeper. We need to get into high schools, we need to get into the... Is there any way that you think the healthcare system is actually gonna move that far down, deep into... Because we need to.
Angad Madra: It already is. Our CEO is looking at... And if you look at some of the things, Ardent's already piloting virtual nursing. So we already have hospitals where certain elements of the nursing job, where you come in and you debrief the patient on what's going on, are already happening over a screen, where a nurse... We have a nurse who's disabled, who cannot be physically in the hospital, so we've created a virtual nursing position for that person.
Joel Cheeseman: Did he say virtual?
Angad Madra: Yes.
Chad Sowash: Is it [0:07:31.0] ____?
Joel Cheeseman: No.
S?: Are there VR glasses involved?
Joel Cheeseman: Is there a goggle set? [laughter] Is there a Oculus headset in here somewhere?
Angad Madra: And I remember this, I went to the hospital not too long ago for something and I had a person on an iPad getting all the information from me about my insurance, my driver's license. I could take a photo with that iPad, send it to her, and she did all of that...
Joel Cheeseman: Really?
Angad Madra: While I was in bed and there was little monitors sitting next to me. So I know the industry's changing rapidly with how we use technology. Another thing that our organization is piloting is, if you think about your time at a hospital, a nurse is coming very frequently to check your vitals. So they are creating this technology that's a size of a button, little coin that sits on your chest, and it can monitor your vitals much more quickly and...
Joel Cheeseman: Efficiently.
Angad Madra: Efficiently than a nurse every couple hours. So that not only is helping the patient, and if something goes wrong, we don't have to wait two, three hours to find out. You could really know about the vitals, whatever happening in the moment that it is, and the patient can get the care. So AI, technology is really changing even how patients receive care and how we're helping nurses have flexibility in their jobs and do some of the things.
Chad Sowash: Just some of the tasks. And again, we talk about how automation, it's not gonna replace jobs, it's gonna replace tasks. So, that coin might not be able to take blood, right?
Angad Madra: Correct.
Chad Sowash: Like a phlebotomist or what have you. But...
Angad Madra: Emily Holmes might say take blood, but we don't have to go there. [laughter]
Joel Cheeseman: We can go wherever you want. Your name is Angad. [laughter]
Chad Sowash: We went full Theranos on that one, kids. But I mean, yeah, that's amazing. And being able to... The prospect of having an RN who, whether they have a disability or not, can be off location.
Angad Madra: Exactly.
Chad Sowash: Right? And they can service many.
Angad Madra: Right.
Chad Sowash: I've actually been in London, to a hotel where you check in on an iPad, and it's somebody in another location. And more than likely, they're doing a registration desk for many different hotels.
Angad Madra: Absolutely.
Chad Sowash: Right? And so it is, I think, a phenomenon. The big question is, will we adopt it or do we even have a choice?
Angad Madra: I don't think we have a choice. I mean, already, so many things are... If people hate ChatGPT, oh, well, you hate it, man. It's out there. [laughter] You know, do you have a choice? You can hate it or maybe try it.
Chad Sowash: You cannot use it or you can use it...
Angad Madra: And see how it makes your job easier.
Chad Sowash: Yes, yes, yes, yes. And learn the hacks, making your job easier.
Angad Madra: Yeah. I don't think you could put the genie back in the bottle. I think that's kind of where we've come to. It's now trying to figure out how to ethically move forward with it, and more... I personally think there's gonna be more and more jobs, just like there used to not be jobs where people in every department were looking at data and analyzing it. It was the statisticians that had these crazy equipment and they were trained on it. Now, everybody... I can pull up Power BI, dump a couple spreadsheets and make myself look like a statistician or a data analyst, right? I think it's gonna be the same thing with AI, because it is so freely available, we're gonna have more and more jobs where we are training people how to better leverage it, how to put safeguards around it, how to ethically use it for our company. So, we're using it well. And there's gonna be this specific skillset that people have, or maybe you have a person who knows how to put prompts into an AI system and use it in a way that's more effective. Yeah. But it's gonna happen, and people don't like it, oh, well...
Joel Cheeseman: I still have a rotary phone because I believe the voices that come through a mobile device are from the Devil, [laughter] but that's another podcast, Chad. So we know that from the pandemic, this incredible stress on nurses, a lot of nurses left the profession because of that stress. What's happening now in terms of getting them back to the profession? I assume a lot of them haven't left permanently. Maybe it's a timeout. What are you guys doing in terms of marketing or recruiting to get them back into the job?
Angad Madra: Yeah, absolutely. That's a great question. I think a lot of people did leave partly because of the burnout that COVID caused, a lot of uncertainty.
Joel Cheeseman: God, yeah, dude.
Chad Sowash: You see nurses and just medical professionals on TikTok or on YouTube or whatever, literally going into depression right in front of your eyes.
Angad Madra: I would too. It was a tough, tough year, couple years for them.
Joel Cheeseman: And are you going to OnlyFans, recruiting the nurses that have gone to OnlyFans to come back to the profession?
