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Kaiser Permanente

How Kaiser Permanente Hires For Great Customer Service

Kaiser Permanente, the largest health care provider in the Greater Sacramento area, has earned multiple awards for offering patients and members an outstanding care experience. How does the nonprofit health care organization do it?

Recruiting the right people who have a strong focus on customer service is key to Kaiser Permanente’s success. The organization coordinates with several hiring agencies to fill positions, including working with Sacramento Works, a program by Sacramento Employment Training Agency (SETA), to hire for environmental services (housekeeping) openings. The new partnership with SETA helps expand employment access to qualified local residents, with the goal of maximizing retention goals and increasing pathways to high-quality jobs for members of our community.

Kaiser Permanente hires with care. Candidates are screened to ensure they are genuinely interested in helping others and providing an excellent member/patient experience. This is the standard for positions throughout the organization including those with direct patient care and those that are not typically customer-facing, such as environmental services.

Lisa Clawson, CCP, SPHR, SHRM–SCP, Human Resource Director for Kaiser Permanente’s Sacramento area, noted, “Kaiser Permanente looks for employees who want to give the best care possible. When we interview, we screen for customer service: Do candidates want to help people? Why is that important to them?”

Lisa shared one of her favorite stories about Kaiser Permanente employees going the extra mile to provide excellent care. Recently, several environmental services employees learned that a patient on their floor was facing end-of-life care alone. The team gathered cards from staff and drawings from their children to share with the patient. Even though this kind act was not part of their “official” job description, it exemplified how Kaiser Permanente employees are dedicated and compassionate about their work, no matter what their role is.

Sourcing compassionate, skilled staff like this can be a challenge. That’s where Sacramento Works can assist. Sacramento Works trains potential candidates to share their skills with both passion and professionalism.
The approach certainly seems to be working. Sixty-two percent of the candidates Sacramento Works sent to Kaiser Permanente were chosen for employment. Lisa notes, “The people from SETA/Sacramento Works that we’ve hired have been perfect matches for the customer service we want to provide.”

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“The people from SETA/Sacramento Works that we’ve hired have been perfect matches for the customer service we want to provide.” – Lisa Clawson