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11 Healthcare Recruitment Strategies to Attract Candidates in 2024

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Healthcare is notorious for being one of the trickiest industries for recruiters. There’s lots of red tape that doesn’t exist in other industries, and the field is currently experiencing one of the worst staffing shortages of our lifetime. If you want to recruit the best healthcare talent in an ultra-competitive market, maintaining a high focus level and engaging candidates creatively is key. Here are 11 healthcare recruitment strategies that will help you tighten up your hiring funnel and keep candidates interested from start to finish, making them more likely to reach the offer stage and say ‘yes’ to joining your team.

Healthcare Recruitment Strategies

Improve your job descriptions

Your job descriptions are the first thing that pique a candidate’s interest–or completely dissuade them from applying. Most employers don’t give job descriptions the level of attention they deserve. Your job descriptions should be calculated, written to attract the type of candidate you want, and spoken in a tone that’s aligned with the type of workplace you want to convey. 

Focus more prominently on what the applicant will gain from the job versus the nuts-and-bolts requirements. Here’s an example:

Example 1: Seeking a certified nursing assistant with four years of experience in a residential care setting.

Example 2: Make a meaningful impact on our residents’ lives through compassionate, knowledgeable care as a CNA. 

Both intros could be used interchangeably for the same position, but example number 2 clearly speaks to an applicant’s sense of purpose. You could change it up further if you were looking to attract candidates who wanted to relocate or people looking to work nonstandard hours. 

In this way, use your job descriptions to compel candidates with the specific qualities you want to attract.

Related: How to Create Job Descriptions With ChatGPT

Offer competitive compensation, benefits, and perks

In this incredibly challenging labor market, the value of excellent compensation can’t be overstated. In a survey of thousands of job seekers, pay was the number one factor that drove people to leave a job within the last 12 months. 

Employers should conduct ongoing research to ensure salaries are competitive with the market rate. Benefits like great health insurance and retirement savings plans are a must. At the same time, additional perks like sign-on bonuses and scheduling flexibility can help move the needle in your favor among top candidates. 

Focus on your employer brand

The importance of your employer brand is a topic we come back to repeatedly, but it bears repeating. Companies with a strong employer brand hire faster, keep employees longer, and spend less on hiring.

Focusing on your employer brand goes hand in hand with developing a strong recruitment strategy, which improves your hiring effectiveness. To create an appealing employer brand, highlight the unique value proposition you–and only you–can offer to candidates. Why should they work for you and not the hospital across town? Spotlight your outstanding benefits, strong company culture, advancement opportunities, employee success stories, and anything else that sets you apart. 

You can stay on top of how you’re doing in these areas by sending—then actually using the feedback from—candidate feedback surveys.

Improve your website experience

For many candidates, their first impression of your organization will be your website. Improve recruitment engagement by making your onsite experience seamless and enjoyable.

Make your Careers page easy to find. Don’t hide it at the bottom, buried in your footer. Instead, give it a designated section on the home page and make it easily discoverable within your main navigation.

On your Careers page, ensure you clearly communicate your value proposition to candidates. Use things like positive employee testimonials and videos to boost engagement on the page.

Finally, work to eliminate friction from your website application process. There’s nothing more groan-inducing than an application system that requires the candidate to upload their resume and then manually input the exact same information from their resume line by line. Simplify the process, condensing it to as few steps as are practical to gather the information you need.

Source on healthcare-specific job boards

While there’s nothing inherently wrong with posting on generic job boards like Indeed, these outlets do tend to attract a lot more noise in the form of unqualified candidates and irrelevant applications. Narrow your focus and reduce the amount of screening you must do by sourcing on job boards dedicated to the healthcare industry. Some examples are Nurse Recruiter for nursing talent, MGMA Career Center for management professionals, and Health eCareers for all specialties.

Employ automation 

Recruiters have more technology at their fingertips than ever before. Are you fully harnessing its power to source and engage candidates? Improve your healthcare recruitment strategies by automating important but repetitive steps in your hiring funnel.

Here are just a few examples of sourcing tasks you can automate:

  • Posting to job boards
  • Screening resumes
  • Chatting with prospective candidates on your website
  • Identifying candidates on platforms like LinkedIn
  • Sending outreach messages
  • Rediscovering talent already in your CRM
  • Scheduling interviews
  • Distributing pre-interview assessments

By saving time on these automation-friendly activities, you’ll have more time and energy to engage qualified applicants. 

Develop relationships with colleges and universities

In today’s healthcare industry, there are more vacant positions than there are professionals to fill them. The nursing field, for example, currently graduates an estimated 155,000 new nurses each year, yet the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the nation will need more than 1.3 million new nurses by 2026.

In the competitive healthcare landscape, new graduates are a key candidate demographic you’ll need to tap into if you want to fill vacancies promptly. Once graduation day hits, the best new candidates are often inundated with messages from recruiters and even direct offers from companies, so it’s important to reach them before they even walk across the stage.