Chad Sowash: I don't think that you can bring them back. [laughter]
Angad Madra: No, no, you can't do that. But the ones that did go to Dollar General, [laughter] [0:12:21.1] ____ didn't become store managers, they're probably wanting to come back because they still have that nursing license and they have the degree, they have the skillset. Some of them actually cared about that job and want to come back without the added stress of COVID and all of LinkedIn rubbing it in their face that life is so great with my pet working at home, while they're taking care of all these people, not knowing what's gonna happen to them.
Joel Cheeseman: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So when it comes to recruiter hacks, that's gotta be like one of the favorite things, gotta get you all excited inside when it comes to using tech. Right? What's your favorite... Like the thing that you've done throughout your career that you've created like a recruiter hack within a system?
Angad Madra: Oh man, I love that question. When I was at Asurion, it's a tech company in Nashville. We were doing three to 500 interviews a day.
Joel Cheeseman: Holy shit.
Angad Madra: We had a team that just did interviews. It was a high volume role. One of the things that we would do is pull up a Word document, start typing in the interview notes, save it, go to the email, attach the document, send it to an email address. The other team that was... That was the recruiter's role, the interviews role. Then we have another team that their only job was to go into that inbox, get that attachment, scroll all the way to the bottom, look at if it was an extend offer or don't extend offer, and then go and extend the offer.
Chad Sowash: Did you have people faxing as well?
Angad Madra: Oh my goodness. And then... [laughter] But just hearing the process, it's painful, right? Your eyes twitching, yeah. But one thing I looked at was, there absolutely has to be a way we can automate this. So what I did was created a Microsoft form, put the entire multiple interview guides in there with the radio buttons, with branching questions. And a quick hack about Microsoft Forms is if you go to Microsoft Forms and create a survey, if you start there, the responses will go to a static Excel file. If you go to SharePoint, to an online Excel file and insert a Microsoft Form, every time the response comes, it goes to a SharePoint Excel file which is live, and you don't have to download the responses.
Angad Madra: So, that's what we did. There was an online response file, you can filter it by extend offer and you could zip through all the extend offers, "Who do I need to extend an offer?" and now, I have a really quick way to say, how many interviews did we do today? How many were extend offers? How many didn't extend offer? And we turned it into a whole dashboard just for our three to 500 interviews a day. So, not only were we able to quickly do them, extend the offers, but also get metrics on them. So that was like...
Chad Sowash: How much time was saved?
Angad Madra: Not time, I'll tell you we saved $500,000 a year...
Joel Cheeseman: That'll buy a lot of beer.
Angad Madra: Off of that hack.
Joel Cheeseman: Amen, brother. Curious to your opinion on the gig economy. We talk about companies like Nomad Health, Caduceus, etcetera. They're sort of Fiverr for the healthcare system where you can contract, bring them in, pay them hourly. Are you bullish on this trend? Is it something that you're gonna get behind as a company or not?
Angad Madra: I think we will if it gets to that, right? You gotta be creative. You gotta look at all your options. If something's not working, you gotta pivot. So our CEO has been super forward-thinking in even just getting that button for vitals or getting nurses on a screen, so I don't think it's out of the question, but again, it'll depend on how that could benefit the organization in our future. But we talked about nursing shortages. We already have nurses working in our hospitals that we recruited from outside of the US, they got trained, they got brought into the US as a work Visa situation and they're in our hospitals working. So we're already recruiting people from outside of the US, 'cause we don't have nurses in the US to fill all the jobs that we have.
Joel Cheeseman: And how are you doing that? Feet on the streets?
Angad Madra: No, it's through a company who takes care of that whole process.
Joel Cheeseman: Okay.
Angad Madra: Yep, and so they have figured out what regulations, what education, what skill set is needed to qualify for the requirements in the US.
Joel Cheeseman: Do you wanna name names? You wanna keep it a secret from our listeners?
Angad Madra: I don't have names for you guys. [laughter] We don't want other healthcare companies to know.
Joel Cheeseman: It's a secret, I'm not gonna give you that. Alright, everybody, that is Angad Madra. He is at Ardent Healthcare. Angad, for our listeners that want to connect with you or know more about your company, where would you send them?
Angad Madra: LinkedIn. I guess everybody says that, but yeah, that's the only platform I'm on, so you could search me on LinkedIn and I'd love to connect.
Chad Sowash: Just look for that sexy bald head gig.
Angad Madra: Sexy bald head. [chuckle]
Joel Cheeseman: Can you dig it? I know that you can. Alright, Chad, that is another one in the can from beautiful San Diego, California, at the iCIMS INSPIRE conference. We out.
Chad Sowash: We out.
Joel Cheeseman: Wow, look at you. You made it through an entire episode of the Chad and Cheese Podcast, or maybe you cheated and fast-forwarded to the end. Either way, there's no doubt you wish you had that time back, valuable time you could have used to buy a nutritious meal at Taco Bell, enjoy a pour of your favorite whiskey, or just watch big booty Latinas and bug fights on TikTok. No, you hung out with these two chuckleheads instead. Now, go take a shower and wash off all the guilt, but save some soap because you'll be back. Like an awful train wreck, you can't look away. And like Chad's favorite Western, you can't quit them either. We out.