Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic is a leading nonprofit academic medical center that has earned renown for providing outstanding patient care since 1921. The organization has over 43,000 employees, including 3,000+ physicians and scientists. It is known for quality patient care and for valuing innovation, and it’s consistently ranked among the top hospitals in the nation.

We posed 10 questions to Scott A. Doak, Cleveland Clinic’s Executive Director in Talent Acquisition. He has worked in healthcare human resources for 15+ years, including the last three at Cleveland Clinic. He also served as the Executive Director of Talent Organization at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and was a Human Resources Director for Hospital Corporation of America. Doak talked about Cleveland Clinic’s culture and what it looks for in quality candidates.

1. Give us one interesting fact that people outside of the company do not know about Cleveland Clinic.

Cleveland Clinic was the first major academic medical center to make patient experience a strategic goal. Wherever you work at Cleveland Clinic, from Ohio to Canada, or Florida to Abu Dhabi, all employees are called ‘caregivers.’

Whether you’re a doctor, nurse, researcher, part of an administrative or support team, we understand that patient satisfaction is a priority, and it takes all of us to deliver a world-class care experience.

We know that the healing process should be a connection between the mind, body and soul. We keep our ‘patients first’ by staying focused on our fundamental values of quality, innovation, teamwork, service, integrity and compassion. To learn more, watch our ”Empathy” video.

2. What are the main areas you hire for?

We have career opportunities for almost any profession that you would find in a large, global organization. Our clinical staff includes physicians, nurses, researchers and allied health professionals. These roles are fully supported by finance/IT, legal, marketing, human resources and other customer service units.

Our roles may differ depending on the location, but as a part of a truly integrated healthcare delivery system, we work collaboratively to provide the best patient experience in all the communities we serve.

3. Describe the typical interview process.

Our interview process includes an initial phone interview with a member of the Talent Acquisition Team. Next there may be additional interviews with the hiring manager and members of the specific department.

4. How can new job seekers or recent graduates stand out in a job interview if they lack work experience?

We invite individuals interested in a career in healthcare to become familiar with Cleveland Clinic and our model of healthcare delivery as a physician-led, patient-centered organization. To help introduce potential applicants to Cleveland Clinic, our career website provides information on current opportunities that are listed by job category for those interested in international, managerial or nursing opportunities.

Our career website outlines our specialty recruitment programs such as ‘Hero Experience’ as well as ‘Student Experience’ and ‘Community Experience.’ These programs are targeted to veterans and reservists seeking employment or other individuals who may already be connected to our partners in community and economic development.  Moreover, our internship, co-op and fellowship opportunities provide hands-on, rigorous experiences in a number of areas.

5. Other than compensation and benefits, what are some initiatives that your company provides to employees?

Our Caregiver Celebrations program is a fully automated rewards and recognition system that awards caregivers for outstanding behaviors supporting our values, which are quality, innovation, teamwork, service, integrity and compassion. It’s a key component of engagement that provides a way for managers, caregivers and even patients to acknowledge and thank you for exceptional work.

6. What unique offerings do you provide for new employees to advance/grow in the company?

We have “engagement coaches” embedded across the enterprise in each division, hospital and institute. They work with managers to develop clear communication methods and set expectations in accordance with team priorities. The Office of Learning and Performance Development provides on-boarding, career and skill development programs to encourage processes that support caregivers at all levels.

7. Do you have a work/life balance program?

The Wellness Institute plans enterprise-wide programs and events as part of its mission to ‘empower and support caregivers to incorporate wellness into their daily lives resulting in a more active, healthy and engaged workforce.’

Through free membership to Weight Watchers, Curves, our fitness centers, yoga and reiki, walking meetings and other activities, caregivers are encouraged to live healthy lifestyles.

Additionally, participation in activities sponsored by one of the ten Employee Resource Groups such as the Interfaith, Military Veterans, ClinicPride (for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees) and SALUD (for Hispanic/Latino employees) provides networking opportunities in the workplace.

8. What has been done to make Cleveland Clinic a stable environment for employees and reduce turnover?    

One way we do this is through our “My Two Cents” website. All caregivers are encouraged to go online and share ideas on how their department, or the enterprise, can be more efficient. Caregivers can comment on each other’s suggestions and share best practices. Through innovation and collaboration online, caregivers can stay engaged and make a difference together.

9. What is your involvement in the community? How can employees get involved?

Cleveland Clinic uses its resources to help the communities it serves become healthier places to live in. This is done through providing uncompensated health care to those in need, engaging in a broad range of medical, research, education and training programs and supporting community health initiatives.

In 2012 our community benefit contribution totaled $754.2 million, which includes $154.6 million in Financial Assistance (formerly recorded as Charity Care) and $50 million in outreach programs. This data refers to Cleveland Clinic operations in Ohio, Florida and Nevada.

Additionally, caregivers volunteer through community programs such as Habitat for Humanity, MedWish, Harvest for Hunger and neighborhood health fairs.

10. What’s the one piece of advice you would give a candidate to make a positive impression during an interview with Cleveland Clinic?

At Cleveland Clinic, we are all caregivers. We are looking for those who want to join our efforts and stay focused on our fundamental values while putting “patients first.” Want to get a good idea of who we are and what drives us? Just imagine yourself standing in someone else’s shoes, whether that is a patient or a patient’s family member. Would you do things differently? That’s what we look for at Cleveland Clinic, people who want to make a difference and improve people’s quality of life.


If you possess the aforementioned skills and are considering a career in the healthcare industry, Cleveland Clinic may be a good fit for you. You can find available positions online by searching the company on Simply Hired.

For more information about Cleveland Clinic and how to start a career in sports medicine, check out our article, “Simply Inspired: Dr. Cathy J. Campbell.” This article highlights Campbell’s career, her role with Cleveland Clinic, as well as her endeavors in the field of sports medicine.