Worldwide, there is an increased need for competent healthcare workers. Till 2031, it is predicted that there will be approximately 1.9 million job openings annually in the U.S. healthcare sector, resulting from replacement and growth needs.
Coupled with the difficulty in finding the right fit for roles such as practitioner and agency nurses, emergency medicine physicians, pulmonologists, radiologists, rheumatologists, vascular surgeons, psychiatrists registered nurses, etc., finding qualified candidates will become a bigger challenge now more than ever.
Therefore, medical practices need to have an effective healthcare recruitment strategy to ensure they hire the right people for the job. In this blog, we will discuss, in detail, everything related to the recruitment process for the medical industry and provide you with actionable tips to fill in-demand medical roles.
The Unique Challenges of Healthcare Recruiting
The process of finding skilled candidates for healthcare jobs is a lot harder than for other industries. Here are some of the many reasons why that is so:
- Shortage of competent healthcare professionals: In 2021, 92% of healthcare officials stated they were concerned about finding applicants with the necessary skill set. 35% said that their main concern was the industry's talent shortage due to lesser people opting for a career in healthcare and the aging population.
- Baby boomers are aging: 10,000 of them are turning 65 daily. This is a cause for concern because 1/3 of all active physicians are baby boomers, which will exacerbate the requirement for skilled medical personnel. As they head to retirement, the balance between supply and demand will get further skewed.
- Lack of diversity: Apart from the talent pool being disturbingly shallow, there is also a significant lack of diversity. It's important to account for it in healthcare as patients from all backgrounds seek medical attention. Therefore, diversity is critical to making them feel more comfortable and helping them open up.
- No investment in employer branding: Statistics show that 84% of job applicants consider their potential employer's reputation to be a significant factor in job hunting. Usually, healthcare organizations don't prioritize their branding, as patient care of medical research are considered more important. Thus, recruiters must be mindful when posting job ads and tactfully get around this hurdle.
How the Recruiting Landscape Has Shifted
The recruiting landscape has changed immensely over the last few years. This is due to several reasons. Firstly, the workers of this time have a 'millennial mindset,' meaning their way of working differs from that of previous generations.
Thus, to meet the new generation's work requirements, recruiters needed to adapt. For example, this generation grew up with the internet and is well-versed in using it as a valuable resource. They will search for new opportunities if their current job role doesn't suit them.
The traditional 9-5 clock-in and out work culture has also changed immensely, with workers wanting fewer working days in a week or flexibility for the time they need to work. Moreover, due to COVID-19, the healthcare staffing and recruiting process also became highly digitized, with roles adapting to their limitations. Let's discuss some of the major ways in which recruitment has changed.
- Artificial Intelligence: Recruiters do make use of artificial intelligence (AI) in recruitment. However, predictions show that it will become even more prominent in the near future. AI enables them to consider candidates from a larger pool, with only the best person being chosen. Moreover, it does so very quickly and with more accuracy. It also eliminates employer bias, ensuring that the right people are selected for the job roles at hand.
- Remote Working: Businesses can widen their candidate pool because the location is no longer an issue. Those who cannot come in to work daily can easily work from home using the software.
- Social Media: Recruiters can utilize social media to reach more people. Moreover, several platforms are available now that are specifically for business relationships, such as LinkedIn. Businesses can connect with the appropriate candidates more easily and seamlessly. The hiring process has also become more straightforward as a result.
Why Medical and Healthcare Recruitment Strategies Are So Crucial To Get Right
In the healthcare industry, the quality of your workforce has a direct and profound impact on various aspects of your organization. From providing exceptional patient care to ensuring operational efficiency and driving overall organizational success, the importance of effective healthcare staffing and medical recruitment cannot be overstated. As a Chief People Officer or hiring manager, it falls on your shoulders to ensure that your recruitment efforts yield the best possible candidates who align with your organization's values and possess the necessary skills and qualifications.
According to a recent report by Mercer, it's estimated that in the next 3 years (2026), more healthcare workers will be leaving the field than new workers who can fill their spots. Hiring the right professionals with the right expertise and cultural fit is essential for delivering excellent healthcare services. A skilled and motivated healthcare workforce also contributes to better patient outcomes, increased patient satisfaction, and improved overall quality of care.
