White House Commissioned Report Features Mercy Health West Michigan

Mercy Health hiring process, 11 percent increase in minority hiring helping to establish national model in health care careers

the-advisory-groupMercy Health West Michigan (MHWM) has a prominent place in a recently released report, Paving Health Career Pathways to the Middle Class, authored by the Health Career Pathways Task Force. The Task Force is part of a larger Pathways initiative by the White House’s National Economic Council, Hope Street Group and The Advisory Board Company, to boost pathways to middle class jobs.


Mercy Health West Michigan joined Charlotte, N.C.; Denver, Colo.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Sacramento, Calif.; and the Bronx, Westchester, Hudson Valley and New York City, in N.Y. as HCP founding communities in the initiative.

The work of MHWM, featured as a best practice (pages 35-37 in the report), focuses on the success of Mercy Health’s redesigned evidenced-based hiring process that centers on objective tests for specific skills and standardized interview questions to assess specific competencies. The redesign has resulted in an increase of 11 percent minority hires and reduced time to fill open positions from 37 days to 31 days. First-year turnover rates have dropped from 25.3 percent to 18.7 percent.

Mercy Health has been working to bridge these gaps for more than six years, developing an evidence-based approach to recruiting qualified candidates for hard-to-fill roles in health care, said John Schwartz, Regional Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer for Mercy Health.

“We are honored that our hiring process has drawn the attention of the White House,” Schwartz said. “And even more importantly, the changes we have made to our hiring process are allowing us to bridge the gap between an available labor force here in West Michigan and increasing vacancies in critically needed health care jobs.

“Ultimately, our work toward recruiting and training a larger pool of candidates will help Mercy Health continue to deliver better and more cost-effective health care,” Schwartz added.

Mercy Health West Michigan has committed to partnerships with Grand Rapids, Muskegon, and Montcalm Community Colleges, West Michigan Works, the NAACP and Goodwill to proactively identify and train up to 300 disadvantaged people per year for healthcare professions.










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