The Secret to Attracting Healthcare Workers in the Current Hiring Climate

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Cropped shot of two businesspeople shaking hands while standing in a modern office

By Allie Kelly, Chief Marketing Officer, Employ Inc.

It’s an employee-driven job market, and worker confidence is high. According to Employ’s 2022 Job Seeker Nation Report, 45% of workers are actively looking for a new job or have plans to in the following year, and close to half of workers who are satisfied with their jobs remain open to other opportunities. 

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With the nationwide nursing labor shortage expected to intensify over the next 18 months, healthcare organizations need to do everything possible to remain competitive in attracting enough qualified workers. One of the best ways to do this in the current job market is by doubling down on the candidate experience.

Understanding the Role of Candidate Experience 

The candidate experience includes feelings, impressions, interactions, and activities a job seeker encounters and considers along their candidate journey. It’s how an individual feels they’ve been treated throughout the recruitment process, and how that treatment makes them feel about the employer. Whether positive or negative, each element contributes to the overall candidate experience.

For healthcare workers, the candidate experience is one way employers can differentiate themselves in a crowded market. Because organizations are often competing within a limited talent pool in the healthcare sector, they must take advantage of every opportunity to stand out. Focus on providing an exceptional candidate experience that nurtures and engages healthcare candidates, and shows the organization values each person individually. 

The way an organization treats its candidates is also a reflection of how it will treat its employees. For instance, 45% of workers would not apply to an employer again if they had a bad candidate experience. As a result, those organizations that provide a positive candidate experience are more likely to be seen favorably by job seekers.

Looking for more actionable insights? Use the following strategies to improve the candidate experience and enhance how you attract healthcare professionals:

1. Create Accurate Job Descriptions

Roles in healthcare are challenging, especially with case loads fluctuating and the upheaval to healthcare workers caused by the pandemic. Although the total healthcare workforce is only down 2.7 percent from February 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a Morning Consult report indicates that nearly 1 in 5 healthcare workers quit their jobs during the pandemic. 

With these shifts, it’s more important than ever that healthcare employers provide realistic previews of the role and environment in their job postings. A poorly written or confusing job description can give the impression that the healthcare organization is disorganized and doesn’t value clear communication. Deceptive job descriptions can also lead to further organizational turnover, per the 2022 Job Seeker Nation Report.

2. Make the Application Process Fast and Easy

Healthcare workers are continuously moving and do not have time for a lengthy application process. Based on the 2022 Job Seeker Nation Report, 51% of healthcare workers said the reason for a positive candidate experience was due to an easy job application process. 

Other studies have shown reducing the application process length to five minutes or less boosts application conversion rates by 365%. Ensuring candidates do not have to register with a username and password, join a talent network, or duplicate information from their resumes during the application process shows that the organization cares about candidates and their time.

3. Speed Up the Offer Process

One critical component of speeding time to hire is ensuring that candidates receive timely feedback and an offer is presented to the selected healthcare candidate soon after the interview phase. According to Top Echelon Network, 40% of candidates reject offers because another organization made an offer faster. Get an edge on competitors with the first mover advantage by making an offer quickly and not extending the interview process longer than it should be.

In addition, consistent, and responsive communication during the hiring process is critical—especially since 36% of healthcare workers cited a lack of communication as the reason for a negative candidate experience. Studies also show when employers effectively communicate with interviewees throughout each step of the hiring process, they’re far more likely to report a positive experience.

4. Avoid Common Hiring Pitfalls

Searching for jobs is a frustrating and stressful experience for many candidates. So, it’s important to understand how employers are getting the candidate experience wrong to learn what not to do. According to the 2022 Job Seeker Nation Report, the top frustration experienced by job seekers in the healthcare industry is unresponsive employers and hiring managers (36%).

Other common issues include not getting any interviews after applying for jobs (32%), deceiving job descriptions (31%), and being judged by algorithms rather than a human recruiter or hiring manager (25%). While the job search can be challenging, taking steps to provide timely feedback and nurture candidates can pay dividends and improve the ability to attract the right healthcare workers for the organization. 

5. Prioritize Onboarding 

Onboarding new healthcare workers should be an extension of the candidate experience. Creating a seamless transition as a new hire can help workers be more engaged in their roles and stay longer in the organization. According to the Employ report, more than 30% of new hires today will leave a job in the first 90 days due to poor onboarding and communication. This period is critical to ensure healthcare workers are acclimated to the culture, processes, and demands of their role. 

  • Start Standing Out in a Crowded Healthcare Labor Market

For healthcare organizations to remain competitive, they must prioritize how candidates are treated during the hiring process. And while this may be new information for some healthcare organizations, it should really come as no surprise that treating job seekers with dignity and respect should be the cornerstone of a solid recruiting program. By building relationships, offering genuine interactions, showcasing a realistic job preview, giving prompt feedback, and streamlining the hiring process, you can unlock the secret to creating a positive candidate experience for healthcare workers who will further the mission of and drive results for your healthcare organization. 

About the Author

Allie Kelly serves as Chief Marketing Officer of Employ, where she oversees the shared services marketing organization for the JazzHR, Jobvite, and NXTThing brands. In her role, she leads the brand transformation of the business that aligns marketing, product, and sales to deliver an exceptional customer experience, while driving record revenue and customer growth. As a customer-centric marketing leader with core strengths in transformational change and growth-stage leadership, Allie has spent the last 19 years driving scalable, sustainable growth for B2B and B2C companies.

Prior to her current role, she served as Chief Marketing Officer of JazzHR. She has also held key marketing leadership positions at high-growth companies, including Attivio, SnapApp, and Lionbridge Technologies, Inc. Ms. Kelly holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and received recognition as the Top 50 Women Leaders in SaaS from The Software Report in 2019. She is an avid skier, knowledge enthusiast, and aspiring surfer.

Healthcare Business Today is a leading online publication that covers the business of healthcare. Our stories are written from those who are entrenched in this field and helping to shape the future of this industry. Healthcare Business Today offers readers access to fresh developments in health, medicine, science, and technology as well as the latest in patient news, with an emphasis on how these developments affect our lives.