Today’s healthcare executives face a myriad of challenges (e.g., unpredictable increases in pharmaceutical costs, the shift to value-based healthcare, the complexities of digital integration, etc.), but, all too often, overlook the one solution with the greatest potential to overcome them: ongoing investment in an effective human capital strategy.
A talented workforce may be the best defense against these issues, but acquiring, engaging and retaining your workforce is increasingly difficult. In fact, McKinsey & Company predicts a shortage of 18 million highly-skilled, college-educated workers by 2020. Over the next few years, organizations should prepare for this reality, working now to recruit and retain the talent they need to “ride out the storm.”
If there’s any doubt as to the benefits of revitalizing their human capital strategies, organizations should bear in mind this sobering fact: According to Zane Benefits, losing an employee can cost as much as 2x his or her annual salary. Luckily, making (and keeping) the right hire, while preparing for the nation’s talent shortage, may be as easy as considering these simple tips:
- Innovate: Across industries, the rapid entrance of millennials into the job market has revolutionized recruitment, engagement and retention. While by no means a homogenous group, there are many qualities that fairly distinguish millennials from other generations, and by their own admission, connection to technology is among the most important of these (Council of Economic Advisers). While the healthcare industry is traditionally reluctant to adopt new technologies, being innovative presents a unique opportunity for organizations to not only meet candidates where they are, but to also earn the recognition that comes with being one of the few in their industry that do. Utilizing Facebook Live streams and company Snapchats may seem different from “traditional” recruiting strategies but – but when it comes to the new talent landscape, innovation is the name of the game.
- Show, don’t tell: Recruiters and marketers across the country are facing a wake-up call: video is no longer an “emerging trend,” but a reality – as big as search marketing and microblogs before it – and must be taken seriously. Need proof? YouTube has grown to over one billion users – almost one third of all people on the internet – and on mobile alone, the channel reaches more 18-34 year olds than any cable network. The vast majority of millennials rely on videos to make any number of critical decisions from purchasing a car to choosing a president, and there’s no reason to believe they won’t also do so to choose their next career. A little bit of time, a smartphone, and an internet connection are all that’s needed to invest in a basic video strategy, and the potential benefits are endless – from commanding a potential employees’ attention to conveying a company’s more intangible benefits, such as its culture, and more.
- Be efficient: Often, the primary barrier to an effective human capital strategy is a lack of resources. Fortunately, for organizations in this situation, there’s a solution that doesn’t cost additional time or budget: leveraging all your employees. For example, when a job is posted, organizations should encourage all employees to share it across their social networks. This practice supports the HR team and often results in better candidates, as referrals are bound to share positive qualities with existing employees, and the company may reach a broader network of passive candidates who may not be actively seeking a job, but who are, regardless, a great fit.
- Prioritize candidate experience: The oncoming talent shortage isn’t the only thing shifting power away from organizations to candidates: the new world of social sharing is, too. Regardless of its legitimacy, if a candidate has a complaint with a company, they have the ability to share it with potentially millions of people, including future employees, customers, partners, and even investors. Organizations should always make an effort to treat candidates as fairly as possible, but this is especially important in the recruiting process where a traditional lack of transparency can result in misunderstandings. Organizations should train recruiters and hiring managers to interview with a defined process – ensuring every candidate experiences a consistent, well-structured, behavior-based interview devoid of selectivity and bias.
- Leverage data for continuous improvement: Organizations may also employ a well-structured interview process with strategically developed questions for continuous recruiting improvement. For example, at the end of interviews, some organizations assign a score to potential employees, predicting their performance based on the objective data they acquire. At their one-year review, new hires are rated on the same measures, and any discrepancies between their interviews and their actual performance are compared. Employers may thus determine which questions most accurately predict performance – prioritizing them in the recruiting process – and replace those that don’t provide a good indication of employee success. This is just one example, but data may be used effectively at many other stages of the recruiting process, including optimizing job postings, evaluating employee engagement strategies, and more.
Jermaine Monroe serves as director of talent acquisition at CompleteRx, a Houston-based pharmacy management company. In his role, Jermaine works daily with healthcare executives across the country to mitigate the impact of talent shortages, high turnover, and other recruitment and retention challenges.