3 Key Talent Challenges for Academic Medical Centers


Academic medical centers are specialized institutions that combine medical education, research, and clinical care to advance patient care, medical knowledge, and the practice of medicine. These centers include teaching hospitals, research laboratories, and affiliations with medical schools.

The past few years have brought changes in how academic medical centers hire and what technology they’re using to screen and process new hires. Explore three key challenges they face in their recruitment and hiring processes.

1. Changes in the Talent Pool

Academic medical centers are increasingly hiring people earlier in their careers. Baby boomers are retiring, and burnout has caused many professionals to leave the industry. Some large health systems have seen their share of new healthcare graduates increase from 10% to 50%, says Zach Daigle, President of PreCheck. This demographic shift portends changes in recruiting strategies.

“What is my first point of engagement? Do I need to change my recruitment automation and vendor partners strategy?” says Daigle of the questions clients ask. “Is there any early work that can be done to clear the path for these new students to see us as a destination?”

Remote work has also become more popular in the past few years. This change means, first, that healthcare employers need to be clear about which jobs can be done remotely. Second, they must assess their ability to vet such hires.

“Can you handle remote I-9 verification for onboarding through notary networks?” Daigle says. “Can you manage remote occupational health services and drug testing? Do you have a good national network to be able to get those required elements done efficiently?”

2. Increased Need for Automation

Recruitment technology increasingly has to be consumer-friendly, especially when hiring from younger generations. If your tech isn’t mobile-friendly, easy to use and seamless, you could lose out on candidates. Daigle says that healthcare providers need to look at their full tech stack to ensure that they aren’t wasting days in the hiring process because of steps that could be automated.

Recruitment automation systems create the opportunity for hiring teams to reduce time to fill simply by executing steps concurrently instead of sequentially.

“How can we look at the components of the background check and when they might be able to be checked in the process earlier, so that you essentially have pre-screened candidates coming into the pipeline?” Daigle says.

Over the past year, PreCheck has helped many hospital system clients significantly reduce their time to fill positions. And as systems continue to advance, Daigle envisions a future where solutions like PreCheck can reduce the time between offer acceptance and start date to a couple of hours, instead of days. In fact, PreCheck has helped some of the leading health systems significantly reduce their time-to-fill metric over the past 12 months, bringing this vision closer to reality.

3. Real-Time Monitoring

Another responsibility for academic medical centers, even after hiring, is the ongoing monitoring of licenses. Some employers might have automated tickler systems to prompt them about upcoming license expirations, while others might be using manual processes.

Either way, there’s an opportunity for a one-stop, complete solution that automates the monitoring of licenses and the management of expirations and renewals. This reduces the number of vendors used by employers, prevents lapses for licensed staff, and ensures that audits go smoothly.

By integrating license monitoring and management into a comprehensive software tool, Daigle explains, “when healthcare employers get audited, they can go directly into the person's profile. And HR can see the time that they verified the license prior to hire. And all the times that are monitored and verified post-hire.”

Talent Acquisition Is Evolving

Academic medical centers are rapidly evolving, with shifts in their talent pool and where jobs are located. The technology that coordinates the application, hiring, screening, and onboarding processes needs to evolve, too.

When healthcare providers have the right tools to coordinate hiring and screening in one place, they can capture better talent and improve time to fill. And they’ll do so all while maintaining quality in the screening, verification, and background check processes.

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