Back to blog

Recruiting tips for hiring in healthcare

Lauren Skuchas
Partner, Managed Service
April 14, 2022

The competition to hire top talent in healthcare is fierce. With the Great Resignation widening the gap between supply and demand, burnout from the Covid crisis, and competition across state lines from lucrative remote administrative jobs and travel nurse contracts, talent leaders need an edge to attract top talent. 

We recently hosted a webinar with Laura Britton – a former member of the Human Resource executive team at Banner Health. With over two decades of experience, she’s developed long-term talent strategies that work in this notoriously difficult industry. 

This blog post summarizes the conversation with tips for recruiting top talent in healthcare today, along with good advice for recruiting across the economy.

Understanding the talent supply & demand issue

Simply put: there are more open positions than there are qualified people to fill them. This means that company leadership has to get creative. The old tried-and-true sourcing methods aren’t going to get the job done in 2022. Daring to think outside the box will help your company stand out in a crowded market. 

“Unfortunately, we had the pandemic in, which really added a layer of stress to recruitment, but also to the workers actually at the frontline. So there's a variety of things that come into play primarily within healthcare that are making it very challenging right now. There are more positions today, within healthcare than there are actually qualified candidates.”

A good first step is to tap into everyone in your company network – including past employees and people in your ATS who’ve applied in the past. Also, use analytics to support conversations between hiring managers in different departments, to collaborate on the best strategies. 

And of course, look into sourcing tools like Findem to open up pools of talent you never knew existed.

A top-notch candidate experience is key

Healthcare professionals are busy people working long hours. If they receive a long block of text in an email that looks like it was copy-pasted and sent to 100 other people, it’s going right in the trash bin. 

Your first outreach is your first impression to a candidate and an indicator of what your company is like. Make it easy for them to respond by keeping all messaging short and sweet, with a focus on everything they’ll gain from joining your company. It’s always a good idea to send multiple emails as well to increase your conversion rate with passive candidates. 

Then once a candidate enters the interview process it’s up to you to make everything seamless and stress-free. Put yourself in a candidate’s shoes – what else can you do to make your candidate experience really stand out? 

Some ideas are:

  • Make your application process as efficient and simple as possible
  • Communicate with candidates at every step of the process
  • Personalize your process for each candidate and their needs
  • Showcase all of your company perks, benefits, and culture

Something else to consider is experiencing ‘a day in the life’ of a candidate to get familiar with your process from the other side. Here’s what Laura had to say about it: “When you're competing against all these different healthcare systems, in different geographies, “a day in the life” experience is so important. I can't tell you how many times – especially in the executive recruitment process – people shared with me how much they enjoyed the whole experience of red carpet treatment.”

The importance of diversity and inclusion

Despite the supply shortage, it’s still important to source for diversity. Also, remember that diversity isn’t just about race. Diversity in hiring includes age, race, gender, religion, cultural background, sexual orientation, and more. Keep your talent search wide open to include people from all walks of life and be sure to remove any unconscious bias from your application process too. 

Also, hiring for diversity begins well before your current candidate search. If candidates see that a company’s leadership team is a dynamic and diverse group of people, it sends a message that your company cares about all people and provides a culture of belonging.

Remember that you’re all in this together

A company or organization is a team with shared goals – whether it’s 100 people or 100,000. With that in mind, bring everyone into your hiring efforts. This also means looking for corporate redeployment opportunities for people to take on different roles. 

This can do wonders for your corporate culture. Laura spoke of the sense of gratitude that was created when employees stepped up to help out the frontline workers. 

Hold community events or other initiatives to create empathy across your workforce. Building community within your company creates a big incentive for your great employees to stay for the long term.

Establish a strong foundation

The challenges of hiring in healthcare today are real. But with the right foundation in place, leveraging technology, and an established culture of inclusion and belonging, you can generate a healthy pipeline of qualified candidates for your organization. 

And don’t forget to take care of yourself too! As a healthcare worker yourself, it’s important.

“We come from a culture where putting yourself first may seem selfish. But I think we’ve all learned that if you’re not o, you’re not going to be good for your family and you’re not going to be good for your team, and you won’t be able to show up how you want to from a leadership perspective.”