You can begin positioning your employer brand among students in healthcare by developing relationships with colleges and universities. Participating in job fairs, sponsoring on-campus events, and collaborating on an internship program are all ways to reach up-and-coming healthcare talent.

Of course, you’ll want to be sure to balance your healthcare recruitment strategies targeting new grads with efforts to reach more seasoned candidates.

Follow interview best practices

The interview is a major factor in assessing candidates. But in a competitive market, it’s also one of the primary sources of information for candidates assessing you. Make it a positive experience that leaves candidates feeling enthusiastic by following interview best practices. 

Optimize your time by asking strategic questions that focus on qualifications. Prioritize questions that can help you identify crucial soft skills like dependability, attention to detail, and problem-solving. Ask all interviewees the same questions to help you weigh candidates fairly against one another. Allocate enough time for candidates to ask their own questions and answer them thoughtfully. End the interview on a high note. 

Take it off email

Email may be the communication platform where we spend the most time (the average American worker devotes a staggering five hours per day to checking and responding to emails). Still, it’s certainly not the one where we’re the most engaged. The average email open rate is around 20%, and a mere 6% of emails elicit a response.

Text messages, on the other hand, get our attention nearly every time, with open rates close to 100% and a response rate of 45%. Competitive healthcare recruiters can benefit by reaching candidates on platforms where they’re more engaged, like via text message. You can boost candidate engagement by using texts to communicate on various parts of the hiring process, like:

  • Confirming the receipt of applications
  • Scheduling interviews
  • Sending status updates
  • Following up about missing information, like references or background checks

Just be sure to get candidates’ permission to contact them via text during the application process (like via a simple yes/no toggle button) and provide ample opportunity for them to opt out.

Continue to engage your talent pool

Remember, your talent pool isn’t limited to the candidates who apply for your position directly. Professionals who have applied in the past but do not yet work for you can also be a promising source of talent, like candidates who came in as a close second place for a position or who were great in interviews but not quite the right fit for the role they applied for.

Boost candidate engagement by maintaining an ongoing line of communication with this segment of candidates. Send them alerts when new positions open up, and check in occasionally to see if there’s a fit between your vacancies and their skills. You might even collaborate with your marketing department to create campaigns targeting this passive candidate audience.

Shorten your time-to-hire

Healthcare is known for having a lengthy time-to-hire. It’s the longest time listed of all fields covered in a cross-industry survey of hiring indicators, with an average vacancy length of 49 days. The longer your time-to-hire, the greater the likelihood that you’ll lose out on a top candidate to someone else, or worse, the candidate will lose interest in the position. Shortening your average time-to-hire is one of the most impactful things you can do to improve your chances of landing top talent.

While you don’t want to cut corners when performing your due diligence on candidates, there are some steps you can take to cut down on logistics to accelerate the hiring process. Whenever possible, coordinate schedules among interviewers to book all necessary meetings with a candidate on the same day, especially those that require the candidate to be on site. Automate your pre-screening process (more on this below) so that you don’t have to screen candidates manually, one by one, which can be incredibly time-consuming.

Keep a close eye on your time-to-hire and other recruitment metrics on an ongoing basis to ensure you’re consistently improving them—and, importantly, to make sure your time-to-hire isn’t getting longer.

Related: How to Leverage Data to Improve Your Recruitment Process

Improve Your Healthcare Recruitment Strategies by Partnering with 4 Corner Resources

If you want to shorten your time-to-hire, create more positive candidate experiences, and ultimately win the best talent, turn to the staffing professionals at 4 Corner Resources. We help companies like yours stay ahead of the hiring curve in competitive fields like healthcare, sourcing professionals in medical billing, coding, claims, pharmacy tech, patient customer service, and more.

Adding a professional staffing firm to your healthcare recruitment strategies can give you a leg up in the current candidates’ market. With contacts nationwide, from entry-level to the C-suite, we can build a wider candidate pool and cut out the time you spend on sourcing and screening. We have a decade of experience working with organizations of all sizes, from small businesses to enterprise-level, and we can create a staffing plan that works within your budget and time frame.

Contact us now to open the conversation and start hiring better candidates today.

Pete Newsome

About Pete Newsome

Pete Newsome is the President of 4 Corner Resources, the staffing and recruiting firm he founded in 2005. 4 Corner is a member of the American Staffing Association and TechServe Alliance, and the top-rated staffing company in Central Florida. Recent awards and recognition include being named to Forbes’ Best Recruiting Firms in America, The Seminole 100, and The Golden 100. Pete also founded zengig, to offer comprehensive career advice, tools, and resources for students and professionals. He hosts two podcasts, Hire Calling and Finding Career Zen, and is blazing new trails in recruitment marketing with the latest artificial intelligence (AI) technology. Connect with Pete on LinkedIn