Prairie Business asked questions of several business professionals in the region about their corporate communities, how they go about attracting new talent and what they do to retain employees, among other questions. Here's how Lesley Erlandson, Human Resource manager of Jamestown Regional Medical Center in Jamestown, N.D., responded to the magazine's questions:

Q: How does Jamestown Regional Medical Center generally go about attracting new employees?

A: We use a variety of mediums, including, our website, third-party websites, social media and newspaper ads. We also use a variety of tactics including relocation and sign-on bonuses for particularly hard-to-fill positions.

One of our differentiators is our award-winning team and culture. We are both a Top 100 Best Place to Work in the country and Top 20 Critical Access Hospital in the nation. Those awards and our legendary team make us a destination for care in the region.

Q: What role, if any, does social media play in the recruiting process?

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A: The role it plays is awareness. We leverage the images of our high-performing employees and use them in our recruitment efforts.

Q: How important are employee benefits (health insurance, retirement, etc.) when trying to attract new hires?

A: They are very important. One advantage we have is a new employee is eligible for benefits beginning the first of the month (rather than 30 or 90 days after date of hire).

JRMC also has a robust and generous retirement plan, which is attractive to new hires.

Q: What are some proven ways the company has found to retain employees?

A: At JRMC, we strive to be THE difference in the lives of those we serve. One of the ways we do that is to recognize our employees for their legendary work. Some of the ways we do that is through Difference Leaves, which are simple notes to demonstrate our appreciation. We also have a Legend Award, which is the highest honor a JRMC employee can receive. This is a peer-based award, in which employees both nominate and vote for high-performing employees.

Other ways we retain employees is through events like coffee and cookies events in celebration of our Top 20 Critical Access Hospital award or evenings at the summer theater in celebration of our Top 100 Best Place to Work award.

Each year, we also conduct the Employee Engagement survey. After we review the survey results, each department creates an action plan for administration to review.

Q: What are some steps the company has taken to become more diverse with its workforce?

A: We are diverse at JRMC. The steps we’ve take are to hire a diverse body of individuals, reflective of our employee body and our community.

Our admin and manager team is also about 70% female, reflecting the ratio of male to female workers in healthcare. The team is also diverse in age, spanning from late 20s to nearing retirement.

Q: What makes JRMC a great place to establish a long-term career?

A: JRMC is a pleasant place to work and build a career. It’s friendly and approachable. Your voice is heard. You can feel safe bringing forward concerns. During the most challenging time – the nation’s pandemic – employees started referring to themselves as part of the “JRMC family.” This was not a key message or language introduced from the leadership team. It grew organically from within and remains that way today.

JRMC is also a safe place for patients and visitors. It’s a great place to receive care and a great place to work.