Reduce involuntary terminations by focusing on behavioural competencies

Give hiring managers the tools to identify candidates who fit the culture



This regional community hospital system is representative of the challenges facing most smaller health systems. It is moving to a high-performance, integrated system, from two very different hospitals – all under relatively new leadership. The system is reinventing itself to meet the needs of its community. They want to attract and retain people who are adaptable and suited to this culture.

An in-depth cultural assessment by the Talogy team revealed that employees were struggling with new high-performance expectations, including adapting to a lean process programme. The organisation reached the conclusion that some employees aren’t suited to a high-performance culture. Analysis also revealed that many nurses, rather than taking a “patient-centric” approach to their work, were more “nursing-centric” – i.e. their day and approach were built around what they believed were their specific nursing duties – not the patients’ needs.

Senior leadership realised their process improvements and patient-satisfaction programmes would be futile if they didn’t take a more deliberate approach to who they hire. They also realised that managers were not ideally suited to make selection decisions, as evidenced by exceptionally high early “for cause” termination rates. It was not uncommon for a hiring manager to choose, for instance, a patient care technician or nursing assistant based on the CV and interview, only to find out soon after starting that the employee had serious behavioural and performance issues or simply didn’t fit the new culture.



Leadership tasked Human Resources with finding an approach that would identify people better suited to the culture they envisioned, and in the short term, reduce the early “for-cause” terminations. The Talogy Healthcare Consulting team built a comprehensive selection system by defining key behavioural competencies, implementing Interviewing Solutions (formerly known as Select Interviewing®) and pre-employment behavioural screening integrated with the applicant tracking system.

What does a comprehensive selection system look like?

  • Define the important and predictive behavioural competencies you need to target (i.e. dependability, attention to detail, collaboration, adaptability, patient focus)
  • Build these competencies into the selection system, including:
    • The application process
    • The CV review process
    • Talogy Modules for Healthcare (formerly known as Select Interviewing for Healthcare) – custom-designed job family level interview guides and hiring manager training
    • Talogy’s pre-employment behavioural assessments – including Talogy Modules for Healthcare (formerly known as ServiceFit® for Healthcare)


The same behavioural competencies were then built into the performance management system so that staff are evaluated on the same behavioural skills that are the focus on the selection process.


involuntary terminations 90 days graph
There was over an 80% reduction in early (90 day) involuntary terminations.
involuntary terminations first year graph
And a similar reduction when looking at terminations after a full year.



You can’t build a new culture with the wrong people. This system was struggling to build the right team for a high-performance culture, but as many as 15% of new hires were quickly revealed as not having what it takes. This means that Human Resources’ time and energy were constantly finding candidates to fill the same positions. The new selection system and tools give hiring managers the tools to do a better job identifying candidates who are suited to the new culture. With the right people on board, the system can now focus on making the other important changes that drive a high-performance culture.