Furthermore, the operational efficiency of healthcare organizations is heavily reliant on the expertise and performance of their workforce. A study published in the Journal of Healthcare Management states that effective recruitment and retention practices positively correlate with operational performance in healthcare settings. By attracting and retaining top talent, organizations can optimize processes, reduce costs, and enhance productivity, ultimately leading to better operational outcomes.
Organizational success in the healthcare industry is also closely tied to the quality of the workforce. According to research published in the Journal of Healthcare Management, hospitals with high-performing employees experience better financial performance, higher patient satisfaction scores, and lower mortality rates. By recruiting and nurturing a talented workforce, you can drive positive outcomes, differentiate your healthcare organization further from competitors, and achieve long-term success.
Common Hiring Mistakes To Avoid:
- Focusing on filtering out poor prospective candidates rather than attracting the strongest candidates.
- Not having a clear understanding of your criteria for a great candidate and a great hire, including necessary certifications.
- Relying solely on job descriptions instead of outlining clear and measurable objectives for the role.
- Neglecting creative approaches in your initial outreach, such as accommodating students or offering flexibility for unusual shift hours. Leveraging text messaging can also enhance engagement and communication.
- Allowing bias to influence decisions by conducting initial phone interviews to level the playing field.
- Confusing company culture with company values, failing to effectively articulate and demonstrate your unique workplace culture.
- Overlooking alternative recruitment channels that can broaden your candidate pipeline and bring fresh perspectives.
The Ideal Healthcare Recruitment & Hiring Process
To overcome these challenges and ensure success in healthcare recruitment, healthcare administrators should follow these guidelines:
1. Focus on attracting the strongest candidates
Rather than solely focusing on filtering out poor candidates, shift your mindset to actively attract the most talented individuals. Highlight the unique opportunities, growth prospects, and meaningful work your organization offers.
2. Define your criteria for a great candidate and hire
Clearly identify the skills, qualifications, and certifications necessary for success in the specific role. This clarity ensures you are targeting the skills gaps and the right candidates from the start.
3. Go beyond job descriptions
When it comes to healthcare recruitment, relying solely on traditional job descriptions can limit your ability to attract exceptional talent. To truly engage candidates and pique their interest, it's crucial to craft comprehensive job descriptions that go beyond the standard list of responsibilities. By outlining clear and measurable objectives, you provide candidates with a deeper understanding of the impact they can make in their roles.
Including specific objectives in your job descriptions has multiple benefits. Firstly, it helps candidates envision the outcomes they can achieve and the value they can bring to the organization. Secondly, it demonstrates that your organization is results-oriented and fosters a culture of accountability. Lastly, it allows candidates to assess their own suitability for the role, ensuring a better match between their skills and your organization's needs.
According to a study by LinkedIn, job postings with clear and measurable objectives can help encourage more candidates to apply. By incorporating these objectives, you not only attract a larger pool of candidates but also increase the likelihood of attracting individuals who are motivated by specific goals and thrive in a results-driven work environment.
To effectively include clear and measurable objectives in your job descriptions, consider the following tips:
- Quantify outcomes: Use metrics, such as patient satisfaction scores, reduction in wait times, or increased productivity, to quantify the impact candidates can make in their roles. This allows candidates to see the tangible results they can achieve and highlights the organization's commitment to measurable success.
- Align objectives with organizational goals: Connect the objectives of the position to the broader goals and mission of your organization. This demonstrates to candidates that their work will contribute to the overall success and impact of the organization.
- Provide context: Offer a brief explanation of why the objectives are important and how they align with the organization's strategic priorities. This helps candidates understand the significance of their role and fosters a sense of purpose.
By going beyond generic job descriptions and incorporating clear, measurable objectives, you enhance the appeal of your job postings and attract candidates who are motivated by meaningful goals and outcomes.
4. Get creative with initial outreach to job seekers
In the competitive landscape of healthcare recruitment, it's crucial to stand out and engage with top-tier candidates right from the start. Embracing innovative and creative methods of outreach can significantly increase your chances of attracting exceptional talent.
