Healthcare Recruiting Tips to Help You Build a Stellar Team

Healthcare recruiter sitting at a desk interviewing a healthcare professional who is wearing a white coat holding out her resume

The overall US employment market remains strong, with job growth continuing to outpace expert predictions and unemployment holding steady at under 4%. 

Even so, the healthcare recruitment field presents a unique challenge for employers as chronic talent shortages persist. The unemployment rate in the healthcare field continues to hover around a ten-year low, making it all the more important for recruitment professionals to have a laser-focused strategy when targeting this industry.

Follow these healthcare recruiting tips to establish a strong talent pipeline and differentiate yourself from other employers in this space.

9 Healthcare Recruiting Tips to Attract Talent

Employ creative sourcing methods

Some call the healthcare staffing shortage an outright crisis. An estimated 100,000 baby boomers turn 65 daily, many of whom need care. Nurses, home health aides, and lab technicians are some of the hardest positions to fill.

In the face of these unprecedented shortages, healthcare recruitment professionals and staffing agencies must step outside the confines of traditional recruitment channels to source new and hard-to-reach talent.

One way to do this is by geotargeting hiring campaigns beyond your local market. Some states are hit harder than others by the talent shortage; if you’re in one of them, use state and zip-code-based targeting to reach outside of your region when hiring ads using PPC and social media.

Next, make sure you’re putting your best foot forward digitally speaking. When was the last time you updated your website’s jobs page? If it’s been a while, give it a facelift. Most career pages are stale and formulaic—they all look the same. Attract more candidates by infusing your careers page with originality. Use imagery and design elements that reflect your employer brand (more on this later in our list), and be sure to convey clearly and prominently the benefits of working for your organization.

Finally, step up your employee referral program. Referrals remain strong as employers’ top source for candidates; ensure you’re making it worthwhile for your staff to participate. Cash is always a strong incentive, but don’t forget about in-kind incentives like additional time off and other employee perks. Communicate with your staff about open positions clearly and often.

Use your social media presence

Though it took some time, the healthcare field has joined the rest of the business world on popular social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. 99% of hospitals now have a Facebook page, while 50% have a Twitter account.

To execute social recruiting effectively, it’s a must to understand your audience, both in terms of your followers and the platform in general. On Instagram, which skews younger, it might make sense to promote for open positions like nurses and physician assistants. Still, it might not be the best place to reach candidates for C-suite positions, who are typically more seasoned in their careers and thus older. Facebook, however, might be the perfect place to reach those candidates.

You’ll also want to ensure your recruiting department works in tandem with your marketing and/or social media department to coordinate messaging and grasp what type of content resonates best with your audience. For example, if your brand voice is heartfelt, posting a humorous video wouldn’t make sense.

Speaking of video, use it! Video continues to be the most engaging type of post on Facebook, with 30 to 90 seconds being the ideal video length. If you’re not already, you should strongly consider investing in professionally produced videos for your recruitment efforts.

Related: Showcasing Your Company Culture on Social Media

Focus on benefits to set yourself apart

In such a competitive landscape, the best candidates will look at more than salary when comparing compensation between potential employers. Set yourself apart from top healthcare talent by promoting the most desirable aspects of your benefits package.

Among the upper crust of candidates, healthcare and retirement packages aren’t optional—they’re must-haves, and it’s a deal-breaker if a job doesn’t offer them. Other benefits that workers described as “essential” were 401K matching (42% of workers), bonuses and stipends (39%), and parental leave (30%). Among “non-essential” perks, flexible work hours were the number one demand. 

If you offer other perks, like free food, a casual dress code, cell phone subsidies, or pet-friendly policies, make sure they’re prominently included within your job postings, and consider testing advertising that leads with these items in terms of messaging.

Related: How to Design an Employee Benefits Plan

Elaborate on growth opportunities

Employees increasingly seek value and purpose at work, and one way to give that to them is through growth opportunities. Millennials, in particular, prioritize this factor, with 59% of workers in this age group saying opportunities to learn and grow are extremely important to them when applying for a job. 

