Every year, tens of thousands of health professions trainees (HPTs) work at VA, and nearly three-quarters of these student doctors, nurses and other medical professionals are ready to pursue a permanent career here.
Successful national placement events help make this possible, matching trainees with jobs at VA facilities across the nation.
“Think of this as eHarmony for VA,” said Jessica Pierce, portfolio manager for Workforce Recruitment & Retention Service at VA. “It’s an opportunity for these candidates to explore VA… and really determine if they want to start their career with VA.”
Pierce answered questions about how the VA-Trainee Recruitment Events (VA-TRE) placement events work on VA’s weekly “Talk About It Tuesday” broadcast on LinkedIn. These events aim to recruit a portion of the over 22,000 HPTs who pursue clinical rotations, conduct research, or complete residencies and fellowships at VA each year.
“We want to keep them, and about 70% of HPTs surveyed want to stay with VA,” Pierce said.
Rather than applying for one position at a time on USAJobs, HPTs provide their CVs when registering for these focused recruitment events and are matched with up to five positions.
“It’s no longer trying to find a needle in a haystack,” Pierce explained.
They then have a chance to schedule meet-and-greet conversations at the matched facilities. Even if the jobs don’t pan out, it’s an excellent opportunity to network with staffers at facilities that consistently have new positions pop up.
“You’re no longer just a name on a list,” Pierce said.
Transforming health care
The HPT placement events are just one way Pierce has worked to bring positive change to VA in her 20-year career. She oversees many national initiatives and is a certified transformational coach, one of about 40 across VA.
“I’ve had the opportunity to work with thousands and thousands of people across VA,” Pierce said. “I get to help coach them and, together, we get to help develop transformational change.”
She began her VA career as a student worker in accounts receivable and has served in various capacities, including as a compliance officer, research and development coordinator, program manager and now a national portfolio manager.
“I have had so many amazing opportunities and that’s something VA offers to everybody, not just me,” Pierce said.
Work at VA
Are you completing your medical training at VA? Let us help you discover your new permanent career caring for Veterans.