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Health care report 2008: Providers strive for a good mix of employees

Diversifying the workforce at Country Meadows Retirement
Communities goes beyond hiring people from a variety of cultural backgrounds.
It involves creating an employment base that includes individuals of all ages
and from each gender.

Diversifying the workforce at Country Meadows Retirement
Communities goes beyond hiring people from a variety of cultural backgrounds.
It involves creating an employment base that includes individuals of all ages
and from each gender.

“Sometimes diversity for us is just more men,” said Kathy
Kissinger, an employment specialist at Country Meadows in Derry
Township, Dauphin County.

The organization employs about 2,000 people throughout its
11 locations, 10 of which are in Central Pennsylvania.
The health care industry generally has a workforce composed of women, but
Country Meadows has been receiving more applications from men, Kissinger said.

The company attracts employment candidates from various
geographic areas, which can help create a more diverse workforce because the
areas are different from one another, she said. Country Meadows also advertises
its open positions in publications that target minority populations.

While the workforce at Country Meadows is predominately
Caucasian, it also includes representatives of a number of ethnic backgrounds,
she said. Workers at some of the company’s locations will celebrate diversity
by throwing parties with cultural themes, she said.

“It’s been very neat to see those kinds of relationships
happen,” she said.

Memorial Hospital in York County
does not have a specific diversity plan it follows when hiring employees, said
Michelle Rothrock, a recruiter at the hospital. The available jobs are posted
on the company’s Web site and on CareerBuilder.com.

“Whoever applies, applies,” Rothrock said. “We hire the best
candidate for the job. We have a really good mix of employees here at the
hospital, and it’s never really been an issue.”

Any company that is large enough to have an
affirmative-action plan will most likely have a diversity plan in place for the
recruitment process, said Karen Young, president of Harrisburg-based HR
Resolutions. The plan may be formal, but it also will often be informal, she
said. She said she recommends companies find a way to ensure their workforces
are diverse.

“An organization is going to be the most successful when it
mirrors and matches its community,” Young said.

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