The Changing Face of Talent Acquisition in Healthcare

The Changing Face of Talent Acquisition in Healthcare
Senior Director of Marketing

New challenges call for new tactics when facing talent challenges in the healthcare industry. A wave of baby-boomer-age retirements and high demand for providers have meant changes in the way organizations acquire talent, and healthcare HR leaders need to understand how to find and compete for the best candidates.

“The healthcare industry is in a constant state of flux, and in such a fast-paced and constantly changing environment, it can be difficult to recruit and retain quality healthcare staff,” says Crystal Williams, Talent Acquisition Manager at CompleteRx, which provides pharmacy management and consulting services to acute care hospitals. “Over the last few years, the balance of power has shifted from employers to candidates, with a recent talent-shortage survey revealing 40 percent of employers globally reporting they’re having a hard time filling open positions with qualified candidates — the highest number since 2007.”

Here are some ways to ensure you’re keeping up with the changing face of talent acquisition.

Tout Your Brand

What makes your organization stand out? For many healthcare employers it’s their values, mission or history of innovation or groundbreaking care. Telling your story and showing people how they can be a part of your brand is a great way to draw talent, experts say.

Healthcare workers are interested in values and company reputation, says Ron Hamilton, Founder of Practical HR Solutions. “Employers who sell their brand that way are more successful in recruiting.” And as older employees are replaced by millennials, who tend to look for employers with clear missions, being able to articulate your organization’s values and vision is key.

Try New Tactics

Healthcare organizations often like to think of themselves as innovators, but this doesn’t always translate to the HR department. Williams recommends that hiring managers and HR leaders become fluent in social media to communicate the culture and values of your organization, and using videos to show potential candidates what a day in the life of your organization might be like.

Another tactic to consider is circling back to previous applicants every time you have a new job opportunity, Williams says. “These ‘silver medalist’ candidates may not have been a perfect fit for the role they were applying at the time, but may be worth considering for new or future roles.”

Show Willingness to Train

Dealing with candidate shortages means coming to terms with the fact that you aren’t going to find the perfect candidate every time. “Healthcare providers need to offer training to candidates with the prerequisite knowledge to be successful,” says Steven Lindner, Executive Partner of The WorkPlace Group, which provides talent acquisition and talent development solutions.

For example, if you need to hire dialysis nurses, recruit RNs and give them the training they need from day one to be a dialysis nurse, Lindner says. “Many employers are resistant to do this. But in many cases it’s faster to train candidates to have the skills and certifications you need than to leave the job open for months holding out for the perfect candidate.”

Offer Flexibility

Healthcare has often lagged when it comes to offering work-life balance, but today’s top candidates expect it. Talent acquisition efforts will become more focused on what job candidates want, says Lindsay Sears, AVP of Research and Analytics for Work Institute. She notes that scheduling is one of the main reasons healthcare workers leave their jobs.

“Only those healthcare organizations who invest in understanding their employees and making changes to accommodate worker needs and preferences will become a preferred employer and win the war for healthcare talent,” Sears says. “Healthcare employees are in control in the marketplace, not healthcare employers.”

It may feel impossible to find the talent your organization needs in the current employment environment. While there are challenges in the healthcare talent acquisition landscape, understanding how tactics need to change will help your organization compete.

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