A conversation with Matt Marconi

I had the opportunity to talk with Matt Marconi, Director of Talent Acquisition for Greystone Healthcare Management. He offered insights to help other Talent Acquisition professionals.

Chad Harrington
January 2016

Matt Marconi, Director of Talent Acquisition, Greystone Healthcare Management

In 2015, the Greystone Health Network doubled in size acquiring skilled nursing facilities in Ohio and Home Health agencies in Florida and Ohio. That’s incredible growth, yet they maintain quality care.

Rated as one of the top places to work in Tampa Bay for five out of the last six years, Marconi’s main goal as the Director of Talent Acquisition is “to ensure that at all levels of the organization the right culture fit and highly skilled associate is hired to the company.”

Interview Highlights:

  • Buy-in is vital on all levels—C-Suite to CNAs—for successful recruitment and cultivating a culture of care.
  • Caring well for employees can be inexpensive and practical.
  • Behavioral interview questions are clutch to finding culture fit.

On Greystone’s Culture of CARE

“When we talk about our Culture of CARE, I get really excited because it is a program that was developed by associates on all levels of the organization, meaning from line staff to VPs. We sat in a room and identified these behaviors that drive our culture. These behaviors were identified to be:

  • Care
  • Accountability
  • Respect
  • Excellence

(It just worked out to be a perfect acronym, meaning a Culture of CARE.)”

How Greystone created their Culture of CARE

“We brought together 30 associates from CNA level, line-level staff, housekeeping, food and nutrition services, to Executive Directors, regional and corporate staff, and Vice Presidents. We were all in our BELIEVE conference room, sitting together as one team and discussing our culture and where we want to progress as an organization.

“Lots of brainstorming, lots of cool ideas were shared. The best, most rewarding part is that we were able to implement many of them.”

How Culture of CARE works

“The Culture of CARE is an employee recognition program where managers and associates can recognize each other for going above and beyond. Each behavior—care, accountability, respect, and excellence— has multiple associated actions, where if I were to observe someone carrying out one of those behaviors or going above or beyond, we would recognize them with an I Caught You Caring card. The recipient receives a card and then a duplicate copy of the card is submitted for drawings and other recognition opportunities throughout the year.

“Our culture is all about reinforcing positive behaviors. It’s really the act of a manager or a peer writing a handwritten note and actually recognizing the associate on the spot for the positive behavior they just demonstrated. This specific and timely recognition is much more meaningful for both parties. This happens all the time. Some facilities have over 2,000 caring cards that were written last year (2015).”



Primary hiring pain points for Matt Marconi

  • Primary pain point in hiring: Hiring for cultural fit.
  • Top solution to hiring for culture fit: Utilizing behavioral interview questions.

“We’ll ask, When was a time where you had to engage a resident that may have needed something that you were unable to provide and how did you overcome any objections and provide a reasonable outcome?”

How to conduct behavioral-based interviews for healthcare hiring

Marconi talked about what a good behavioral-based interview answer from a candidate? When a candidate provides an answer that is:

  • Specific (a real, detailed example)
  • Creative
  • Unique

When Marconi hears creative or unique responses, that gives him a clue that it’s an example that the candidate actually experienced.

An ideal answer to a behavioral-based interview question

Marconi might ask a question like, With a previous employer, how did you give a wow customer experience to someone that you served?

Here’s the kind of answer Marconi’s looking for that’s specific, creative, and unique–an example he gave me (specific to Tamp Bay, by the way):

“One day through the admissions process, we identified this resident who was a huge Tampa Bay Lightning fan. So as the admissions coordinator, I went out to the local store and got that person a Tampa Bay Lightning t-shirt, a Tampa Bay Lightning hat and Tampa Bay Playing cards, as a welcome gift when they were admitted. Upon admission they received their gifts, and because that resident knew they were listened to that provided an excellent outcome and set the stay up for success with our organization.”

3 ways to cut costs in healthcare recruitment

  1. Always be recruiting for the roles that aren’t open. When you cast that net, you always have a pipeline and talent pool of people you could call on to engage and fill the positions quite rapidly if they’re the right fit. If you’re not always recruiting or always engaging prospects to your organization, the time to fill will grow significantly, which will increase overtime and you will possibly run into staffing agency contractors who need to go to the buildings to work.
  2. Drive home employee referrals. One of our top recruiting methods is engaging the staff to say, Who do you know? Who did you with that was great? And getting those people to come to the organization.
  3. Have a strong education assistance program. When you tie all those together and communicate to the potential candidates and people seeking potential roles, we’re able to get their buy-in faster to join the organization.

3 ways to revolutionize your healthcare hiring process

  1. Create an employee referral program. “This is my number one, because we didn’t have one of those when I started. Get buy-in from the C-Suite on why there needs to be an employee referral program, whether there’s monetary rewards and bonuses or not, there still needs to be some employee referral program.”
  2. Make sure you have a top of the line Applicant Tracking System. “That way you can track talent and deploy messages as frequently as you need to—this is extremely successful and has been for us.”
  3. To have buy-in from all the customers. “What I mean by customers is I serve 38 facilities and seven home healthcare agencies and hospice services. We need to have buy-in from a talent acquisition perspective from all the leaders at those facilities and branches to move our candidates through the plan and strategy we are using. We have the buy-in and that’s been a huge win for me, too. That’s why recruiting at those levels has been successful.”

Greystone Healthcare Management Corp., headquartered in Tampa, FL, manages skilled nursing and assisted living communities, outpatient rehabilitation and home health agencies, private duty services and hospice care. The Greystone Health Network encompasses more than 45 locations throughout Florida and Ohio. Greystone provides quality healthcare when and where their patients need it.