How can Johns Hopkins Medicine Attract and Hire the Best People?

By better screening? A more diverse pool of applicants? The goal of the Strategic Plan’s people priority is to attract, engage, develop and retain the world’s best people. Take a poll at Hopkins Happenings and share your comments about what you believe is the most effective approach to hiring the best.

How can Johns Hopkins Medicine attract and hire the best people?

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }


Liz August 14, 2015 at 12:38 pm

PAY BETTER, period.

It's widely known in this region that JHH pay is the bottom of the barrel. The other very prestigious local hospital (UMMC) is also known for not paying well, but they are at least willing to negotiate when hiring new nursing staff (including NP's). JHH, on the other hand, follows a rigid formula with no possibility for negotiation.

It's no wonder I am working a second job just to scrape by, as are many others I know here at JHH.


C.R. August 11, 2015 at 12:38 pm

If Johns Hopkins provided a clear career development/ladder path, JHM would not only attract the best talent, but also retain the best talent. Overall, I would say that JHM has a good reputation and personally I enjoy working here. However, the Johns Hopkins name & reputation is not enough.

People want to see that there is potential for growth and increased compensation for deserving employees. I recently heard a Physical Therapist mention that they were looking into working for Johns Hopkins, but the pay was too low and that Hopkins is a "resume builder". And she is not the only person to voice that concern.

Hopkins should not be viewed as simply a "resume builder" but a place that people want to grow with. A clear career development/ladder with appropriate compensation would go a long towards improving that perception. As the saying goes, often, perception is reality.


David Plaut August 11, 2015 at 9:17 am

use a head hunter


Cathie August 10, 2015 at 4:47 pm

These are all great responses: a decent living wage; training and promotions (we do want to grow); respect us (we are human beings with brains); talk and listen to us (we know a lot and have good ideas). Listen to these responses; take them seriously and make a plan to improve how JH works with its support staff.


Adair August 10, 2015 at 4:25 pm

As many have stated, the pay here is an issue. It's known institution wide and city wide (probably farther even) that Hopkins does not pay well. The "privilege of working here" is not paying any bills. Because we are told it will look good on a resume to work here it stands to reason most would put in some time and move on to an institution that pays fairly. This contributes to not keeping the good people.
I also agree that there is plenty of talent within Hopkins. Current employees should be considered for promotion rather than going outside the institution. All too often someone here can do the job and have experience filling in while the search is happening and then are not even considered due to lack of education. (Obviously not saying MDs.- ha)
The 2 things combined make it very disheartening for people that want to stay here.


Adair August 10, 2015 at 4:21 pm

As many have stated, the pay here is an issue. It's known institution wide and city wide (probably farther even) that Hopkins does not pay well. The "privilege of working here" is not paying any bills. Because we are told it will look good on a resume to work here it stands to reason most would put in some time and move on to an institution that pays fairly. This contributes to not keeping the good people.
I also agree that talent that is here is often wasted. Promoting from within should be a priority. Sometimes a person won't have the educational background but has been doing the work in the interim. How unfair to then hire someone from the outside just because they have a degree attached to their name (obviously not talking about MDs - ha) but many other jobs throughout Hopkins could be filled from within.
It's all very discouraging for those of us that are trying to stay here.


aviva August 10, 2015 at 4:03 pm

easy: paid maternity leave


Robyn Hinke August 10, 2015 at 3:04 pm

Promoting from within with more regularity will attract the best and brightest for the future because they may see the possiblility of heading a department or division in their future. When we do not promote within there is a perception that we are not preparing our people well enough to meet our own standards. Looking at recent hirings for key positions I've seen many coming from other institutions.

Regarding compensation......this needs to be acknowledged from the bottom up. Our physcians can be adversly affected by the constant turnover of support staff. Clinical and Administrative support can be key to our professors success. Retaining every GOOD employee that is hired by JH should be a goal of the institution and releasing those that do not perform to the Hopkins standard should be released at the earliest opportunity. I have seen less than effective personnel retained because of how difficult it is to get authority to backfull.


