Healthcare Recruitment and Hiring: 5 Best Practices for Success

Marketing Director

Healthcare employers know they have to be at the top of their game to get the people they need: Increasing provider retirements as insurance coverage expands mean healthcare recruiting has gotten competitive. The first Tuesday of June is National Health Care Recruiter Recognition Day, so it’s a good time to look at best practices in healthcare recruiting. These five tips will help your organization stand out to potential hires.

Build Relationships

You never know where your next great employee might come from, so build relationships now to snap them up when you find them. Kate Tulenko, Vice President of Health Systems Innovation at IntraHealth International has two suggestions: training institutions and your own employees. When healthcare organizations build relationships with colleges, they can provide input about the kinds of employees they need, Tulenko says. “The nurses we’re recruiting don’t have enough skills in mental health,” she says, citing the area as an example. “You can make suggestions and get recruits that better fit specific needs.”

Encouraging staff members to serve as recruiters as well gives them a stake in the organization, Tulenko says. “They feel like they’re contributing by helping find people they’re compatible with and who represent the ethics and ethos of the team,” she says. She suggests encouraging people to bring in referrals for open spots.

Highlight Career Paths

As the healthcare industry has deepened and diversified, careers now develop in different ways and people have more options, Tulenko says. “Traditionally, if you were trained as a physician or nurse, you’re still doing that 20 years later,” she says. “Now, there are new expectations around movement, responsibilities and senior titles.”

In addition, Tulenko recommends succession planning to help keep leadership positions stable during times of change. She suggests identifying key positions and determining the skills and experiences needed to succeed, then identifying people who could be trained or developed to fill those spots in the coming years.

By promoting internally, you can help create career paths for employees, Tulenko says. “You often hear that people leave facilities because they don’t see career paths. By doing succession planning, you create them.”

Compete on All Fronts

Competition will continue to be a challenge, especially when it comes to compensation, says Elena Bowman, a recruiter at Tailored Healthcare Staffing. “In our industry, something as simple as a sign-on bonus means a lot to a nurse when making a decision who to work with,” she says, adding that the majority of candidates are comparing compensation when considering employers.

Tulenko says that if you can’t compete on price, you’ll have to find another way to stand out. Access to research, advocacy, leadership in the community or other perks can help distinguish your facility from the competition.

Stay Visible

Marketing plays a huge part in recruitment, Bowman says. Word of mouth is helpful, but you have to present a clear picture of what it would be like to work with you. Health fairs, commercials, online advertising and social media such as Facebook and LinkedIn are great ways to raise your organization’s profile. Nurses in particular are looking for ways to compare their options, Bowman says, so use every channel to ensure you reach them.

Be Flexible

Even if you hit on something that people respond to, don’t rely on it forever. What works for recruiting one person might not work on the next, Bowman says. “I try to focus on the long term and not let one challenging day dictate my mood,” she says. A job application means someone is looking for a change, she says: “I need to find out what that is and make an attempt to provide it.”

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