GLENS FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – When you employ over 2,500 people, you’re always hiring in one department or another. That means turning to different methods to find the right candidates for the job, especially at a time when every employer is facing employee shortages. On Thursday, one of those methods was at work at the Queensbury Hotel.

Thursday was the first job fair of 2022 for Glens Falls Hospital, which has been holding the events quarterly since last year. It’s a way for recruiters and prospective future employees to get on the same page about what skills are needed for the job, and what ones the hospital can help cultivate for the right person.

“It’s an opportunity for candidates to meet hiring managers, and sometimes be hired on the spot,” said Kimberly Ann Burns, Talent Acquisition Specialist at the hospital. “We like to have that interaction, and we do make some on-the-spot job offers.”

A few of those offers had already been made as of around 11 a.m. on Thursday, just a couple hours after the fair opened for the day. Glens Falls Hospital lists openings online – over 300 strong on Thursday. They range from patient care to financial services, janitorial to infant care, and entry-level to specialized; all a reflection of the high turnover the hospital sees. Pages of them online are for nurses; an area where the need has only grown over the last two years.

“(COVID-19) has definitely changed the need,” said Nursing Engagement Manager Justin Rivers. “We need more people. It’s also changed the way we recruit. I love going to recruiting events, and for a year, we didn’t get to do that.”

The seasonal job fairs have felt like making up lost time to Rivers, who recalls the relief recruiters felt upon seeing each other again for the first time after that wait. Nothing beats interviewing candidates face-to-face, especially when it comes down to the elements that make up an ideal candidate outside of medical certifications.

“We look for a good fit for personality. We’ve got a great culture here, everyone’s very caring about each other,” Rivers said. “Everybody is about growing other nurses, so we’ve got a lot of people who are invested in other people.”

That investment matters. Not every skill can be learned on the job, and doesn’t replace the need for a certain level of education. However, for anyone worried they lack the know-how to work somewhere like Glens Falls Hospital, it’s worth noting that a lot of jobs can come with all the training a prospective recruit would need.

If a person seems like the right fit, the hospital can help them fit into the right place. For some, that simply means on-the-job training, like clerical work or culinary service. There are residency programs for nursing students. Glens Falls Hospital takes about 50 students for those in a given year. This February, there are around 15 lined up to start the year.

Clinical qualifications aside, both Burns and Rivers agree that there’s a human touch that matters for anyone who wants to work at their hospital.

“I’ll be very honest with you. We’re looking for someone who’s kind, caring and compassionate,” said Burns.

“I think it’s kindness and willingness to learn,” said Rivers.

Burns said that Thursday’s job fair had seen great candidates, but was a bit slower than some. That’s okay, though. As the four-a-year calendar of job fairs might suggest, the search for new people is a neverending cycle.

“There’s so many little things that are important to people and what their choices are these days,” said Burns. “I think people are trying to find positions that are meaningful and that share the good parts of them, and healthcare is a way to do that.”