Long Island Business News
September 8, 2014
Q&A: Joseph Moscola, North Shore-LIJ
By: Claude Solnik
As the North Shore-LIJ Health System’s new human resources officer, Joseph Moscola is in charge of keeping Long Island’s biggest employer fully staffed. That’s no mean feat, according to the senior vice president, who cites a 48,000-employee system generating $7 billion in annual revenues.
You’ve been with North Shore-LIJ for quite a while now … do you remember what it was like when you started? I really remember being in awe of the organization. I remember (CEO) Michael Dowling at orientation, and being in complete awe of his vision. That was 11 years ago.
How did you get into HR? I started out in cardiac surgery as a physician assistant, worked clinically for a number of years and converted over to administrative life. I went back to school and got a master’s in business, then progressed through North Shore-LIJ, taking on various roles. My most recent was overseeing our ambulatory network of 400 physician practices and about 2,600 doctors.
How do you manage HR at such a large organization? I rely heavily on the expertise of the leadership team. I bring to the table asking a different question, challenging the way we operate in human resources and finding a new way to align ourselves with the health system strategy.
You’re only 36 – does it add to the challenge, taking on such a big job at such a young age? I draw upon the lessons I’ve learned from mentors throughout my career and try to be as fair and consistent in my approach as possible.
What’s new in HR these days? The biggest thing we have to stay focused on is the technology. How do we make it easier for employees to engage with us? Through effective communication and through our front-line management.
How does technology factor into managing such a big workforce? We receive over 1 million applications for positions every year. We hire, on average, about 120 people a week. Just getting applications in, managing payroll, creating portals for employees to self-service their benefits … given the size of the health system, technology is essential.
How do you get through so many applications? We have a talent-acquisition staff that filters through résumés and interviews to find the most appropriate candidates.
Do you recruit mostly from Long Island? Pretty much all around. Suffice it to say, we have employees who live in the five boroughs, New Jersey and Connecticut, and on Long Island.
Is there a labor shortage, and if so, in what areas? Yes, in a number of areas. Certainly technology; technology within healthcare is a major boom, and finding people with the technology skills we need is a challenge.
Do you focus on hiring staffers who speak multiple languages? We very much work to find employees who match the communities we serve. We have hospitals in Queens, Manhattan and Long Island where we look to match the diversity.
How do you track what all those employees are thinking? Next month, we’ll survey every one of our 48,000 employees, looking for their feedback. How can we do a better job? What would make you a happier employee? Our goal is to be the employer of choice.
Does that mean changes are coming in the way North Shore-LIJ operates? It’s fair to say we’ll make some changes here. But really, this is my first 90 days [as human resources officer] – a lot of discovery and exploration and asking different questions.