Health Care Staff Recruitment
As healthcare continues to be the fastest growing industry, there is a need to drive innovation in recruitment to find qualified job candidates faster.
Statistics show that most of the fastest growing occupations in the country are healthcare related, and include diverse positions such as physicians, registered nurses, dentists, physical therapists, nursing aides, dental hygienists, radiologic technologists, and medical records and health information technicians. Indeed, the demand for health care services is on the rise, driven by increased access to health care and an ageing baby boomer population.
However, the supply of health care professionals is not growing as fast, with shortages of qualified doctors and nurses expected in the next few years. This gap between demand and supply will create serious hiring challenges for health care employers and recruiters. A recent survey of health care employers revealed that they have the same or more job openings than the previous year, every year. With more positions to fill, recruiters face the challenge of finding qualified candidates with the right balance of education, customer service skills, and technical savvy to satisfactorily meet the needs of patients while observing the budget constraints of the employing organisations. In addition, recruiters must take into account the impact of emerging technologies, shifting demographics, and a changing regulatory environment so they can respond appropriately.
Here is a look at how health care staff recruitment agencies are responding to trends in the industry:
Trend #1: Finding quality health care staff
It is becoming increasingly hard for HR professionals to find out how well a potential employee meets the performance needs of the vacant position. To find the right candidate, the recruitment agency must:
- Fully understand the needs of the health care organisation and its different departments
- Evaluate previously-sourced candidates without increasing costs
- Source and excite passive candidates about open jobs
- Find suitable candidates with needless cold calling or the time-consuming direct recruitment processes such as interviews
- Fill open jobs with efficiency and promptness
Recruiters must also assess the “soft skills” of prospective employees, such as cultural fit and customer service. Recruitment involves filtering, and the better the agency is at finding the right employees for open jobs, the higher the retention rate.
Trend #2: Increasing employee retention
A shortage of health care staff usually suggests the loss of loyalty and the inability to motivate quality employees. In the past, organisations employed “recruiting and booting” tactics. But with the growing demand for health care services, recruiters are trying to not only hire quality employees, but also keep them satisfied so they stick around.
Physician recruitment is a particularly troublesome issue, with many positions going unfilled each year in different organisations. So, what happens after hiring providers is very important to reduce turnover. Successful staff retention programs use a range of tools including mentor programs to help the new employee fit in the new organisation and community.
Higher salaries and increased benefits are no longer sufficient to keep quality health care staff happily loyal. Just as professionals in tech companies enjoy flexible work hours, health care organisations are beginning to provide employee-based scheduling so providers can control their shifts and balance their lives.
Trend #3: Capitalising on Technology
Job seekers and recruiters have had to adapt and adopt to the rise of mobile technology and social media. Recruitment agencies are relying in social media to stay on top of news and trends in the industry, in addition to sourcing and connecting with candidates.
Beyond that, there are a number of technology companies that have come up with software tools to simplify and streamline the recruitment process. The automation of complicated practises associated with recruiting has made it easier for recruiters to optimise the value of data collected.
With items such as automated candidate sourcing, applicant tracking systems, easy posting distribution, industry-specific and niche job boards, employee referral, and social media, health care staff recruitment agencies can break free from the idea that recruiting providers and other medical professionals has to be a painful and protracted process.
As the demand for health care services continues to rise, successful recruitment will depend on how effectively the agencies can manage the gap between employment opportunities and a dwindling pool of available talent. Leading recruitment agencies in health care believe that social and professional networks, digital marketing, and employer brand are key to attracting and retaining quality employees.