Medical recruiters are bracing for a challenging road ahead – according to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the United States will face a significant shortage of medical professionals by 2032. Better healthcare recruitment strategies are needed to help fill the shortage gap, and the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the urgency level of the situation. This article will provide the best healthcare recruiting strategies to help attract clinical and non-clinical talent to medical facilities. We’ll also cover some general tips related to recruitment and retention strategies in healthcare, including awareness of skills gaps, new recruiting techniques, and how to determine if a recruitment technology provider is a good fit for your organization.
Why is Healthcare Recruiting so Challenging?
Those in the healthcare recruiting industry are familiar with the extra complexities of creating recruitment strategies for healthcare organizations. But why is it so challenging to hire healthcare professionals in the first place? There are several reasons why healthcare recruiting is often difficult. Here are a few:
- Medical providers are responsible for the lives and well-being of patients. Because of this responsibility, professionals often put extra pressure on themselves resulting in healthcare burnout.
- Some professions take a long time to achieve. Whether you’re looking at general or specialized care, finding the right fit is even more challenging when your talent pool is smaller than usual. This predicament is why the selection process tends to have an additional layer of difficulty.
- The turnover rate tends to be higher due to the demanding nature of healthcare work. Professionals are under extreme stress to provide the best care and help save lives every day, causing many to burn out quickly. Then there’s the pandemic, which has made things tougher because it’s stretching all available personnel to their limits.
- There was already a shortage of medical professionals before the pandemic. A study by Mercer indicated that to keep up with the population, the medical care industry in the United States would have to hire 2.5 million professionals by 2025.
Other factors that contribute to the shortage include:
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How to Recruit Healthcare Professionals
It’s not enough to offer a competitive salary these days. When implementing strategies to manage recruitment, healthcare workers often look for alternative offerings that recruiters need to consider. Candidates weigh factors like work-life balance and the types of benefits offered before accepting a position. In this challenging landscape, finding top talent in healthcare requires some creative medical recruitment strategies. Some of the best recruitment and retention strategies in healthcare include the following:
Build a Reputable Brand
High-quality candidates want to work for employers with a good reputation and will research beyond salary and benefits. In healthcare, where the lives of patients are at stake, this is especially important. Establishing yourself as a trustworthy brand and an excellent employer makes it significantly easier to attract talent. In an urgent and competitive market, this is a great way to stand out. Assess your brand’s fundamental values and communicate the vision clearly to potential job candidates. Strengthen the message by uploading content to your website that speaks to your vision. Give potential employees a better idea of what to expect through blog articles with employee testimonials or videos of them talking about their experience.
Develop Relationships With Universities
Creating partnerships with top institutions that have well-established medical schools is critical to any plan for solid recruiting strategies for healthcare professionals. Jobs in the medical field often require advanced degrees, so it is the quickest way to access well-qualified talent. Hiring out from universities makes it easier to verify candidates’ credentials and seek references. By participating in on-campus career fairs and career workshops, recruiters can meet prospects in person and arrange interviews on the spot. The benefit of partnering with universities goes both ways – recruiters can get help with finding much-needed talent. At the same time, the institutions have a way to provide internship and job opportunities to students. This is an excellent process that will strengthen healthcare recruitment strategies for your facility.
Offer Enticing and Unique Benefits
A competitive salary isn’t enough for the recruitment and retention of healthcare professionals these days. Attractive benefits are a must-have as part of your healthcare recruitment and retention strategies. A Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) survey found that organizations that leverage their benefits program are twice as likely to maintain higher satisfaction levels amongst employees. They also reported better business performance compared to those that do not strategically leverage a benefits program. Perks like flexible time, mandatory time off, wellness perks, and education debt assistance are critical aspects of a good benefits package. In these pandemic times, prospective candidates are also looking for mental health benefits to help keep anxiety and stress levels in check.