Melinda Thomas August 10, 2015 at 12:51 pm

I concur with all of the comments above. If we look closely, we'll find that best and brightest are hiding in plain sight.


Monica Datta August 10, 2015 at 10:43 am

I want to echo some of the comments above to remind you to look at the talent within. You have passionate, talented, and committed employees who are desperately seeking growth opportunities. You are too busy looking outside, and this internal talent is getting stifled and suppressed. You already have the name/reputation and once you create a culture where you truly value the employees that you have, the best and brightest will no doubt be at your doors requesting opportunities.


CL August 10, 2015 at 10:13 am

Work towards retention. I feel that Hopkins is good a recruiting workers, but doesn't do a whole lot to try and retain the workers they have. It's a vicious cycle, as the stress of having to cover for workers due to high turnover leads otherwise loyal employees to question staying on. Offering a competitive salary is key. Not "market rate," but competitive. We lose so many employees to other employers who offer more competitive salaries than Hopkins. Benefits are nice, but they don't put food on the table. And as medical professionals, our jobs are hard enough, being paid the bottom end of normal doesn't exactly inspire loyalty. And believe me, having gone through the job search not all that long ago, Hopkins has a reputation citywide as having the among the lowest pay rates. If you're going to recruit and KEEP the best and the brightest, the only way that's going to happen is to pay better wages and gain a reputation for doing so.


Donna Batkis August 10, 2015 at 10:03 am

Many of the Best and the Brightest and most Diverse candidates already work in the system. There should be more emphasis on professional development and career ladder opportunities. Additionally, the HR personell should be able to give more information than simply telliing potential applicants, "check the website". There ought to be ways to recruit potential candidate the old fashioned way, with an Informational Interview. Additionally,as I work only with Spanish Speaking patients, there should be targeted recruitment of Bilingual and Culturally Attuned Staff. As the sole Spanish/English Psychotherapist in the JHH Department of Psychiatry, the lack of Spanish Speaking/Bilingual Staff at all levels impacts patient care and is a disincentive for any professional who would consider applying to JHH. The Staff should reflect the diversity in the community. The Baltmore community is rich in diversity and I welcome any efforts to attract and retain exceptional bilingual/culturally attuned personell.


Kathy Buchman August 10, 2015 at 8:59 am

1. More competative salaries.
2. By making people feel as if they were really and truely the institutions most important form of capital (which they are).


Roxanne Batterden August 10, 2015 at 8:41 am

Appreciate both of the above comments. I am a strong believer in retention. Hire the right people then treat them with respect so people feel valued for the work which is done. Bring civility back to the work place. Examine the # of staff that a department really needs to get the work done related to volume, difficulty, barriers, and staffing patterns. (vacations, sick leaves, etc). This will decrease STRESS in the workplace and in turn, staff will remain. Pay people appropriately for the job they do. It is so frustrating to lose great workers and people because they do not feel valued. They find a less stressful job for more pay because they have Johns Hopkins experience on their resume.


JDoherty August 10, 2015 at 8:41 am

In addition to the benefits of working for Johns Hopkins Medicine, employees can take advantage of good schools, cultural institutions and so much more in the greater Baltimore area. These 'pluses' need to be highlighted to those considering careers at our institution, particularly if they are considering a relocation to the area..


Chad Heiser August 10, 2015 at 8:12 am

Google and similar employers have this figured this out. Be an employer that the best and brightest are looking for. Screening won't make a difference, if the best and brightest haven't applied.


C August 10, 2015 at 10:21 am

Google actually pays their employees and if an employee goes above and beyond, they receive some form of desirable compensation, usually a cash bonus. Only physicians are treated this way here.


Joseph Conrod August 10, 2015 at 7:26 am

Striving to have a diverse candidate pool is more important than people realize. Diversity and inclusion will not happen unless we seek the best and brightest from a diverse group of people. Different mind sets, experiences, and different perspectives enhances the skills mix and adds value. We become a better organization, better able to meet the needs of our patients and we become employer of choice.


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