Home » The Ultimate Guide to Healthcare Recruiting and Staffing

Healthcare facilities, such as hospitals, urgent care facilities, and hospices, depend on their workers entirely. Unfortunately, the healthcare industry is faced with serious shortages and talent gaps, which are expected to widen in the next few years. A study by the Association of American Medical Colleges’ Center for Workforce Studies found that there are 45,000 […]

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Healthcare facilities, such as hospitals, urgent care facilities, and hospices, depend on their workers entirely. Unfortunately, the healthcare industry is faced with serious shortages and talent gaps, which are expected to widen in the next few years. A study by the Association of American Medical Colleges’ Center for Workforce Studies found that there are 45,000 fewer primary care practitioners and 46,000 fewer medical specialists and surgeons.

Healthcare Recruiting and Staffing

Apart from medically trained professionals, healthcare facilities also don’t have enough non-clinical staff, such as security guards, food service workers, and maintenance staff. Healthcare facilities can overcome these shortages and recruitment challenges by ensuring that they optimize healthcare recruitment. Below are a few tips to optimize healthcare staffing.

  1. Understand the special considerations guiding healthcare recruitment

Unlike other fields, there are several special considerations to keep in mind when managing healthcare recruitment. They include:

  • Healthcare workers require special certifications

Most recruitment exercises focus on the candidate’s education and job experience. However, hiring managers should consider education levels, job experience, and specific certifications when recruiting for healthcare facilities. Healthcare workers should have specific degrees and certifications to assume their designated roles.

Fortunately, several institutions, including the American International University, currently have online programs that allow trained healthcare workers to advance their knowledge and gain the requisite skills. While low-level roles, such as custodial staff and receptionists, require general skills, hiring unqualified or untrained persons for specific healthcare roles is impossible.

  • Healthcare workers have a high turnover rate

Working in hospitals is highly demanding as healthcare personnel deal with critical conditions every day. The nature of work in hospitals and other care facilities is very stressful. That aside, administrative, institutional, and governmental shortcomings worsen working conditions for healthcare workers.

This explains why healthcare workers have a high turnover rate of approximately 20%. The preceding pandemic also stretched most workers to their maximum limits.

The need for special certifications and the high turnover rate complicate healthcare recruiting. It is difficult for recruiting managers to find new graduates and experienced persons willing to work under these stressful conditions.

  1. Create a Candidate-Centric Job Description

Job descriptions for healthcare recruitment significantly differ from other sectors. With the ever-changing facility structures and job titles, such as office manager in place of practice manager, potential candidates can easily get confused. Creating candidate-focused descriptions can help increase the number of applicants. Below are a few tips to consider to create healthcare job descriptions that can attract quality, experienced, and motivated candidates:

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  • Start with the basics – You should start by outlining specific vacant job titles, such as “X-Ray physician or Staff Nurse.” Using specific titles will make it easy for candidates to identify what skills they are looking for. Potential candidates will also easily find your vacancy through keyword searches. You should also describe the specific duties and responsibilities of the successful candidate. It is best to indicate how much time the hire will spend or devote to specific duties.
  • Clearly list the qualifications – To avoid resumes with vague phrases, such as “hard-working” and “team player,” you should list the specific qualifications in your job description. Describe educational requirements, years of experience, board certifications, specific technical abilities, and other details that candidates should have.
  • Avoid discriminatory language – You should review your descriptions to ensure that there is no illegal reference to sex, age, color, disabilities, religion, and other features outlined by the EEOC. You should also avoid common phrases, such as “recent graduates.” You can be sued for including these limitations in your job description.
  • Reporting relationship – You should inform prospective candidates where the vacancy fits your organization. Include the office they will report to, such as the Chief financial officer or Director of Nursing.
  • Include the working conditions – Describe where the potential hire will spend most of their time while at work. Is it a laboratory, front office, or theater? This should also include the geographic location of the position, especially for home-based care services.
  • Highlight compensation and benefits – Most job seekers prefer knowing their expected salaries and benefits upfront. Unfortunately, most hospitals and healthcare facilities provide very little details about this. To stand out, highlight employee salary ranges and benefits, such as retirement plan, insurance, college tuition reimbursement, discounted medical services, sick time, and more.
  1. Use Effective Recruitment Marketing Systems

