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Recruitment Challenges in the Healthcare Industry

Recruitment Challenges in the Healthcare Industry

We've put together a complete list of the recruitment challenges in the healthcare industry so human resource administrators know what to be on the lookout for.

What are the Biggest Recruitment Challenges in the Healthcare Industry

Hiring in any industry can be difficult and stressful. However, there’s an additional layer to the recruitment challenges in the healthcare industry. This extra pressure is because employees in the healthcare industry directly impact customers’ health and overall well-being.

Customers in the healthcare industry are patients of healthcare employees. Because of this direct connection to health, the job performed by a healthcare professional is critical to the success of the organization. Therefore, it’s essential to find the best candidate for the job.

In addition to patient care, there are HIPPA regulations and additional compliance requirements associated with healthcare recruitment. What are these challenges, and how do healthcare organizations overcome them? Read the rest of this article to find out.

There's an Overall Shortage of Available Talent

One of the first recruitment challenges in the healthcare industry is an overall shortage of available talent. According to Mercer’s study, the United States will need to hire 2.3 million new healthcare workers by 2025 to keep up with the population. Several factors are contributing to this talent shortage, some of which include:

In the United States, 50.9 % of RNs are over age 50, and 44% of physicians are over age 55. In the next five years, these workers will retire, creating a greater need for elderly care and more open positions than workers to fill them. What is the solution to this position gap, and how does HR fit in the mix?

There are tactics healthcare HR professionals can utilize to help with the talent shortage burden. The World Health Organization encourages individuals and organizations alike to put preventative healthcare at the top of their priority list. Companies can incorporate health and wellness initiatives into their HR strategies. These initiatives help decrease hospitalizations and increase workforce longevity. Some of these initiatives include:

Insurance plans with telehealth visits open up time for physicians and decrease congestion in waiting rooms.
Employee wellness programs that encourage exercise by rewarding workers who meet activity goals.
Free mental health checkups to all employee health plan participants, reducing workforce stress levels.
Policies that mandate senior leaders and lower-level workers to take vacation time, motivating employees to rejuvenate.
Lower deductibles for health plan participants making preventative screenings more affordable and minimizing chronic illness diagnoses.

HR software solutions with benefits administration features can help streamline all of these ideas into actionable results. Physicians, nurses, and other healthcare workers can access their benefits information 24/7 from any device for better communication. They can also view different coverage types, enroll in benefit plans, and manage their wellness offerings all from one place.

The Best New Talent is Hired Quickly

In addition to talent shortages, recruiting fresh, top talent is also a staffing problem in hospitals. Healthcare organizations benefit from the cost-effectiveness of new hires and their up-to-date training. However, new candidates typically prefer to accept positions with their healthcare internship providers. This gap creates geographical pockets in up-to-date training methods and experience levels.

The lack of available new talent makes it competitive for employers to recruit medical staff, as they have to look attractive without offering the highest salaries. Fortunately, recruiting software simplifies the hiring process and increases candidate pools so that you can fill your talent pipeline with the best candidates for the job.

HR recruitment software aids managers in creating compelling career pages and postings across job sites. Leaders can promote jobs internally and externally and encourage prospects to apply from any electronic device. Meanwhile, employees can share career postings across social media or other sources.

The flexibility of mobile application capabilities, combined with the positive brand image employees have created across the web, builds your company’s reputation. The reputation of being a desirable employer to work for and onboard with makes it much easier to attract new talent in the healthcare industry.

There are a lot of Hard to Fill Positions in Healthcare

Another recruitment challenge in the healthcare industry is the job itself. There are many hard to fill positions in healthcare, ranging anywhere from nurse practitioner to a rheumatologist. compiled a list of the top 10 hardest positions to fill in healthcare. We’ve included this list along with why each job is hard to fill below

1. Pulmonologist

According to, nearly 66% of all pulmonologist jobs were still unfilled after 60 days of being posted. Pulmonologists are in higher demand now more than ever before due to aging patients and the continued rise of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD), which afflicts over 11 million Americans.

2. Rheumatologist

As baby boomers hit retirement age, arthritis symptoms and diagnoses have soared. These symptoms increase the demand for doctors in these fields.

3. Nurse Practitioner

Due to Baby Boomer retirement, there is a shortage of primary care physicians. This shortage has caused the demand for nurse practitioners (NPs) to increase at record numbers.

4. Agency Nurse

According to Indeed, nearly 57.8% of available agency nurse jobs are still not filled after 60 days. This shortage is primarily due to a lack of educators and balance among nurse workloads.

5. Cardiologist

According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Because heart disease is so common, it makes sense that cardiologists are always in high demand.

6. Radiologist

Because people with chronic conditions are living longer, the need for radiologists is increasing. This higher demand and lower supply have resulted in a gap in radiologists that will continue to widen.

7. Emergency Medicine Physician

According to the CDC, Americans make more than 139 million visits to the emergency department annually. When they arrive, they expect to be seen by an emergency medicine physician, making them high in demand.

8. Psychiatrist

More than one-third of Americans (36%) say coronavirus has a severe impact on their mental health. If you’ve ever tried to schedule the first appointment with a psychiatrist, you know firsthand that their appointment calendars stay full. As the effects of 2020 linger on, visits to psychiatrists are expected to increase.

