Sourcing healthcare workers has become a top concern of leaders in the medical industry. More than 90 percent of the 301 hospital executives surveyed by the Economist Intelligence Unit of Prudential Retirement said they expect their organisations will face a serious talent shortage in the next 10 years that will affect their ability to deliver high-quality care. One of the first steps in preparing for changes in the talent landscape is to establish an efficient method of sourcing talent. In this post, we outline how healthcare organisations can better source quality healthcare workers to avoid understaffing issues in the coming years.
Preparing to Source Healthcare Workers
Before a healthcare organisation can adequately source healthcare workers, it needs to first evaluate its needs, what it can offer prospective workers and if it is prepared to make competitive offers to candidates.
What qualities are you looking for in a healthcare worker?
A healthcare worker who is willing and able to perform the necessary duties associated with their position is essential, but what particular hard or soft-skills and credentials does an organisation’s ideal candidate possess? Are candidates with roots in the community or region of an organisation preferred? Are candidates with leadership experience or qualities the best fit for a role? Is a background in customer support helpful? If an organisation has a clear vision of the type of healthcare worker they want to employ, sourcing the right candidates becomes easier and less subjective.
What does your organisation have to offer healthcare workers?
Healthcare organisations need to not only carefully evaluate each candidate, but also evaluate what they have to offer potential employees. An honest exploration of what an organisation has to offer can provide insights and help in the creation of a realistic and attractive compensation package, increase the odds that offers will be accepted and help retain candidates once they are hired.
Is your organisation prepared to make an offer?
Whether a healthcare organisation is a large medical research center or a small community clinic, organisations need to make sure they are prepared to make an offer to the right candidate. This includes offering a competitive compensation package, preparing training and onboarding procedures and making sure there is a comfortable ready-to-use workspace for the new hire. Being prepared to make an offer makes it easier for timely follow-ups with candidates and increases the chance that an offer will be accepted.
Sourcing the Ideal Healthcare Worker
The role of an RPO solution or internal recruiter is to source and hire top talent. However, the success of a candidate depends on whether a healthcare organisation has thoroughly outlined the traits, experience and competencies of an ideal candidate for both clinical and non-clinical healthcare workers. Below, we list a few ways healthcare organisations can narrow down their ideal candidate.
The healthcare industry can place varied demands on workers. To ensure new hires can meet the unique challenges presented by a healthcare organisation, it is essential for organisations to specify the must-have skills and traits candidates should possess.
HR, management and employees currently in the same or an adjacent role should work together to compile a list of must-haves. Traits should be a good mixture of hard and soft-skills such as a passion for work, technology proficiency, proper certifications, discipline, positive attitude and ambition. Must-haves should include the traits that will make a candidate an excellent cultural fit such as communication skills, shared values and experience working in a similar environment.
Outline key responsibilities
When sourcing healthcare talent, it is important to find candidates whose experience matches well with the key responsibilities of a position. For every open position, organisations should outline 10 key responsibilities fulfilled by that role to gain a better idea about the previous responsibilities of an ideal candidate. Responsibilities can include management of a team, project management, food preparation, dispensing medication and other tasks critical to the position. By outlining key tasks, a healthcare organisation will not only increase the chances of making the right hire, but they will also be able to write more accurate job descriptions that attract the right talent.
An optimised job description is one of the most potent weapons in a healthcare recruiter’s arsenal. Great job descriptions tell potential hires the exact requirements of a position and decrease the number of unqualified applicants. Job descriptions should draw from must-have traits and key responsibilities to form an accurate representation of the job and who would best fit the role. Before drafting a job description, it can be helpful to gather a team of current employees who represent the best qualities of the people who currently hold the same or a similar position and ask them how they would describe their job and what it takes to be successful in their role.
Source Healthcare Workers by Referral
One of the best ways to source top-quality healthcare workers is by tapping into the professional networks of current employees. The tight healthcare labor market means more competition for talent, with healthcare organisations all vying for talent from similar pools and sources. To get an edge over the competition, organisations should look to one of the unique and trustworthy sources of expertise, their employees.
An employee referral program helps a healthcare organisation expand its network and gives them a ready-made talent pool. Employees have contacts with former classmates and co-workers, and their referrals are more likely to be qualified and the right cultural fits.
Organisations should post open positions in common areas, announce openings at company meetings and share growth plans with staff members, so they keep referrals top of mind. Also, employees should be made aware of the rewards for references such as financial compensation or other perks. If an employee referral candidate is not a good fit for the position, healthcare organisations can still keep that candidate’s information for different roles, which can help supplement a robust talent pipeline.
Source Healthcare Workers from Professional Association Memberships and Trade Shows
Participating in and networking at industry groups, conferences and trade shows is a great way to meet healthcare professionals who may be interested in new opportunities. Before attending an industry event, develop a plan for networking with professionals and gathering contact information from interested job prospects.
When positions open up that align well with a prospective contact’s skill set, recruiters can contact the individual and share a job description with them through email, LinkedIn or by contacting them directly over the phone. If a candidate is interested, recruiters can invite them for an on-site visit where they can interview and meet with hiring directors and department heads regarding the open position. Healthcare organisations can also post on professional association webpages, industry journals and in local organisation’s newsletters.
Source Healthcare Workers Where They Are
Meeting candidates where they are is not only an efficient way to source talent; it is also a way to improve the candidate experience. When sourcing healthcare workers, organisations should look to identify candidates’ preferred news sources, professional forums, discussion groups and social networking sites.
Recruiters can use this information to develop creative and engaging recruiting strategies to source candidates for job openings. Healthcare organisations can engage potential candidates on social media and publications and use the opportunity to sell the vision and the advantages of the organisation. Effective engagement with candidates will portray an organisation as an exciting and rewarding place to work and make healthcare workers want to apply to open positions whether they are passive or active candidates.
Healthcare employers should also make sure their application and hiring process is optimised for smartphones. In fact, 80 percent of job seekers expect to be able to conduct their job search easily on a smartphone. Many healthcare organisations have not invested in recruiting technology to help them become more mobile-friendly. Optimising mobile experience should be a top priority for healthcare organisations to get an edge over the competition in the coming years.
Engage a Healthcare RPO Provider
For some healthcare organisations, the time and resources it takes to source quality talent are prohibitive. What’s more, a healthcare company may not be able to source candidates in certain hard-to-fill positions. Vacancies in open jobs can be very costly for healthcare organisations, but more importantly, they can affect the ability to provide quality care to their patients.
RPO solution providers who specialise in healthcare recruiting can help source quality talent and develop a healthy candidate pool. A healthcare RPO provider’s networks, contacts, know-how and dedication to sourcing talent will not only help find candidates, but it will also free up time and resources for internal HR teams, allowing them to focus on other important matters.
If your organisation is looking for additional ideas about sourcing healthcare workers, contact PeopleScout today and ask how we can help you source and hire the best healthcare talent quickly.