Exploring perceptions of professional ePortfolios in the hiring of medical radiation therapists
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Healthcare today is a rapidly changing, complex environment and there is pressure for employers to identify and hire the best person - someone who possesses strong interpersonal and communication skills, robust clinical reasoning, and is technological savvy to ensure safe delivery and top quality patient care (McMillan, 2014). This study explores the role of an employment ePortfolio in the field of medical radiation therapy recruitment and hiring process, to support employers with the selection of best qualified candidates. This study used a mixed methodology, with quantitative survey data and qualitative data from open-ended questions. Twenty-eight individuals (22 females, 6 males) from 42 radiation therapy departments across Canada participated in the study. Sixty-eight percent were managers (n=19), 14% supervisors (n=4), 7% resource or charge therapists, and 4% human resource employees (n=1). Our results indicate that employers highly value a candidates’ curriculum vitae within the ePortfolio, an introduction to the applicant, both written and video, along with the layout and ease of use being critical, as time is a potential barrier to use. Results were mixed regarding perceived value of samples of professional and reflective work, and artifacts were perceived to be the least valuable component of a professional employment ePortfolio. This study also explored the ePortfolios contribution to the assessment of a candidate, with participants agreeing it provided hiring managers a better sense of the person applying for a position, assessing a candidates’ ability to communicate, and evaluating a candidates fit into the department culture. Our participants did not find the ePortfolio contributed to a more informed judgment of a candidate including: professional practice; level of critical thinking; level of development; and their ability to function within a team.