5 Ways to Accelerate Healthcare Recruitment

5 Ways to Accelerate Healthcare Recruitment

Healthcare recruiters keep facing an uphill battle when it comes to recruiting talent for clinical and non-clinical staff positions across the healthcare industry. These challenges include a lack of readily available talent, increased hiring time, and high turnover rates. The industry has become very competitive due to increased demand for qualified specialists. 

According to a Mercer study, registered nurse demand in the US will grow by at least 5% over the next 5 years. This means approximately 900,000 nurses will retire and healthcare providers must hire over one million more registered nurses just to keep pace with rising demand. If you’re willing to recruit some best candidates, brushing up on your healthcare recruiting strategies is essential. In this guide, we’ll be showing you some great strategies that you can implement to make the top hires. 

Unique Challenges of Healthcare Recruiting

Shortage of Skilled Professionals

Healthcare jobs are high-paying because the industry requires a good skillset, expertise, and perfection. Healthcare organizations need to hire highly-skilled healthcare staff as demand for healthcare providers increases due to many factors like chronic diseases and an aging population. Hospitals must work toward hiring talented employees. Many healthcare workers are reaching retirement age and this presents the unique challenge of replacing highly trained personnel. Furthermore, certain regions could experience shortages due to geographical limitations. Rural areas often struggle to recruit qualified healthcare providers, leading to inequities in care delivery. To address staffing shortages, healthcare organizations may rely on temporary or agency workers – who may not provide continuity and quality of care as permanent employees do.

Time-consuming Traditional Hiring Methods

A majority of healthcare organizations are still dependent on conventional methods when doing recruitment for healthcare because of their reliability. However, this industry is extremely skill-centric and recruitment needs some excellent attention to detail. Hence, recruiters should use perfect testing, sourcing, and screening methods to find the right talent. The problem with traditional methods is that you might end up spending excessive resources with a limited return on investment. Additionally, you have to reply to applications as quickly as possible because of the ongoing war to hire top candidates in the medical industry. 

Increasing Workload and Burnout

Workers in the medical industry generally work for long hours, including weekends and night shifts, contributing to mental and physical fatigue. They often come across life-and-death situations that make their work even more stressful.  The high workload and stress levels can cause workplace burnout where employees get emotionally exhausted. A Mayo Clinic Proceedings study found that 62.8% of physicians had faced at least one manifestation of burnout in 2021. Burnout among healthcare workers can have serious consequences for patient care. Fatigued and stressed healthcare providers may make errors, leading to adverse patient outcomes. This, in turn, can damage an institution’s reputation and increase legal liabilities. The prevalence of increasing workload and burnout provides challenges for health recruitment in 2024.

Additional Reading: Top IT recruitment challenges and how to overcome them!

Strategies to Accelerate Healthcare Recruiting

Let’s help you find out some of the most important healthcare recruitment strategies you can implement to speed up your recruitment:

1. Focus on Employer Brand

A compelling employer brand helps you attract and retain top talent for the long term by highlighting your company’s value in the marketplace. According to a study, 75% of candidates evaluate an employer’s brand before even applying for the job role. The data clearly shows that the first and foremost way to attract top talent is through building a strong employer brand. You should first check what sets you apart and start highlighting it on your website and social media. Sharing stories and testimonials from current employees helps you highlight their experience with you as an employer. Apart from this, you can also showcase your awards, promote career development and training programs, and keep assessing your brand effectiveness. In the healthcare industry, having a good reputation helps you provide better care, retain your staff, and stay ahead of the competition.

2. Use Untapped Talent

Companies using employee referral programs typically maintain a 46% retention rate, while those who depend on career websites see a lower retention rate at 33%. Hosting referral programs and allowing your current healthcare staff to refer candidates can help you hire high-quality people with a good cultural fit. You can offer them great incentives for each successful referral to motivate them even more. Candidates who made it to the final interview stage but were not hired can be a great choice today. Use an ATS to review past interview records and check if they are still interested in working for your organization. Partner with recruitment agencies that specialize in healthcare placement as they may have access to candidates actively looking for work. Nurses from different countries, nurses who travel for work, and nurses who recently retired might be interested in moving or coming back to work for you on a full-time basis.

3. Assess Soft Skills

One way to assess healthcare candidates is by presenting realistic clinical scenarios to evaluate their patient interactions. Additionally, asking about their patient-centric care approach, collaborative skills, and conflict-resolution abilities through behavioral interview questions is valuable. Furthermore, assessing their stress management by inquiring about high-pressure situations where they remained composed can provide insights. Ethical dilemmas common in healthcare should be introduced to gauge their ethical decision-making skills. Candidates should also be evaluated on fundamental concepts like patient confidentiality, informed consent, and ethical considerations to ensure they possess essential soft skills for healthcare roles. You can also use interview questions to assess soft skills in a pre-recorded interview to evaluate and identify top candidates more quickly. This comprehensive approach ensures candidates have the necessary soft skills to provide exceptional patient care and foster collaboration in healthcare environments.

4. Partner with Educational Institutions

Find out about local colleges and universities that offer healthcare-related programs and then research. Contacting the program directors and faculty members of the program is an excellent way to explain your company’s goals and discuss collaboration opportunities. A formal proposal that outlines the objectives, mutual advantages, and expectations provides a positive impact on them. You can collaborate in many ways, including internship and clinical rotations, guest lectures and workshops, research projects, and scholarships and financial support. Once you’ve successfully partnered with them, engaging with students through recruitment fairs, informational sessions, and mentorship programs is a great idea. Make sure you keep tracking the success of the partnership by considering metrics like the number of recruited students, the quality, and the retention rates. 

5. Improve Candidate Experience

Glassdoor estimates that four out of five job candidates read reviews and ratings about your organization before deciding. On average, these people read seven or more reviews to form an opinion about an organization. Candidate experience typically starts when someone clicks on your job ad and visits your career website, followed by interviews, offers, or rejection. Optimizing mobile compatibility of job application pages is one way of attracting top healthcare candidates. Make sure that the hiring process is short and maintain communication with candidates during it. Employing an asynchronous or pre-recorded interview as part of your interview process can help eliminate scheduling conflicts while thoroughly assessing candidates.

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Incorporating these strategies into your healthcare recruiting efforts can significantly improve your ability to attract and retain top talent in this highly competitive industry. Your organization can streamline and expedite the recruitment process by establishing an attractive employer brand that highlights your values and achievements, tapping into untapped talent sources through referral programs or partnerships with recruitment agencies, evaluating candidates based on essential soft skills assessments, and fostering relationships with educational institutions. Focusing on enhancing the candidate experience from the initial discovery of your job listings to the final stages of the interview can make your healthcare organization more appealing and successful in recruiting top healthcare professionals.