Modern Healthcare Recruitment: Achieving the Perfect Mix of High-Touch and High-Tech

Senior Director of Marketing

I recently attended a National Association for Health Care Recruitment (NAHCR) webinar which discussed the recruiting challenges healthcare employers face. In their presentation, "Putting Care Back into Healthcare Recruiting: Blending High-Touch with High-Tech,” Christopher Young, CEO of Async Interview, and Lindsay Finlay, Account Executive at RIVS, reviewed the benefits and disadvantages of both high-tech and high-touch methodologies in healthcare recruiting. As the healthcare industry continues to evolve and adopt more technology, employers need to find the right mix of both high-touch and high-tech in order to provide the best experience for job candidates and employees throughout the recruiting and hiring process. What exactly, however, do each of these terms mean?

Here's a brief explanation of each term:

High-touch: This term refers to most traditional recruiting processes. It involves much more manual work and paper and is therefore not as cost-effective as other methods. High-touch processes, however, allow employers to customize and personalize communication with candidates, providing a better experience that feels more genuine.

High-tech: This method involves benefits from the use of technology and automation. For example, using an applicant tracking system can automate certain triggers in the recruiting process, such as notification emails to the candidate. While high-tech methods can save time and be more cost-effective, they are typically not personalized with a tailored experience that is specific to each candidate.

Both high-touch and high-tech methods have their place in the healthcare recruiting process, but employers should become more strategic to find an optimal mix that will yield the best candidate experience. High-tech is more scalable and tends to be more cost-effective, but it can hurt the candidate experience if communication becomes too automated and not tailored for each candidate specifically.

Here are a few ways to achieve this 'perfect mix' from Young and Finlay's presentation.

1. Use Social Media to Expand Your Talent Pool and Promote Your Employer Brand

"A large number of healthcare organizations are capitalizing on social media and integrating social media to expand their talent pool," Young says. As we've discussed before, social media can be a powerful high-tech tool for recruiting and healthcare organizations should keep up with the latest trends. According to Young, social media can help healthcare employers add value by leveraging technology to get candidates in the pipeline and get them to apply.

In the social media sphere, employers need to think like a marketer to promote their employer brand effectively. According to Finlay, understanding and defining your employer brand is very essential to communicate who you are to candidates, why you are an employer of choice and why someone would want to work for your organization. Therefore, your social media channels should communicate your organization's culture and personality. Your Facebook page could be a potential candidate's first interaction with your brand, so it's important that the content you share makes the best impression.

Getting the right mix with social media: It's okay to use social media automation tools such as HootSuite to manage all your social channels in one place, but make sure that your tone reflects your organization's culture and that your content feels genuine. Make your posts personal by sharing photos of your employees and have your recruiters or social media managers sign off on each post with their initials. Finally, make sure you engage with your followers. If someone leaves a comment or asks a question, be sure that a real person responds to them within a reasonable timeframe.

2. Use an Applicant Tracking System to Streamline Your Recruitment Process

Implementing an applicant tracking system (ATS) can make your recruitment process more efficient by providing a dashboard for managing the process and eliminating manual steps with automation. As a high-tech tool, however, they can reduce the quality of the candidate experience if not implemented carefully. "Some ATS [software] have the built-in capability to post job offers as fast as you can, but it may not be able to customize the job posting for the job outlet that is out there," Young cautions. While these features are definitely time savers that can help busy recruiters get jobs out there in an efficient manner, they often cannot personalize the experience for the job boards or online outlets where they are posted.

Getting the right mix with an ATS: "It's always good to go back and go through that candidate experience yourself," Young says. "It can be really eye-opening." This can be a good experience to determine areas that could be tweaked in the ATS to provider a better experience. Specifically, go through the series of automated emails that a candidate would receive from your ATS and check for ways to make it sound more personalized for that candidate. You don't have to eliminate the automated emails from your process, but a few text edits can make a big difference.

3. Reach More Candidates with Video Interviewing

According to Finlay, the video interviewing space has taken off because it's doing a great job of blending both high-touch and high-tech methods. Video interviewing can help employers take the in-person interview earlier in the process, helping employers and hiring managers assess the soft skills and personality of candidates. "A manager's touch-point in most processes doesn't come until the face-to-face interview," she says. With video interviewing tools, candidates can record responses to questions on their own time and the hiring manager can review them and setup a live interview with the candidate over the web. Another benefit of the digital interview is that it allows employers to expand their talent pool regardless of their location, giving them the opportunity to connect with remote candidates. "It gives them an opportunity to share their story their story and convey why they might be the best fit for your organization earlier in the process," she explains.

Getting the right mix with video interviewing: Like other technology, digital interviewing can help employers reach more candidates, but it shouldn't replace live interviews. Allowing candidates to record video responses to certain questions can help hiring managers filter candidates earlier in the process, but employers should still take time to connect with candidates whether it is through a live video interview or an in-person interview later in the hiring process.

The healthcare recruitment landscape is evolving as employers adopt new technologies to streamline, scale and make their processes more cost-efficient. By tweaking high-tech tactics to ensure a personal and genuine candidate experience, healthcare organizations can prevent new technology from turning candidates away from their organization. 

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