Streamline the Interview and Screening Processes
With limited top talent, the best and brightest medical professionals have their pick when considering multiple offers. This means that your screening and interview processes must be efficient, or else these candidates will move on quickly. Review your current recruitment process and identify where improvements can be made. To attract suitable applicants, make full use of your job postings to provide a detailed and accurate picture of the work scope. Utilizing recruitment software can help simplify recruiting processes by bringing the best-fitting applicants to the forefront of your candidate pool. Because interviewing is time-consuming, automate your pre-screening procedures to select the applicants that you want to interview. Give candidates a survey to determine their skill sets and include some pre-interview questions that will help filter the right individuals for the job. The more efficient you are at selecting, interviewing, screening, and making an offer, the better your chances are at ensuring prospects will accept your job opening over another. Streamlining the interview and screening processes helps strengthen healthcare recruitment strategies even further.
Hire Internally (and Replace Those Employees)
One of the best recruiting strategies for healthcare retention is to promote within an organization first. Internal recruitment strategies in healthcare help to solve the skills gap by filling more senior positions quickly with available talent. Talented and proactive employees will have increased their knowledge, skills, and experience since they first joined an organization. They have also built a good track record with their work and are familiar with the culture and internal processes. Current employees who stay and get promoted are a valuable resource to help train new employees hired to replace them in their previous roles. This strategy ensures continuity of best practices and helps in building a positive workplace.
Additional Healthcare Recruiting Tips
Coming up with innovative healthcare recruitment strategies often isn’t just about having an actionable list of items. It can become overwhelming to bear the burden of finding top talent in a limited pool of qualified medical candidates, so it may be necessary to think outside the box. The following medical recruiting tips focus on keeping the perspective that you can seek alternative measures, manage expectations, and make your recruiting work more efficient.
Recognize the Skills Gap
Putting together a good team with the proper combination of skills remains a challenge that has only grown during the pandemic. For example, increasingly limited clinical opportunities for nurses mean that many cannot complete mandatory practical training needed for graduation. This situation results in a group of potential talent who are ready to join the healthcare workforce but cannot due to the circumstances. Another assumed skills gap is that potential hires don’t have the necessary qualifications and require a lot of on-the-job training to be up to speed. This results in employers offering less than a candidate’s expectations and rejection of the offer by the candidate. Conversely, applicants hesitate to apply for a job if the requirements are rigid. There’s no easy way to fill a skills gap. However, you will improve your chances of hiring good people by accepting that the gap exists and focusing more on giving them access to proper training and other resources. Also, make sure to offer new hires the average salary of healthcare jobs in your city or state. Recognizing that there is a skills gap helps manage expectations during the recruitment process.
Be Willing to Try Different Recruiting Methods
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the healthcare workforce. That’s why it’s essential to be open to trying new recruitment and retention strategies for healthcare. In this current market, it’s critical to be creative. Reach more candidates through social media, streamline your hiring processes, and make things simpler for candidates to submit applications. In 2020, job applications via mobile surpassed desktop submissions, so consider using cloud technology to make your process mobile-friendly. Leveraging technology is another great way to improve healthcare recruitment strategies.
Partner With a Recruitment Technology Provider
Healthcare recruiting and hiring challenges are expected to persist as we continue to adjust to the after-effects of the pandemic. Healthcare organizations can always partner with a recruitment technology provider if they’re having trouble automating the recruiting process and finding solid candidates. Recruiting software creates an extension of your recruitment function. Recruitment platforms should have additional tools and resources to help find the specialized talent you’re looking for in the medical field. These tools and resources include:
A comprehensive recruitment software provider can also offer applicant tracking and onboarding functionality to help automate your hiring process even further. Utilizing a recruiting solution will bolster your healthcare recruitment strategies and make it easier to execute them.
How to Recruit Healthcare Professionals
Even if you have enough internal staffing to handle your own recruitment needs, you’ll need the right technology to help your team get things done efficiently. APS can help home health agencies, ambulatory clinics, and other medical facilities with their healthcare HR software needs. Automating your HR and payroll tasks with your recruitment process saves you time and allows you to hire better-quality candidates. With APS Hire, our employee recruiting and onboarding software, you can efficiently pre-screen candidates, track applicants, and hire top talent confidently. APS Hire can help with: