The overall US employment outlook remains strong heading into the fourth quarter of 2019, with 22% of employers planning on increasing hiring during this time frame.
Even so, the healthcare recruitment field presents a unique challenge for employers as chronic talent shortages persist in the industry. 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 focus on strategy when targeting this industry.
As we head into the final months of 2019, let your healthcare recruitment end the year on a high note.
Six Tips to Source and Recruit Top Healthcare Talent
Overcome healthcare talent shortages with creative sourcing
Some are calling the healthcare staffing shortage a looming crisis, with an estimated 100,000 baby boomers turning 65 every day – many of whom are in need of care. Nurses, home health aides, and lab technicians are some of the hardest positions to fill.
In the face of these unprecedented shortages, it’s critical that healthcare recruitment professionals and staffing agencies 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, make use of state and zip-code-based targeting to reach outside of your region when placing 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 awhile, it’s time to 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 and be sure to clearly and prominently convey the benefits of working for your organization.
Finally, step up your employee referral incentives. Referrals continue to hold 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, Twitter, and Yelp. 95% of hospitals now have a Facebook page, while 50% have a Twitter account.
However, the numbers vary widely when it comes to social media adoption across multiple platforms within the healthcare field. You can set your organization apart and reach more candidates by expanding your presence to include diverse channels like Instagram and YouTube.
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, but 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 get a grasp on what type of content resonates best with your audience. If your brand voice is heartfelt, for example, it wouldn’t make sense to post a humorous video.
Speaking of video, use it! Video continues to be the most engaging type of post on Facebook, with around three minutes being the ideal video length. If you’re not already, you should strongly consider investing in professionally produced videos as part of 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 be looking 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%).
In terms of perks that are truly that—non-essential perks—free food, a casual dress code, cell phone subsidies, and pet-friendly policies topped the list. If you offer these things, make sure they’re prominently included within your job postings and consider testing advertising that leads with these items in terms of messaging.
Elaborate on growth opportunities
For the first time in 2019, candidates cited a factor other than salary and benefits as the number one thing they look for when hunting for a new position. Their most attractive feature? Career growth opportunities.
According to the 2019 Job Seeker Nation report from Jobvite, 61% of candidates said growth opportunities were the most important factor they were looking for when considering whether to take a new role. The trend is especially true among people who left their jobs within the last 12 months; only 17% of them cited money as the factor for why they left their last position.
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 as well.
Target passive candidates during the holiday season
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 seeks a spike in early fall after the slow summer season, then slows to a crawl again as people check out for the holidays. Take advantage of the Q4 lull in hiring activity by making sure your recruiting efforts remain active. This is the perfect time 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, for one reason or another, did not wind up with your company. 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 for referrals in the new year.
Q4 has always been a time for strategizing, and 2019 is no different.
Use this time frame to assess your efforts for the year thus far and make any necessary tweaks to finish the year strong. Some areas to assess include:
- 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
If you haven’t already, the start of Q4 is the time to post listings and begin interviews for temporary staff to cover any staffing holes you anticipate during the holidays, if applicable. Revisit last year’s temporary hiring expectations and actual numbers to guide your efforts.
Later in Q4, the time is right to plan for your likely healthcare talent needs in early Q1 and potentially even begin prequalifying applicants. Getting the ball rolling before the new year will give you a head start on the competition during what’s typically the busiest hiring season of the year.
Finally, since external candidates may be off the grid during the busy holiday season, Q4 is an ideal opportunity to zero in on your 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 recruiting pipeline for the year ahead.
End The Year On A High Note With Professional Healthcare Staffing Solutions
To make the most of the remainder of 2019 in 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 like 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.