Despite the importance of this factor to candidates, many job listings merely touch on it or fail to mention it entirely. Capture the most attractive healthcare talent by not only mentioning career growth opportunities in your postings but elaborating on the specifics of what they look like. It’s worthwhile to make it a point of discussion when recruiting candidates face-to-face or over the phone.

Target passive candidates

Sometimes, candidates are hired because they were in the right place at the right time; the same holds true for companies that land top talent.

In general, hiring peaks in certain parts of the year and slows to a crawl in others. The holiday slump and the post-graduation, late-spring spike are perfect examples. Take advantage of the cyclical lulls in hiring activity by ensuring your recruiting efforts remain active. This is the perfect opportunity to target passive candidates who may have more downtime than they typically do and may be more open to speaking with recruiters.

This is also a great time to step up your networking efforts. Circle back with previous strong candidates who did not wind up with your company for one reason or another. Hold informational calls with referrals and others in your network. Send holiday cards with warm greetings to professional contacts to keep your name top-of-mind.

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Cement a strong employer brand

Many hospitals and healthcare organizations look nearly identical from the outside. On the inside, of course, it’s a different story, but it’s hard for candidates to know what sets you apart. Your employer brand differentiates you from other organizations that, on the surface, appear similar, and it goes beyond just your visual identity, like your logo and color scheme.

Your employer brand encapsulates who you are as a company and why a candidate would find value in working for you–especially elements that make you different from other companies in your field. Do you invest in new technology that makes work easier for your staff? Prioritize work-life balance in your policies? Have great benefits for families? Whatever your points of differentiation are, they should be key elements of your employer brand. 

Fine-tune your recruiting messaging

Customize, customize, customize. The more you can speak in terms that are relevant to your talent pool, the more individuals you’ll convert into applicants. 

The campaign you use to recruit for a medical assistant should look different than the one you use to recruit for a health information technician. The same goes for differing levels of seniority, locations, experience levels, and so on. Just as a B2C company conducts market research to understand its customers, you may need to invest in market research to understand your target candidate better so you can incorporate your findings into more tailored messaging. 

Partner with educational institutions

Educational institutions like colleges, universities, and technical schools can be a great source of new talent. Hospitals can partner with nursing schools to provide hands-on training and fill temporary vacancies. Organization leaders can speak at campus events to help develop the next generation of talent while exposing students to the company’s employer brand. Educational partnerships are a viable long-term strategy to establish pipelines of eager, freshly qualified applicants. 

Always be optimizing

The job market fluctuates just as much as the economy, so what’s working to attract candidates today may not be as effective six months down the road. The key is to consistently assess your progress and make any necessary tweaks to get the most from your recruiting efforts. 

Some areas to consider are:

  • Core recruitment KPIs like cost per hire and time to hire
  • Effectiveness of employee referral program
  • Strength of candidate experience
  • Strength of employer brand
  • Efficiency of recruitment processes like pre-screening, reference checking, and interview feedback

Regularly look to the future to anticipate events that may put staffing at risk, like holidays and peak vacation times. Conduct rolling interviews for temporary staff to cover any staffing holes you anticipate, if applicable. Revisit last year’s hiring expectations and compare them against actual hiring numbers to guide your efforts.

Finally, don’t forget to zero in on internal candidates for open positions. This is exceptionally useful for succession planning. Reports state that internal candidates account for anywhere between 15% and 28% of hires, but only 2.3% of employees have applied for internal positions. Don’t neglect your existing employees as an important part of your ongoing recruiting pipeline.

Partner With a Professional Healthcare Recruitment Agency for Your Hiring Needs

To maximize your healthcare hiring efforts, consider working with seasoned recruiting professionals like the team of headhunters at 4 Corner Resources. We are a staffing agency specializing in sourcing healthcare professionals from our wide talent network for positions such as claims specialists, medical coders, pharmacy technicians, data entry specialists, and more.

We offer contract and direct-hire staffing solutions to suit your needs and have fee structures that are tailored to your role, from flat fees for high-volume hiring to retained search agreements and percentage-based pricing.

We’re eager to learn about your goals for the year ahead and how we can help set you up for success when it comes to healthcare staffing. Contact us now for a free and confidential consultation.

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