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How to Overcome the Biggest Challenges in Healthcare Recruiting

How To Overcome Biggest Healthcare Recruiting Challenges
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Editor’s note: This guest post was provided by Daniel Ross of Roubler.com. In this article he offers some great advice for keeping up with your hiring competition and improving your recruiting processes. 

In the healthcare industry, it is extremely important to get the right staff. However, sourcing and hiring talented staff can be a challenge, as most healthcare organizations have a lot of competition. What’s more, the recruitment programs often leave a lot to be desired, so talented candidates are choosing to go with competitors.

It is more important than ever to upgrade recruitment programs to make them as effective as possible. There are some challenges that all healthcare providers face in terms of recruiting the right staff, so it helps to pinpoint what these are and tackle them step-by-step via well considered strategies.

This is the first step in attracting the best talent on the market and appearing more attractive than your many competitors. Listed below are some of the main issues faced by healthcare providers and some ideas on how to solve them:

There are not enough qualified employees available

A lack of properly qualified employees is one of the largest problems in healthcare recruitment. It is evident that with an aging population, there are just not as many doctors and nurses available for all the new positions arising. This means that the candidates that are available hold most of the cards; as a result, healthcare providers are finding that they are competing endlessly to acquire the right people.

Plenty of healthcare professionals are well trained and autonomous; they know their value and won’t settle for less. They can afford to be selective, so as a healthcare employer, it is now absolutely vital that you offer more attractive benefits packages for your candidates. You could consider incorporating some of the following benefits:

  • More competitive compensation
  • Exceptional signing bonuses
  • A choice of medical and dental plans
  • Paid sick leave and holidays
  • Disability benefits
  • Improved retirement savings plans (matching employee contributions)
  • Life insurance
  • Bereavement leave

Extras such as an employee assistance program, free parking options, flexible working schedules, a fitness center, tuition reimbursement, and clear career growth opportunities would all be worth considering, too. The more your candidates will get from working with you, the more likely they are to turn down your competitors.

It is also sensible to try recruiting from within for more senior positions. Promoting current employees also leads to a happier workforce due to the career growth opportunities. Your employees are likely to remain loyal if they know there is a chance of promotion in the future. Lastly, stay connected to previous candidates, even if they didn’t accept your offer. They may well come to you in the future or know a qualified professional who will.

There is an imbalance between experience and education

In the healthcare industry, there has always been one major dilemma: is it better to take on very experienced candidates who have lesser degree qualifications, or new graduates with a prestigious masters degree but very little experience?

This is a tough one, especially when coupled with the first issue of candidate scarcity. The best way to handle this is to strive for as much balance as possible. This means bringing in an equal mix of those with great experience and those with excellent qualifications.

There is a lot of value in both kinds of candidates, and together they can make up a powerful workforce. It is wise to have young, academic minds working alongside those with plenty of practical experience.

New graduates get snapped up fast

Healthcare organizations are always looking for new graduates to bring on board because of their fresh, current education and abundant energy and enthusiasm. Hiring new graduates is also economical, so it’s a smart strategy on various levels.

However, the issue of competition means that it is no longer quite so easy to attract them without excellent benefits packages and superior hiring strategies. Another issue is that when graduates have done an internship with a specific healthcare provider, they are much more likely to take employment with that provider at a later date.

One way to get around this problem is to build relationships with local universities, which may connect you with the right kind of candidates before they have even graduated. Another idea is to offer internship programs within your organization so that you can build relationships with the students ahead of their graduation. When they come on board with you, they will already have a certain amount of experience with your organization, giving everyone a head start.

Your onboarding process is inefficient

It is one thing to attract the candidates and sign them up, and another to integrate them into your organization effectively. It is common for healthcare providers to have complex organizational structures, but these can be difficult to navigate in real time.

You probably have a Human Resources department managing or overseeing your recruitment, but if your organization is typical, your individual departments may be taking care of their own hiring procedures. This can lead to discrepancies between HR protocols and those of the individual departments.

A sensible and effective onboarding structure should be present within all departments. It is important to make sure that HR records are kept up to date and consistent, so that each new employee can receive an the same onboarding experience within each department. This negates confusion and saves time and effort for you as an employer.

To assist with this structure, you could use cloud-based recruiting software. They offer things such as:

  • Automatic capture of every candidate and client interaction
  • Boosting productivity with usability and mobility
  • Knowing who to reach out to and when to connect
  • Giving actionable insights into accounts
  • Assisting with true business impact
  • Saving money and improving productivity through fast applicant tracking systems

With this software, every department has access to the same records, information, and protocols. It can help you to centralize and streamline your recruitment processes and onboarding practices.

Your screening process is frustrating

It is pretty standard that healthcare professionals are put through various tests as part of an elaborate screening process. Obviously, it is important to properly screen candidates, but some of the tests are long and tedious, which can frustrate candidates.

It is more important than ever to assess your screening process to ensure it is appropriate and concise, cutting out any unnecessary details that might deter good applicants. Similarly, screening results are not always delivered in a timely manner, which is another cause of frustration for candidates.

One way to resolve this issue is to allow candidates to have more insight into your screening process. If your hiring process is transparent, candidates can know exactly where they are in the process at any given point. Make it easy for them to check up on their status and find out what they need to do next; likewise, ensure that tests are user-friendly and not overly complex.

To conclude, with a little extra care and attention in combination with streamlined processes and appropriate compensation packages, you are likely to be one step ahead of the competition.

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About Daniel Ross

Daniel Ross currently works at Roubler and has worked in the Human Resources industry for the past 8 years. He got his start helping hospitals in Australia recruit university graduates. In his spare time, he enjoys surfing and takings his dogs to the beach.