Finding the career of your dreams at HHS
Recruiting for health-care workers used to be as easy as posting a job to the hospital’s online hiring website. But not anymore.
“The pandemic in part triggered a global shortage of health-care workers, including at Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS),” says Patti McEwan, director of human resources operations and talent management for HHS.
So HHS has invested in a major new approach for attracting staff including nurses, laboratory technicians, respiratory therapists, social workers, pharmacists and more.
“We want all of our staff – whether already working here or new to the organization — to know that they can build the career of their dreams here.” — Patti McEwan, director, human resources operations and talent management.
The strategy for filling hundreds of vacant positions at HHS includes a digital recruitment campaign that harnesses the power of social media and some of the world’s largest job and hiring sites to connect with potential candidates. The push is in Ontario, but the campaign is also targeted across Canada, especially in areas where there are large pools of qualified health-care workers.
Campaign messaging encourages applicants to imagine a career at HHS where they can work at different hospital sites and in different roles if they choose, in order to find their dream career, all within one organization.
Join a health care leader
HHS is the only hospital system in the province that cares for patients of all ages, from fetal care to end-of-life at sites including McMaster Children’s Hospital, McMaster University Medical Centre, Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre, Hamilton General Hospital, West Lincoln Memorial Hospital, St. Peter’s Hospital, the Regional Rehabilitation Centre and Hamilton’s West End Urgent Care Clinic.
HHS offers world-leading expertise in many areas, including cardiac and stroke care, cancer care, palliative care and pediatrics.
HHS serves southwestern Ontario and provides specialized, advanced care to people from across the province. It’s a top 10 research hospital in Canada, and a teaching hospital with partners including McMaster University and Mohawk College.
Partnering to help solve one of the hospital’s biggest challenges
Launched in November, the six-month digital campaign was created entirely in-house through a partnership between the HR and Communications & Public Affairs teams. Both teams report to the same vice president, creating a natural fit for joint recruitment projects.
“This is HHS’ first recruitment marketing campaign of this scale,” says Calyn Pettit, director of communications and marketing at HHS. “It’s an exciting opportunity to apply our communications resources to help solve one of our hospital’s biggest challenges – persistent staffing constraints – and to draw Canadian health-care workers’ minds to the possibility of a successful, dynamic career in Hamilton.”
Early metrics measuring the campaign’s success have been outstanding. The teams had been anticipating a 10 to 25 per cent increase in applications compared to the same time last year, but they’re on track to far exceed that goal.
Growing McMaster Children’s Hospital
An additional digital recruitment campaign ran for five weeks in October and November, specifically to recruit staff at McMaster Children’s Hospital (MCH), an HHS site.
In July, the province announced a $330-million investment in pediatric health care, which, when combined with other investments over the past 18 months, resulted over $48 million in new funding for MCH. It’s the largest investment ever made to MCH, and resulted in the creation of 300 new positions supporting children’s health care.
The recruitment campaign ran on numerous social and digital platforms, and MCH has already filled over 60 per cent of roles.
Recruitment efforts support a more sustainable workforce
“Proper staffing levels are essential for team members to have work-life balance, regular schedules, and avoid excess overtime,” says McEwan. “We want all of our staff – whether already working here or new to the organization — to know that they can build the career of their dreams here.”
Find out more about what HHS has to offer:
Recruitment fast facts
- HHS is a community of 18,000 staff, physicians, residents, researchers and volunteers that proudly serves southwestern Ontario residents.
- As of November 2023, HHS had 2,134 physicians, 1,261 residents, 650 volunteers and 14,100 employees.
- HHS is in the running for Canada’s Top Employers for Young People Award, with winners to be announced in early 2024. HHS received this national award in 2023 and 2022. This award is organized by the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project.
- In November 2023, HHS was named one of Hamilton-Niagara’s Top Employers for the third year in a row. This annual competition is organized by editors of Canada’s Top 100 Employers.
- In-demand roles include nursing (particularly critical care and oncology) and allied health roles such as respiratory therapy, diagnostic services, labs, pharmacy and social work.
For more information on working at HHS, including job postings, please visit our careers page.