Consider the following approaches to make a lasting impression:
Accommodate students or offer flexibility for unusual shift hours
Recognizing the diverse needs and circumstances of potential candidates can open doors to exceptional talent. Many healthcare professionals, especially students pursuing relevant degrees, seek opportunities to gain practical experience while balancing their education and careers. By offering internships, part-time positions, or flexible schedules that accommodate unusual shift hours, you tap into a pool of motivated individuals eager to learn and contribute.
Since working can negatively impact the mental health and ability of nursing students to successfully finish their programs, it's important that they have flexibility in their working arrangements. By catering to the unique needs of students and individuals seeking non-traditional hours, you position your organization as an attractive and supportive employer.
Utilize text messaging as an effective communication tool
In today's digital age, incorporating text messaging as part of your recruitment strategy can yield remarkable results. Text messaging offers a quick and convenient communication channel that resonates well with candidates, particularly millennials and Gen Z, who are accustomed to instant and mobile-friendly interactions.
Research has shown that text message open rates are higher compared to email open rates. So by embracing these innovative approaches, you demonstrate your organization's commitment to adaptability and responsiveness, which are highly valued qualities in the healthcare industry. Employing creative outreach methods not only expands your candidate pool but also positions your organization as a forward-thinking and appealing employer.
5. Conduct an initial phone interview to eliminate bias
This is a great way to eliminate any underlying bias your recruitment team may have. By conducting an initial phone interview, you create an unbiased evaluation process that focuses solely on qualifications and skills.
6. Clearly articulate and demonstrate your company culture
Rather than merely stating company values, provide tangible examples of your company culture and how it aligns with the candidate's professional aspirations and personal values.
7. Go beyond traditional recruitment channels
By thinking beyond traditional recruitment channels, you can tap into previously untapped talent pools and uncover hidden gems.
In addition to job boards and career websites, consider leveraging alternative platforms to reach a broader audience. Online professional networks, such as LinkedIn, offer access to a vast talent pool of healthcare professionals actively seeking new opportunities. According to a study conducted by Jobvite, Linkedin was reported to deliver the highest quality candidates by 53% of respondents as part of their candidate search strategy. Additionally, specialized healthcare platforms, such as Doximity and Nurse.com, provide access to a targeted audience of medical professionals.
You can also consider recruiting via:
Social media networks
Harness the power of social media to amplify your recruitment efforts. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can be valuable resources for engaging with potential candidates, sharing job postings, and showcasing your organization's culture and values.
Attend and actively participate in industry-specific events, conferences, and job fairs. These gatherings provide an opportunity to connect directly with talented professionals, build relationships, and showcase your organization's commitment to the healthcare field. In-person or virtual events, such as medical association conferences or nursing career fairs, offer a concentrated pool of candidates with specialized knowledge and skills.
Form strategic partnerships with educational institutions, professional associations, and healthcare organizations to tap into their networks and gain access to potential candidates. Collaborate with clients on internships, residency programs, or mentorship initiatives to foster relationships with emerging talent.
Expanding your recruitment channels beyond the traditional avenues allows you to reach a wider range of candidates and access specialized talent pools. By leveraging alternative platforms, engaging with social media networks, participating in industry events, and forming strategic partnerships, you increase your chances of attracting exceptional healthcare professionals who may not be actively searching through conventional methods.
8. Utilize a hiring experience platform
Leveraging a hiring experience platform like Aeon can streamline your recruitment efforts, improve decision-making, and elevate the overall candidate experience. By utilizing such a platform, you can gain a competitive edge in attracting and selecting top talent.
A hiring experience platform like Aeon offers a range of features, tools and benefits that contribute to a more efficient and effective recruitment process. These platforms often include functionalities such as applicant tracking, candidate screening and assessment, interview scheduling, and analytics. By centralizing these tasks within a single platform, you can save time, reduce administrative burdens, and make data-driven decisions.
