3 Takeaways from the 2019 NAHCR Conference

Marketing Director

The 45th National Association for Health Care Recruitment (NAHCR) Conference took place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania this past week. By practicing self-discovery, healthcare recruiters can become better leaders in the workplace. In the increasingly competitive healthcare hiring environment, recruiters are challenged with distinguishing their employer brand in order to tackle the industry’s biggest issues such as the ongoing talent shortages and passive talent pools. 

As you assess your healthcare organization’s recruitment strategies for the forthcoming decade, consider the following three takeaways from the 2019 NAHCR Conference. 

Robb Holman’s “Inside Out Leadership” Lessons

Although the topic of self-care has gained momentum in recent years, it may not be the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to leadership. Internationally recognized leadership expert, executive coach, and bestselling author Robb Holman, however, shared with attendees during his keynote session how taking care of ourselves can significantly impact our performance in the workplace.

“The more that we nurture and take care of ourselves and those closest to us,” he explained, “we become a fire hydrant of passion, energy, and enthusiasm. The more you understand that you matter [as a leader], you are going to help others understand that they matter.”

During his session, Holman shared the following three key self-discovery tools to nurture ourselves into better leaders:

  1. Perspective Makes a Difference: If you were given six months to live, who would be the handful of people you spend time with the most? What message in your heart would you really long to get across to these few people? When you visit that place in your heart and mind, you tap into the things that matter the most to you.
  2. Lead Yourself First: Most leaders are on the verge of being burned out. Take care of yourself because you matter. The more fulfilled you are, the more that your cup is running over, those around you can’t help but get soaked because you become a fire hydrant of light.
  3. Live a Life of Purpose: Purpose supersedes goals, accomplishments, and responsibilities. We allow the things that we do, the hats that we put on, to determine who we are. If you want to know more of your personal purpose and live out of this place, you have to understand and embrace who you are.

The R.E.A.L. Path to Recruitment Success

In their session, Janet Elkin, President at GHR Healthcare and Mary Dougherty, VP of HR at American Academic Health System, discussed the evolving role of healthcare recruiters and provided a practical guide to future success. “The reality is, [healthcare employers] are competing much more seriously for the same talent,” Elkin stated. “What you need to do as recruiters is distinguish yourself.”

Elkin and Dougherty shared the R.E.A.L. path to success in the future of healthcare recruitment: 

  • Relatable: Start with being very genuine. Ask interview questions such as, “What would you like me to learn about you?”, “What is important for you to find in your next job?”, and “How do you like to be managed?”
  • Earnest: Be sincere and honest. Be authentic; it’s going to make for a better match and a better candidate experience. Every interviewer and hiring manager should be consistently embracing and reflecting the culture that you want to hire.
  • Approachable: It’s a two-way interview if you do it right. Candidates have to see you as an advocate; someone that is going to help get them through the gate.
  • Leverage: Share your story and your culture through every channel possible. Candidates today are not just going to company websites, but they are on all different kinds of social media. All employer channels should reflect who you are.

Competing in the Highly Passive Nursing Talent Pool

The healthcare industry’s full employment of nurses and the residual effects of a highly passive talent pool make healthcare recruitment an even greater challenge. In their session, Anthony Gentile, Managing Partner at Katon Direct and Leslie Phillips, VP Talent Acquisition at AccentCare, discussed how the balance of power has shifted in the industry. “Branding and the candidate experience are more important than ever,” Gentile stated. “You have to make sure that your organization and brand are top of mind because if they are not, then you are a significant disadvantage.” 

In order to tackle the industry’s challenges with nursing talent specifically, Gentile and Phillips offered the following best practices:

  1. Invest in Your Employer Brand: Define your employer value proposition. Develop your “story” and make sure everyone is telling it. What are you promising the employee?
  2. Build a Frictionless Candidate Experience: Make sure that it is easy for the candidate. That you can connect and get back to them. It is up to Talent Acquisition to refine the process. Empower recruiters to have that person on the phone.
  3. Nurture Your Talent Community: Tap into the data mine that you have. Consider using direct mail and banner ads to serve material that is interesting to candidates. Develop a relationship through nurturing your community. 

Did you attend the 2019 NAHCR Conference? What were your favorite takeaways? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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