Should Healthcare HR Broaden Sourcing Scope?

Marketing Director

As talented job candidates continue to be in short supply, your healthcare organization will benefit from expanding its traditional recruitment sources. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) has identified the broadening of sourcing scopes as one of their key HR trends for 2016. Healthcare systems need individuals with a variety of skill sets as well as the right values for building a patient-centered culture, and some of these individuals can be found among non-traditional candidate pools. Here's why your HR department should expand its target sourcing practices in today's tight job market:

How Can Creative Sourcing Improve Healthcare Delivery?

The consumer marketplace now includes healthcare delivery providers, as patients share their experiences through numerous public online channels. Patient satisfaction statistics have a direct effect on hospital financial performance because consumers compare notes and make choices about where their healthcare dollars will go. Following this causal chain, it's obvious that the key to generating positive patient experiences is maintaining staffing quality. How can you improve the caliber of the people you hire? By recruiting them from as broad a pool of qualified candidates as you possibly can.

Tips for Healthcare Organizations Planning to Broadening Sourcing Scope

  • Nurture workforce pipelines: Reach out to colleges and universities and propose partnerships in which your healthcare HR representative can meet with current students and discuss opportunities in the healthcare field. You can also propose educational partnerships in which your hospital or institution partners with the school to provide training and internship opportunities for their students.
  • Publicize job opportunities in your community: The American Hospital Association (AHA) recommends that healthcare organizations should not limit their job postings to venues frequented by graduates of healthcare programs. Publishing a geographic-based local posting will include qualified applicants who may be new to the area or those in allied fields (such as digital specialists) who have not considered opportunities in the healthcare field.
  • Use current employees as hiring ambassadors: While current staff members have always been free to let friends and acquaintances know about job openings, they have been underused as brand ambassadors. Showcasing your best workers will allow their star power to draw other top talent.
  • Collaborate with nearby hospitals and clinics: The AHA points out that a shared employee approach between neighboring providers allows individual workers to move into positions that are best suited to their strengths while broadening your pool of recruits. A coalition of two or more healthcare employers strengthens the brands of all participating providers and gains greater visibility in the marketplace.

Limitations of a Wider Sourcing Scope

In the healthcare field, the dense network of required licenses, certifications and training limit your organization's ability to source as widely as other industries. The concept of "program hiring," for example, which SHRM describes as a way to increase the number of job applicants, is less practical in a healthcare context. This technique involves hiring a set of applicants without offering them specific jobs and then putting them through an onboarding process that results in deciding where they fit within the organization.

The financial durability of any healthcare provider is dependent on patient outcomes, and in turn, these rely on providers who bring excellent interpersonal values as well as top-notch skills. When your business model relies on people providing intimate life-saving healthcare, there is no room for error. You must have confidence that every new hire has a solid background of experience, integrity and training. Widening your sourcing scope judiciously can bring in a fresh population of candidates while protecting the high quality of the care you provide.

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