Contract tracing is one of the fast-growing fields in the United States. Since the start of the Coronavirus outbreak, the number of contact tracers in the country has increased from 2,200 to 36,000. It is estimated that we actually need in the region of 100,000 contact tracers in order to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Considering the contracting job market in most of the country’s industries, contact tracing offers opportunities for employment, as well as the chance to be involved in the fight against the disease. Thousands of people are applying for positions in the field, but it takes a certain set of skills and characteristics to do this job well. Here are the top five things you should look for in an applicant.
1. Strong interpersonal skills
Contact tracing involves communication with many different kinds of people. Candidates must be adept at both written and spoken communication. They need to be able to share a substantial amount of critical information in a way that people can understand, while also maintaining a friendly and calming tone. The ability to speak additional languages would also be helpful.
2. Cultural sensitivity
In addition to being effective and empathetic communicators, contact tracers should also be able to interact with people from multiple cultural backgrounds. Doing this effectively and without judgment requires a high level of cultural sensitivity. It helps if the candidate already has a well-developed understanding of cultures outside of their own, but the willingness to engage and empathize across cultural barriers is the most important thing.
Contact tracers will not always deal with people who are fully cooperative. The job consists of cold-calling strangers and attempting to communicate sensitive information. They will often meet with resistance and even suspicion, and will need to be able to respond calmly and objectively while gently convincing people about the necessary actions that need to be taken.
4. Well-developed organizational skills
There is an extensive amount of data management required in this job. Multiple cases need to be tracked until completion, and each one will entail high volumes of documentation. Workers have to be able to keep track of ongoing developments within each case, while multi-tasking across their caseloads.
5. Critical thinking
Being a contact tracer is a little like being a detective. They need to ask the right questions, gather massive amounts of data. They need to be naturally curious, with a desire to engage in the information, and then they need to be able to assess the data critically, “join the dots,” determine accuracy, distinguish between what is useful and what is not. Well-developed critical thinking and discernment skills are therefore vital for this job.
Grace Federal Solutions LLC offers healthcare recruitment services and has also recently been awarded the contract for contact tracing for the state of North Carolina. Contact us for more information.