Identifying Candidates: Expert Advice from Grace Health’s Journey

Posted on 09.25.2023

healthcare workers standing in a group in a hospital hallway.

Finding and recruiting the right students for your training program is crucial for its success. Whether you’re in the early stages of the program or have been running it for months, assembling a cohort of motivated and capable candidates is essential. In this blog post, we will discuss effective strategies to help your organization identify quality candidates for your medical assistant program. We will also highlight the inspiring story of Grace Health, a successful partner, and their journey towards success with CareerStep.

Grace Health’s Journey with CareerStep

Michigan Primary Care Association (MPCA) location, embarked on a transformative journey when they sought to address the shortage of registered Medical Assistants (MAs) in their community. With the aim of standing out within the field and providing an opportunity for their community, Grace Health partnered with CareerStep.

The community faced a challenge in accessing education for medical assistance, with an average cost of $10,000 to $12,000. Grace Health wanted to make a difference by offering an opportunity that provided work-life balance, minimized student debt, and allowed employees to work and learn simultaneously, all at no cost to the students. In June 2018, they launched their first cohort after exploring numerous online training options for a registered apprenticeship program.

The apprenticeship program at Grace Health combines online learning with hands-on training. Apprentices start with the CareerStep online curriculum and then transition to a four-week classroom-based training led by an onsite learning instructor. During this phase, students learn the essential skills for success at Grace Health. Following the classroom training, apprentices move to the clinical floor, where they are paired with experienced trainers for further hands-on experience. The program ensures that apprentices meet the 160 clinical hour requirement set by Michigan.

With two cohorts per year, averaging three to eleven apprentices, Grace Health created a unique program that resonated with their community’s needs. The success of the program at Grace Health can be attributed to their meticulous approach and strong support system. Overtime, Grace Health has mastered the enrollment process creating a thorough and successful interview process which ensures quality candidates for their apprenticeship program. Their success story offers valuable lessons for identifying candidates who are a perfect fit for your training program. Consider implementing these six tips into your enrollment process in order to guarantee quality candidates for your organization’s training programs.

1. Define Your Criteria

Begin by clearly defining your eligibility criteria. Consider factors such as time commitment, skills, and motivation. Grace Health ensures that prospective candidates can commit to the recommended program schedule of 5 days in office per week. This commitment is essential for their success in the program.

2. Screening and Application Process

Design an application process that helps you gather the necessary information to assess candidates effectively. Grace Health uses a comprehensive application that asks various questions, references, career goals, and more. This process allows them to determine which candidates align best with their program’s objectives and who will thrive in their program. They conduct phone interviews, initial interviews, and second interviews to assess a candidate’s fit. They consider factors such as the candidate’s resume, turnover rate in previous roles, and dedication to a long-term commitment.

3. Interviews

Interviews provide an opportunity to have meaningful conversations with prospective candidates. Grace Health conducts interviews to discuss program expectations, evaluate motivation, communication skills, and assess the candidate’s fit within the organization. Personal interactions offer valuable insights into a candidate’s aspirations and dedication.

4. Customized Training Program

Tailor your training program to meet the specific needs of your organization. Grace Health successfully utilizes CareerStep’s online curriculum while customizing passing rates, grading systems, and courses to align with their requirements. This customization ensures that the apprentices receive the highest quality education tailored to the requirements of their organization.

5. Assess Passion and Longevity

Consider a candidate’s passion and work history as crucial factors. Grace Health looks for candidates who display passion, commitment, and a solid work history. While educational qualifications are not mandatory, they prioritize candidates who display dedication, passion and commitment, even if they have no prior experience in the medical field.

6. Promoting the Program

Promote your program to attract the right candidates. Grace Health initially educated their employees and encouraged them to spread the word. They utilized platforms like Indeed, Facebook, and local newspapers to generate awareness and interest in their apprenticeship program.

Partnering with CareerStep for Success

Since launching their program in 2018, Grace Health has celebrated the graduation of approximately 50 apprentices. Their commitment to providing accessible education and empowering their community has made a lasting impact.

Grace Health’s journey with CareerStep exemplifies the transformative impact of accessible education and purposeful partnerships. By implementing effective strategies, such as defining criteria, conducting thorough screenings, customizing training, and assessing passion, you can identify candidates who will thrive in your CareerStep training program.

When you partner with CareerStep, you gain access to comprehensive training programs, ongoing support, and a shared mission of empowering individuals through education. Together, you can create a transformative learning experience and build a skilled workforce that contributes to the success of your organization.

Take the next step in realizing your training program’s potential. Visit the CareerStep website to explore how our training programs can help you identify and develop the ideal candidates for your organization.