Strategies for Successful Recruitment in the Healthcare Industry

Choosing the right people in any establishment is important, but it’s particularly important in healthcare, where patients’ lives are at stake.  In recent times, there’s been a worldwide scarcity of healthcare workers.  The Covid-19 pandemic revealed just how understaffed many healthcare organizations were, and still are.  There are several factors behind the scarcity of medical professionals, including a limited supply of medical talent, an aging healthcare workforce, an inability to attract and maintain the right talent, and lengthy recruiting processes.  With the right strategies, however, you can overcome many of these challenges.

If you’re a practice owner, administrator, or healthcare facility hiring manager, you probably know how competitive the medical recruitment space is.  To be successful in your talent acquisition efforts, you need to offer a simplified and well-structured recruiting experience to potential talent.  Let’s explore how to do that.

It might be tempting to try to throw money at the problem and offer an overly competitive salary to entice potential employees, but there’s more to the recruitment process than an attractive salary.  Here are a few other things you can do to make healthcare professionals more interested in your organization.

Emphasize Your Brand and Work Environment

Apart from a solid compensation package, the other critical factor job seekers want to know is what their work environment will be like; they’ll be spending a lot of time there, after all.  Therefore, ensure that you focus on developing a positive brand image and enable prospective job applicants to visualize their possible future work environment in your online job ads, website, and social media platforms.  A pleasing digital “first” impression of your facility will attract professionals whose values resonate with those of your organization and will also save you valuable time in the recruitment process.

Streamline the Recruitment Process

One of the major issues of recruitment is how slow and painstaking the process can be. Build your reputation as a facility offering a streamlined recruitment process, and job seekers will gravitate toward you.  Importantly, “streamlined” here does not mean “less rigorous” but rather “more efficient.”  If, for example, multiple people need to interview a candidate and a stepwise hierarchical “narrowing down” approach to the process is not necessary, then consider scheduling a time when they can all be present rather than having the interviewee come back time and time again.  Job seekers, especially the more talented candidates, are likely to be weighing multiple job options; therefore, a streamlined process reduces the stress they are made to experience and makes them view your organization in a more positive light.

Have Clear Job Descriptions

Make sure that vacancies in your healthcare establishment are clearly described, with the job seeker fully aware of what you want from them, how you’ll measure success, your values and organizational culture, and the company’s orienting vision and mission.  Never use generic or ready-made job descriptions that do not address what the job seeker actually needs to know from the job description that pertains to the actual job in your actual organization.  

Partner with Educational Institutions

A solid strategy for successful recruitment of entry positions is to develop relationships with local colleges/universities and other educational/training centers that have excellent track records.  If you’re a medical practice, for example, partner with nearby residency programs to recruit more physicians as you grow; partner with local career development institutions and training academies to onboard front desk receptionists, medical assistants, scribes, and nurses.  Hiring medical professionals and staff directly from these institutions simplifies the processes of verifying their backgrounds and obtaining recommendations.  You can organize and participate in career workshops and other programs to meet prospects in person.  Both your organization and the educational institution benefit from such a partnership; you get qualified candidates for your vacancies, and the institution has an avenue for empowering its students.   

Partner With Recruitment Service Providers

This is another effective way to get qualified candidates for your vacancies without having to do all of the legwork yourself.  A recruitment service provider obtains information on the kind of candidates you’re seeking, and they help you with the recruitment process.  Your role, then, is to accept or reject their choice of qualified candidates.  This is a lower-stress solution, but you should consider that you are handing over much of the placement process to a third party; thus, you need to make sure you choose a company with an excellent track record in your field that offers a built-in rehiring period in their contract in case the initial talent doesn’t work out in the short term.  While upon first inspection costs for a recruitment service seem high, the reality is that if they can expedite filling a position (especially that of a revenue-generating provider) and can help keep the position filled without turnover, then you are setting yourself up to mitigate churn/retraining expenses and diminishing lost opportunity cost, which can be exponentially greater than whatever you end-up paying the recruiting agency.  This is why, again, emphasis must be placed on partnering with a well-established recruiting expert in your specific field. 

Conclusion: Why is the Recruitment Process Important in Healthcare?

A shortage of healthcare professionals can have dire consequences for patients, staff, providers, and the leaders of a healthcare facility.  There will be fewer people available to attend to patients, leading to greater burn-out rates of the existing team as well as longer waiting times.  The diminished patient experience, in turn, results in negative online reviews, which erodes community trust in your brand.  This directly impacts your organization’s ability to grow; thereby affecting your ability to take advantage of economies of scope and scale enjoyed by larger entities.  Thus, your recruiting process has far-reaching consequences well beyond just filling an open position.  A streamlined recruitment strategy, however, will ensure no shortage of medical expertise in your organization and will promote your growth efforts.