The State of Healthcare Recruiting: 3 Ways to Overcome Key Challenges

The State of Healthcare Recruiting: 3 Ways to Overcome Key Challenges
Marketing Director

It’s no secret there are some major complications in healthcare recruiting today. Whether it’s senior staff retiring, a growing need for entry-level service providers or simply finding the specialists you need, healthcare organizations are facing a variety of recruiting challenges across the board.

Industry leaders say there are many ways to approach healthcare recruiting to attract the candidates you need to optimally staff your organization. Here’s what they recommend.

Know What You Want, But Show Some Flexibility

First, a healthcare organization must get a clear idea of what role it needs to fill and who it wants to fill that role, says Jeremy Enck, Vice President of Sales at Fortus Healthcare Resources. But there’s more to it than just finding the ideal candidate.

Enck recommends mapping out available interviewing times a couple of months in advance in case an “A-plus” candidate becomes available, for example. And while it’s important to know what you’re looking for, being flexible is vitally important in this job market.

“Keep an open mind when looking at potential prospects that might not line up perfectly with what you’re looking for,” Enck says. If a hiring organization is too strict with its requirements, it might miss out on a “dynamic personality.” For example, “if you say, ‘we wanted someone with eight years of experience and this person only has four,’ be willing to entertain bending the specifications if you have a challenging position to fill.”

That goes beyond recruiting to the interview process as well. “We use video interviewing to both reduce cost and allow us to see more candidates more effectively,” says Molly Weaver, Director of Talent Acquisition at Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics in Kansas City, Mo. “Healthcare candidates often work odd hours — many complete their interviews in the middle of the night but that is when they are at their best.” Being flexible for high-potential candidates can help you appeal to them.

Stand Out From the Crowd

Whether it’s through your mission statement, your benefits package or some other incentive, finding a way to differentiate yourself can be an important recruiting tool, says Chris McCarty, Recruitment Supervisor at Humility of Mary Health Partners, part of the Catholic Health Partners of Cincinnati. “We work at finding the most caring and compassionate people to carry out our mission,” he says. “We’ve been around for 102 years and we have a real mission of extending a healing ministry.”

Serving as a nonprofit hospital in Youngstown, Ohio, McCarty says the organization applies its mission of human dignity to every position, from maintenance to nursing. “You have to have that proposition for what makes you different. You have to be competitive, but I think we have a commitment of acting with integrity and truthfulness and responding to people in need.”

McCarty says the hospital makes it clear the mission is important. “We let people know, ‘here’s what you’re applying for,’ and if they don’t believe in your mission, it’ll be uncovered pretty quickly.” The onboarding and orientation process focuses on the mission and history of the hospital as well.

Be Ready on All Levels

As healthcare organizations are dealing with doctor and nurse shortages, they will also face another issue: With baby boomers retiring, high-level institutional knowledge will begin to fade. Don Whiteside, Managing Director of HFS Consultants Executive Search Division, says the retirement of long-term seasoned healthcare executives will be a challenge. ”This will result in hospitals and healthcare organizations facing the challenges of working with less-experienced executives. The concern is that there may be a vacuum of time-acquired wisdom in leadership roles.”

As healthcare organizations address shortages in key areas, it will be important to put together succession plans so institutional knowledge and leadership isn’t lost as high-level executives retire.

The healthcare industry has been rapidly expanding for years — and so have its recruiting challenges. Organizations that take the time to put together a strategic plan that includes some of this advice can better position themselves to overcome ongoing recruiting challenges in coming years.

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