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By Kerry Gilliam, Vice President of Marketing Strategy at Jobvite
Recruiting and hiring the best healthcare heroes has never been more important. The lasting impact of COVID-19 continues to be felt in every healthcare organization, leaving recruiters scrambling to find top candidates to fill open roles. And many of these recruiters are adapting and finding new ways to reach quality healthcare candidates who can continue to deliver top patient care.
Nearly a third of recruiters have reported hiring is happening rapidly at healthcare organizations. Jobvite has one large healthcare customer who has already had their highest week of accepted job offers than they had in all of 2020. They had 2,700 job offers accepted in one week!
While every healthcare facility has different needs, several prominent hiring trends have emerged in the field over the past year.
The need to manage increased stress levels and turnover
The pandemic has led to a higher turnover rate across all positions in this industry, with 48% of new nurses now leaving within the second year, which can be partially attributed to increased levels of stress during this time. In fact, according to one survey, 44.7% of 137 total healthcare industry worker respondents say catching COVID-19 is the biggest stressor contributing to the job seeking process.
When looking for a position in healthcare, job seekers are in search of an organization that clearly communicates their COVID-19 protocols, as 58% say they would decline a job offer if the employer did not have clear safety measures in place.
Other stressors include mental health struggles (38.4%), long work hours (34.8%), and children at home (34.6%). It is valuable for recruiters to share job expectations and anticipated workload throughout the hiring process in order to get ahead of stressors job seekers are experiencing, and allow job seekers room to ask questions or concerns. Healthcare practitioners often work more than 12 hours a day, multiple days a week, making it imperative that employees are able to manage stress and prevent burnout with the support of healthcare leadership.
Importance of patient-centric care
One of the primary qualities talent acquisition (TA) specialists are looking for in healthcare professionals is a commitment to providing quality, patient-centric care. This presents an interesting challenge as developing the social skills to deal with difficult patients is something that often is only mastered through experience. One CHRO had shared: “I’ve never had to terminate a doctor due to their medical skills. It’s only been due to issues related to bedside manner.”
During the hiring phase, recruiters can ask healthcare candidates to highlight examples of how they embody and excel in demonstrating patient-focused care during their job interview. This helps gauge if a candidate is relating to the employer’s branding, such as its mission statement and values. It’s also a great way to connect with candidates that share the same standards and values as your organization, which can ultimately lead to a more successful match and healthcare career.
Building a diverse workforce
Data from the 2021 Job Seeker Nation report shows that employers need to not only embrace COVID-19 safety measures, but also diversity and inclusion initiatives, as both significantly influence the decision to accept or reject a job.
More than 46% of healthcare workers surveyed said they have inquired about an employer’s goals and efforts around improving diversity in the workplace during a job interview. Additionally, approximately 33% would turn down a job offer if the company lacked diversity in its workforce or had no clear goals for improving diversity in hiring.
Therefore, creating a work environment that encompasses a variety of backgrounds and skill sets is critical in maintaining an inclusive workplace where everyone feels welcome. Having a diverse staff with a range of backgrounds is beneficial in providing quality patient care, and creates a workforce more reflective of the communities they serve. For example, employing individuals that can communicate with non-English speaking patients is not only helpful, but can also save lives when trying to explain medications or life-saving treatments.
To help reduce unconscious bias, healthcare recruiters can utilize job description grader tools, which make recommendations for inclusive language to use in job descriptions. These tools can flag gender bias, racial bias, insensitive word usage, readability, and overall job description sentiment that may be limiting the talent pool. This leads to a greater number of applications, resulting in a shorter time-to-hire. But utilizing best practices in creating job descriptions is just the first step – many healthcare organizations are also hosting implicit bias trainings and workshops.
Scheduling interviews on-the-go
With nurses, doctors, and healthcare practitioners often working long hours at odd times, it can become challenging for them to schedule job interviews with recruiters. Reaching on-the-go candidates in the healthcare field is made easier by communicating via text, allowing job seekers to quickly schedule interviews and complete mobile-friendly applications. It’s crucial to be flexible with job seekers in this field, as employers are often competing for their attention.
More than 41% of healthcare industry worker respondents said a recruiter has used text messaging to schedule a job interview with them, and 47.6% preferred this process over email or a phone call.
Some recruiters are also conducting job interviews over video, as it makes it easier to find a time to connect and take necessary precautions considering the risk of COVID-19 exposures within the past year. Fortunately, many healthcare workers (50.2%) are comfortable using video as a way to connect with recruiters and complete interviews.
The demand for hiring the best healthcare professionals remains high. By following industry trends and using them to their advantage, healthcare TA professionals can optimize their chances of finding the right candidates for in-demand positions today.
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About Kerry Gilliam
Kerry Gilliam is the vice president of marketing strategy at end-to-end talent acquisition provider Jobvite, where she leads the marketing team’s strategy development and execution. For more information on Jobvite, please visit www.jobvite.com.