When you provide candidates with a seamless and user-friendly experience throughout the recruitment journey, you create a positive impression of your organization and increase the likelihood of attracting the best talent. Candidates appreciate the convenience and transparency offered by these platforms, as they enable them to track their progress, receive timely updates, and engage with the recruitment process more effectively.
6 Tips To Fill Difficult Healthcare Industry Roles
Recruiting high impact talent for the medical field is a difficult task, especially when it comes to certain roles. Here are 6 healthcare recruitment strategies you should follow to ensure that you're attracting and retaining only the best of the best.
1. Offer College Students Internships
The National Association for Colleges and Employers (NACE) published research that showed how new employees starting out as interns stay with your company for longer.
Thus, recruiters should target medical students looking for internships, as you will get first dibs on their skills and talent and earn their loyalty. You can also try to attract university students through workshops and career fairs.
2. Keep A Check On Promising Candidates With An ATS
It is common for recruiters to have candidates apply to a certain job you've posted for that are not the best match for the particular role. However, if they are a promising profile, it's wise to bookmark them so that you can reach out to them when a more suitable position is up for grabs.
For this, healthcare recruiters should utilize an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) so that they can shortlist them as a potential match for a relevant role in the future. You should choose an ATS with advanced filter and search options so you can look specifically for rejected candidates and easily get a hold of their profile. This will help recruiters have backups and make the process faster and more streamlined.
3. Utilize Positive Reviews for Candidate Experience Optimization
A report by Glassdoor showed that 4 out of 5 job applicants would look at a company's reviews and ratings before deciding whether they want to work for them. Candidates who had a bad experience could post negative reviews about the organization's recruitment process, discouraging others from applying.
Improve the candidate's experience in the following way:
- Optimizing your job application form for mobile users
- Updating candidates regarding the stage they are currently at in the process and what they can expect next
- Make the recruitment process as short as possible (aim for 24 hours)
By implementing this, recruiters will improve their chances of getting more applicants and finding the right people for the available roles.
4. Work On Your Employee Value Proposition (EVP)
Having a strong EVP is a great way to stand out amongst your competition, helping you attract and retain the best candidates in the field. You should work on perfecting your EVP statement so the candidate can receive it during recruitment.
To make it poignant, here is what you should focus on:
- Why current employees are happy to work with you
- The goals of the company and how the applicant's skills can help achieve them
- How your offerings are superior to those of other employers
Moreover, recruiters should keep in mind that a paycheck isn't what makes an EVP a powerful tool. You must include perks such as flexible schedules, parental leave, paid time off, etc. Furthermore, defining growth opportunities for the role can help you too, as 59% of millennials prioritize growth and learning opportunities for the jobs they're applying to.
5. Use Skills Assessments for Candidates
As a recruiter, it's your job to find candidates that are genuinely good at what you do. That can be difficult to ascertain sometimes, as studies show that 1/3 of U.S. citizens have lied on their resumes about their work experience, skills, educational background, or how long they worked at their last organizations.
It can get hard to screen each candidate to verify their claims. So, use a standardized method to passive candidates to make it easier. Focus on getting skilled candidates by utilizing skills assessments to ensure they are competent. Through this, you will get the cream of the crop instead of having to invest time in reviewing unqualified candidates.
Also, applicants will feel that you have a fast screening process, but one that doesn't make them feel rushed. You can use healthcare recruitment software with skills assessment features that test candidates according to the role they're applying for.
6. Refine Employer Branding
As touched upon earlier, employer brand is an important consideration for most job applicants today. LinkedIn posted research that states that 52% of them look up and screen the company's website and social media accounts to learn more about them.
So, if the employer isn't working on upholding its brand, which can be an issue when it comes to hiring, thus, recruiters should consider the following:
- Get loyal employees to review your brand and advocate for you
- Be consistent on all social media accounts when it comes to brand messaging
The healthcare industry is notorious amongst recruiters, as it's increasingly difficult to find applicants for certain roles. In the current climate, healthcare centers must employ diverse, competent, skilled, and reputable individuals for the job.
To make this happen, the most expedient option is to take assistance from an experienced recruitment agency. MSH employs a strategic approach for talent acquisition and uses a diverse pool of talented resources. We can help you land the right person for all positions.