Due to the lingering effects of the COVID-19 outburst, hiring and retaining employees in the healthcare industry has become more volatile and competitive than ever. Add in early retirements and burnout in the existing workforce, these challenges have had great implications for the healthcare organisations looking to attract and hold on to professionals to help them meet the ever-growing demand for quality healthcare.
So, how can healthcare organisations overcome these challenges in healthcare recruitment and find the talent they need? In this post, you will learn a few strategies to enhance healthcare recruitment practice in the face of such challenges.
Overview of Healthcare Recruitment
Healthcare recruitment is all about sourcing, attracting, recruitment interviewing skills, and onboarding healthcare professionals such as nurses, doctors, pharmacists, administrators, therapists, technicians, and other healthcare workers. It’s a vital aspect of the healthcare industry to ensure facilities offer quality care to all patients and all processes run smoothly.
Healthcare recruiters could be in-house HR professionals within a healthcare organisation, or they could be specialist external agencies that specialise in recruiting healthcare professionals. Either way, they use a variety of strategies and recruitment assessment tools including professional networks, social media, job boards, career fairs, and healthcare recruitment software, to find and attract the right kinds of candidates.
However, healthcare recruitment can be quite a challenging process nowadays, considering challenges such as:
Shortage of skilled professionals: There has been a consistent demand for healthcare professionals, but the supply simply does not meet the demand in many cases. Specialties such as primary care, mental health, and geriatrics have consistently seen acute shortages. This has been compounded by factors such as an ageing workforce and a rising need for neonatal care.
Compliance requirements: The healthcare industry is one of the most heavily regulated industries. Recruiters have to make sure that the candidates meet strict requirements for certification, licensure, and continuing education.
High rates of turnover: Healthcare also tends to be a stressful industry for the staff, and burnout rates are often quite high. In many cases, recruiters will need to fill in the same roles multiple times. In some areas, medical staff and nurses are leaving for other countries in search of higher compensation and improved work-life balance.
Advancing technology: As technology advances by the day, new roles come up, while the existing ones require new skills. This could make it hard to find candidates with the necessary expertise.
Tips for Healthcare Recruitment
Provide an Attractive Package
In today’s environment, healthcare workers need competitive salaries, especially considering the rising inflation levels and the high property and rental prices. With a good compensation package and an attractive package, most workers will be more likely to remain in a job, especially if there’s a clear progression route for their career.
Make sure that you’re transparent in your job posting and be ready to explain the career advancement opportunities more clearly to the candidates.
Embrace Recruitment Technology
Finding the right candidate for any healthcare position is an important priority. For this reason, leveraging recruitment technology, including AI, can help speed things up and remove unconscious bias. Consider investing in technology to manage some tasks such as arranging interview times and writing job advertisements.
Simplify and streamline your recruitment processes to minimise delays and inefficiencies. Invest in technology solutions such as applicant tracking systems and good video conferencing software to interview candidates online, automate repetitive tasks, and improve the overall candidate experience.
Enhance Employer Branding
Build a compelling brand that highlights your organisation’s values, culture, and commitment to employee development and well-being. A strong healthcare provider brand will not only attract top talent but also nurture staff loyalty and retention.
Let your brand represent your positive company culture. This should help make your healthcare organisation stand out. Sharing photos on social media of your staff engaging in activities such as community health days, fundraising, or fitness days will go a long way.
Implement Targeted Recruitment Strategies
Tailor your recruitment efforts to specific demographics and specialties, taking into account the unique preferences and expectations of different candidate groups. Personalised approaches are more likely to resonate with potential candidates and yield successful outcomes.
Data analytics can help to find and track qualified candidates for upcoming roles. Inform the success of your job listing by highlighting how many people clicked on it. It should give you certain metrics and let you see how long it takes to recruit a new hire.
Invest in Training and Development
Recognise the importance of continuous learning and professional development in attracting and retaining talent. Offering training opportunities, mentorship programs, and career advancement pathways demonstrates your commitment to supporting the growth and success of your employees.
Consider partnering with community colleges and other institutions to engage prospective candidates. Nurture working relationships with student nurses or care workers on potential placements in your organisation. Ask for feedback so that you can gradually optimise the experience for them.
Prioritise Diversity and Inclusion
Foster a culture of diversity and inclusion within your organisation, recognizing the value of different perspectives and experiences. Actively promote diversity in your recruitment efforts and create inclusive policies and practices that support all employees.
Nurture Talent Pipelines
Establish and maintain relationships with potential candidates through talent pipeline initiatives. By proactively engaging with talent pools, you can cultivate connections and ensure a steady supply of qualified candidates when positions become available.
Internal mobility is a rising trend within healthcare organisations, and you should work to support and encourage qualified staff to upskill and take on higher roles with better compensation and increased responsibilities. This can greatly boost morale and loyalty among your staff.
Seek Feedback and Adapt
Solicit feedback from candidates and employees to identify areas for improvement in your recruitment processes. Communicate well with your candidates at every step of the recruitment process. Make sure that the interview process is a positive experience for everyone. Continuously evaluate and refine your strategies based on insights and lessons learned, ensuring ongoing optimization and success.
In the face of the different challenges in the healthcare recruitment sector, strategic thinking is critical. But by embracing innovation, promoting diversity and inclusion, and adapting to change, healthcare organisations can overcome these challenges and build a workforce that is equipped to meet the evolving needs of patients and communities. Together, we can ensure that healthcare remains a cornerstone of our society, delivering high-quality, patient-centred care for years to come.