9. Vascular Surgeon

Between 35% and 45% of all current vascular surgeons are expected to retire in the next ten years. Healthcare facilities know this and are eager to find and train future generations. Increased recruitment efforts result in more available positions.

10. Urologist

Urology is another field expected to lose a large percentage of its workforce to retirement, with 53.6% of urologist jobs are still not filled 60 days after being posted.

The Average Time to Fill a Position in Healthcare is Higher than Nearly Every Other Industry

On average, healthcare organizations take 48.3 days to fill any given position, with some vacancies lasting much longer. That’s 20.5 days above the industry average. Provider shortages, new talent difficulties, and hard-to-fill positions are to blame. However, these are only some of the recruitment challenges in the healthcare industry. Training versus experience is another factor that increases longevity in healthcare job vacancies. This debate, combined with the chaos of department-level hiring and lengthy job screenings, adds to staffing issues in healthcare.

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Weighing Experience vs. Quality of Degree Slows Down the Hiring Process

The question of degree vs. experience is an issue across any industry, but it’s especially tough for human resources in healthcare. Healthcare facilities can’t afford to onboard talent that doesn’t fit their specific needs. As a result, healthcare professionals find themselves asking the following questions related to hiring quality:

When recruiters ask experience vs. degree questions, they must avoid personal inclinations or bias and focus on what is needed to fill the available position. The key to the decision between degree vs. experience is to remember diversity. You want your organization to be a melting pot of young, newly trained employees, as well as employees with years of experience. However, this type of objectivity can be tough to handle on your own, and the time spent pondering these questions can bog down the process of staffing in healthcare.

The good news is HR recruiting software can help with these tough choices. With HR software, recruiters can post job openings on their websites or multiple job boards. From there, HR software can filter out applications based on educational institutions, years of experience, or even skillsets. With all of these filters, recruiters can interview a range of qualified candidates for the job.

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Recruiting Healthcare Professionals is Often Done at the Department Level

While the type of position and education vs. experience debate contributes to prolonged job vacancies, the recruitment process itself is also to blame. While HR departments typically facilitate recruiting, individual departments usually hire candidates. This kind of multi-layered recruitment process makes HR document management complicated and slows employee hiring in healthcare.

Cloud-based recruiting software helps managers centralize their recruiting strategies and streamline these kinds of hiring processes. A unified HR platform lets leaders across multiple departments utilize the same system for candidate recruiting, interviewing, and license verification.

Multifunctional recruiting solutions enable HR managers to oversee individual department hiring practices. While HR gains visibility, individual departments can hire without the stress of process litigations. Department practices end up aligning with industry and brand standards. The result is a unified hiring and onboarding process across multiple departments and throughout the organization.

Healthcare Jobs have a Cumbersome Screening Process

Cumbersome screening processes are another recruitment selection challenge to HR in healthcare. While some screenings involve social security tracing and criminal history information, other background checks in the healthcare industry involve unique processes that don’t usually apply to non-healthcare organizations. Here are a few additional screenings HR has to administer before filling hospital staffing requests.

In addition to these background-styled checks, a healthcare employer might have you take a tuberculosis test and verify you have received other necessary vaccinations relevant to the job. These screenings and health checks can take a lot longer if you don’t have a system to properly manage prospect documentation.

HR recruiting software grants you access to the specific screening tools and document management capabilities you need for your healthcare organization. Some HR vendors handle background checks and screening procedures themselves. Others partner with third-party vendors to provide verifications and criminal searches.

HR software also offers the ability to pre-populate previously entered candidate data into background screening requests. Automating this process eliminates duplicate data entry. As a result, HR recruiting software reduces errors associated with candidate screening, improves accuracy, and speeds up the entire hiring process.

A Successful Recruitment in the Making

While recruitment selection and retention challenges in healthcare might be nerve-wracking, the good news is medical professionals and organizations worldwide are taking the necessary steps to help close the gap between HR and healthcare and minimize healthcare recruiting and hiring difficulties.

In addition to these efforts, HR software companies are taking extra steps to ensure healthcare managers can access the necessary tools to perform their job efficiently. HR software has enhanced benefits administration features to include employee wellness offerings. Visibility to wellness offerings helps employees stay on track with their health and increases workforce longevity. Existing providers can keep working, and new graduates are attracted to organizations with competitive benefit offerings.

Likewise, visually engaging career pages and streamlined, mobile-friendly job postings within HR recruiting software helps recruiters attract quality applicants. Recruiters filter prospects based on experience or institutional accreditation; meanwhile, applicant tracking data helps with candidate questions, assessments, references, and background checks.

Ultimately, these organizational efforts result in a streamlined and comprehensive recruiting process for HR professionals across the healthcare industry. With HR recruitment software and other industry advancements at your fingertips, your previous healthcare recruiting challenges become problems of the past.

How APS Makes Healthcare Recruitment and Onboarding Easy

APS is a unified payroll and HR platform designed to help hospital administrators attract quality applicants, build a better hiring process, and develop a successful onboarding program to grow their industry. Our workforce solution is designed to manage recruiting and onboarding, shift differential time tracking, labor distribution reporting, and regulatory compliance, so you focus on providing quality patient care.

Whether you’re looking to automate your recruitment, manage payroll processing, or you need a platform that can handle your entire employee lifecycle, it’s easier to control those processes in a unified system. APS’ payroll and HR solution is built as a single solution, giving you the ultimate flexibility to use what you need and expand as your healthcare organization continues to grow.

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