Conquer The Top 3 Healthcare Recruiting Problems

healthcare hiring
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Liz Strikwerda

Content strategist and corporate blogger (2000+ posts). Her work has been featured on G2's Learning Hub, Human Resources Today, Better Buys and over 500 business websites. She plays bluegrass mandolin and enjoys sailing her catamaran and hiking in the red rock wilderness of southern Utah. Connect with me on LinkedIn

Healthcare recruiting challenges aren’t easing up in 2020.

The only thing harder than finding quality healthcare employees is keeping them.

Does your healthcare recruiting process need a major disruption? Here are actionable techniques that can solve recruiting dilemmas.

Today’s post contains strategies for:

What are the top healthcare recruiting problems?

  1. Lack of qualified applicants
  2. Competition from employers inside and outside the healthcare industry
  3. Historically high turnover

6 Healthcare Hiring Solutions

1. Target passive candidates and provide training

There are not enough traditional candidates. Companies have found success sourcing passive talent and training for hard skills. Consider the crippling costs of high turnover. Providing CNA certification training can be a wise investment.

Once we identified altruism as a key trait for community health workers, we sought out natural helpers by circulating job descriptions through YMCAs, soup kitchens and block captain associations. This approach yielded far more applicants who were suited for success in the role.Shreya Kangovi, MD, executive director, Penn Center for Community Health Workers

2. Improve job descriptions

First, create an Employment Value Proposition or EVP. We explain how to do it in this article: Recruiters: Have You Created An Employment Value Proposition? This tells applicants why they should choose your company.

Your job descriptions need to be more than a laundry list of duties and qualifications. The best way to manage multiple job descriptions is with an applicant tracking system, which we discuss below.

3. Minimize unconscious bias

Unconscious bias may be eliminating promising talent. We addressed this in detail in our post 6 Tips For Avoiding Hiring Bias. Here is a rundown of the tips. Consult the article for an in-depth discuss.

  1. Create gender-neutral job descriptions
  2. Review resumes blind
  3. Train employees on hiring bias
  4. Diversify recruitment panels
  5. Standardize interview questions
  6. Incorporate employee resource groups

4. Improve job conditions

Let’s face it, home health, long-term care, and community health positions are relatively low-paying. Few employers can increase pay significantly and remain in business. Therefore, companies must do everything in their power to improve job conditions.

There isn’t a magic bullet that will work for every employer. Consider flexible scheduling and providing outside resources (more on those below). In addition, perform exit interviews when an employee quits. Find out why. Do what you can to prevent the problems if it’s within your power.

Flexible scheduling doesn’t cost more but reliably improves employee satisfaction. Inexpensive scheduling/timekeeping software is a must-have.

Those on the low end of the pay scale are subject to many situations that higher-paid people don’t understand. Identify outside-of-work challenges your employees face. If you can connect them with resources, it will benefit everyone—your patients, your employees, and your bottom line.

Provide an on-site counselor or contract for counseling services with a community-based human service agency. In either case, make sure the counselor is positioned to connect workers to a broad range of supports that can stabilize workers’ personal lives and thereby improve their job performance.Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute, ‘Finding and Keeping Direct Care Staff’

5. Educate your hiring manager

Small healthcare companies often lack a formally-trained hiring manager. If this is the case for your company, consult our comprehensive series: How To Hire Your Next Employee. It’s a step-by-step guide designed for both beginners or experienced recruiters. (It’s the next best thing to a professional recruiting degree and completely free.)

6. Use an applicant tracking system

Manual practices are woefully inadequate for the hiring challenges discussed here. Applicant tracking systems (ATS) provide a predictable ROI for all types of healthcare employers.

  • Weed out unqualified candidates faster
  • Process hundreds of applications at a lower cost
  • Cast a wider net — advertise jobs in more places (social media, job boards, educational institutions)
  • Help your hiring team incorporate best practices
  • Use recruitment analytics to find what’s working and what’s not
  • Create and manage a structured employee referral process
  • Provide a mobile-friendly hiring platform (89% of job seekers say their mobile device is an important tool for job searching and 45% use it to search for jobs at least once a day.)

How does this work in practice? Read how Maryland University of Integrated Health improved hiring outcomes with ApplicantStack.

By Liz Strikwerda


Simplify HR management today.

Simplify HR management today.

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