Unlike before, posting job descriptions in the local newspapers won’t gather effective leads. Currently, digital transformations have led to multi-faceted recruitment marketing. Hiring managers should consider several recruitment marketing systems to attract quality candidates. Below are some tips for an effective recruitment marketing:

  • Use organic and paid advertising – Social media is increasingly becoming a vital component of every company’s branding strategy. While you can post vacant positions on social media organically, not all social media platforms are best for recruitment marketing. You should also identify where your target candidates spend most of their time. For instance, LinkedIn is an effective platform for organic marketing. However, Gen Z and millennials can be reached easily through Instagram stories.
  • Use your owned channels – Your website and blog are also great for recruitment marketing. For instance, you should regularly update your career page.
  • Use newsletters to keep candidates engaged – You can use email newsletters to improve brand awareness and nurture potential candidates. Building relationships with these candidates by staying in touch creates a wide talent pool, which is crucial for future recruitment.
  • Use job boards – You can also find quality candidates by posting your vacant position on job boards. Some of the best job boards for healthcare recruitment include Healthcare Job Site, Med JobsCafe.com, Hospital Careers, MedicalJobs.org, CareerBuilder, and Health Career Center.

You should optimize your job ads for healthcare recruitment for mobile devices. This is because more than 50% of job candidates use mobile to look for opportunities.

  1. Use a Strong Applicant Tracking System

Healthcare recruiting is a tough challenge, especially with increasing shortages of qualified talents required for special positions. An applicant tracking system allows hiring managers to recruit the best talents in many ways. Unfortunately, even with the surge in demand for healthcare professionals, only 47% of healthcare recruitment professionals believe that healthcare hiring strategies are effective. An applicant tracking system can help hiring managers fill key positions in the following ways:

  • Flexible scheduling – Unlike other organizations, healthcare facilities operate 24/7, and employees work all round. As such, hiring managers are just as busy as physicians, nurses, and other frontline employees. Medical emergencies can arise unexpectedly, making scheduled job interviews go awry. However, an applicant tracking system can ease the scheduling of interviews with potential candidates.
  • Remote video interviews – A 2019 study found that over 59% of health care shortages are in suburban and rural areas. Apart from limited financing, luring healthcare professionals to these areas is difficult because they don’t have the same social and cultural opportunities offered in city facilities. An applicant tracking system allows hiring managers to conduct remote interviews, eliminating the costs of flying in and accommodating potential candidates.
  • Mobile reach – More healthcare workers use mobile devices to search and apply for vacant positions. With text engagement features, applicant tracking systems allow seamless communications between hiring managers and potential candidates. Recruiters can also dispatch timely ads to job seekers and respond to applicants’ FAQs.
  • Competency testing and screening – Medical workers should be well educated, competent, and function well in high-stress environments. Hiring managers should also perform health checks, background screening, and comprehensive skills assessments. Recruitment software can administer these and other tests. Employers can customize pre-employment criteria to fit the requirements of the vacant position.
  1. Improve Employee Retention

With a high turnover rate, healthcare facilities should work on improving employee retention right from the hiring stage. While turnover in healthcare facilities stems from external factors beyond the hospital’s control, healthcare facilities should manage internal factors. Below are a few tips that facilities should pursue to improve retention.

  • Improve employee benefits – Healthcare facilities should offer employee benefits beyond the basics, such as healthcare coverage and pay scale. Offering relocation assistance, ongoing training, adequate leave, sign-on bonuses, quarterly bonuses, and free insurance can improve retention rates.
  • Adequate staffing – Understaffing is probably the biggest challenge faced by healthcare workers. An understaffed facility puts pressure on individual workers and decreases the quality of care. Healthcare workers will soon start feeling burnout and quit.
  • Invest in the facility – While this is tertiary to recruiting, healthcare facility managers should ensure that they invest in modern tools and equipment. This simplifies various activities and improves the quality of patient care.
  1. Think Long-Term

As healthcare facilities become more adept at hiring, they can come across candidates who aren’t a good fit for currently vacant positions but have potential for vacant positions in the future. Hiring managers should place such candidates in their talent pool and maintain communications to keep them in the know of new positions that fit their skills.

ENDNOTE

With old healthcare workers retiring and the increasing aging population increasing healthcare demands, hospitals and care facilities should keep abreast with healthcare recruiting trends to meet talent demands. Integrating the tips mentioned above into your recruitment strategy will reduce workforce turnover rates, increase job satisfaction, and ensure that you hire the best talent.

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