By Kim Steele
Killeen Daily Herald
When Seton Medical Center Harker Heights opens June 18, a full staff of about 270 employees will have been in place for at least a month.
But the preparation — writing employment policies and procedures, creating job descriptions, reading resumes and hiring people — began Thursday when Mona Tucker started work as the hospital’s new director of human resources. She moved into an office in a double-wide trailer at the front of the construction site.
At least 500 resumes sent through the hospital’s website awaited her on the first day of her new job. Tucker is responsible for hiring all the budding hospital’s employees, from directors to supervisors to general staff, and having them trained and in place before the grand opening.
“By May 1, the hospital will need to be fully staffed,” said Tucker. “If this hospital is similar to others I’ve been at, we’ll be putting the system to the test before we open. We’ll want to be able to iron out any kinks. The hiring timeline is ambitious, but I’m not overwhelmed. In fact, I’m very excited.”
Tucker, who was hired from St. Luke’s the Woodlands and St. Luke’s Lakeside hospitals in The Woodlands, said she staffed Lakeside when the 30-bed facility opened two years ago. At that time, she received about 4,000 resumes for 100 available positions at the Houston-area hospital.
75 resumes a day
Since the Harker Heights hospital’s website opened about two weeks ago, it has attracted about 75 resumes a day, said Melissa Purl, director of marketing at Seton. Initially, the response was so heavy — with 200 resumes coming in during the first 24 hours — it crashed the website, she said.
“I was so worried about human resources,” said Purl. “Before Mona arrived, I was the only employee and was also serving as a secretary, human resources director and information technology specialist. Having Mona here has lifted a very big weight off my shoulders, because she has a big job.”
Tucker said her first goal is to hire directors and leaders for radiology, laboratories, nursing, women’s services, surgery and plant operations. Those administrators will be hired in January or February so they have time to build their teams, create policies and order equipment.
Next will come coordinators and supervisors for various departments, including respiratory therapy, cardiac catheterization and the sleep laboratory. Tucker said those administrators will come on board in early spring. She expects to hire a total of about 20 directors, leaders, coordinators and supervisors.
Finally, as the hospital moves toward the grand opening in mid-June, Tucker will hire the remaining 250 general staff. She said the nurses will join the hospital in April, because they must have six to eight weeks of orientation and training. And laboratory staff will be hired in May for four weeks of the same.
Tucker said the hospital is only hiring through the website, which has been set up to accept cover letters and resumes. She recommended that applicants specify in their cover letters what type of job they are seeking so their information can be given to the correct director or leader.
“I’m impressed with the quality of the local people sending resumes and their sense of community,” said Tucker. “Many of the people who live in the area are having to commute to Austin, Waco or Georgetown and would love to work here instead. I encourage them to apply online, and we will respond to each one.”
Want to apply?
To submit a cover letter and resume to Seton Medical Center Harker Heights, go to www.setonharkerheights.org and click on “employment.”