In ‘normal’ times, recruiting healthcare workers can sometimes feel like managing a conveyor belt.
Since competitive salaries, education benefits, and flexible schedules are standard features of many healthcare industry jobs, it may not be hard for you to place candidates.
But when times aren’t so typical, you need to get creative with employee recruitment strategies.
In light of the coronavirus pandemic entering its second year stateside, healthcare recruiters face challenges hiring top healthcare professionals with several shifting factors.
From office jobs to patient-facing positions, we’ll walk you through what’s changed in healthcare recruiting since last spring, as well as share 5 healthcare recruiting tips that you can implement today as part of your overarching recruitment marketing strategy.
Let’s take a look.
Challenges in Healthcare Recruiting
Unprecedented is so overused at this point, but right now, there’s no other word that fits. This past year was one of the most tumultuous years in recent history due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
With layoffs, spiking unemployment, and remote-first offices, healthcare workers encountered countless challenges as they face the pandemic head-on as they stand at the front lines.
Despite the desperate need for healthcare workers during this time, the pandemic impacted how the healthcare industry recruits for these positions due to a shortage of candidates, new digital processes, and enhanced protocols for COVID-19.
It’s what you’d call an applicant’s market, further worsened by a health crisis that demands your team hire the best healthcare workers.
It’s truly a ‘perfect’ storm, if you will.
Recruitment marketing is one way to take your hiring process to the next level. To get a steady stream of applicants, you must employ marketing techniques to attract, engage, and convert your audience.
How COVID-19 Has Impacted Recruitment In Healthcare
This pandemic has placed healthcare workers on the frontlines.
A common misconception about the pandemic is that hospitals and healthcare facilities are not hiring to keep patients safe and healthy. Although, that is untrue. We can’t forget that in early spring 2020, nearly 1.5 million healthcare workers were furloughed due to uncertainty around the virus and other medical specialties (like surgery).
Yes, the industry was able to hire back a portion of these workers, but what about the rest?
When it comes to the impact of the actual virus, healthcare professionals are not immune. Like many of us, they have had to take time off to recover, take care of sick loved ones, or stay home with their children. Also, soon-to-graduate medical students had their careers thrown into uncertainty as the world reeled from the pandemic.
The Importance Of Recruitment Process Adjustments To Attract Top Healthcare Talent
In a job applicant’s market like we are in now, your recruitment strategies need to include more than a generous salary or job security.
There are several reasons an applicant accepts or rejects a job offer, including benefits, work-life balance, and remote-first work protocols. You’ll need to bump up your offerings to compete.
The competitive and urgent atmosphere means that it’s essential to pivot your recruitment tactics to hire quality, top healthcare professionals. That being said, we need to adapt and tailor current recruitment processes to involve additional strategies to hire and retain top healthcare talent during this time.
The best healthcare recruitment tips range from re-evaluating company perks and benefits, finding new ways to attract and find talent, or empathizing with team members and applicants alike that face pandemic hardships.
The goal here is to find solutions to where you believe there are cracks during the hiring process – start by paying attention to what candidates ask about. Are they asking a lot of questions about company benefits? What about company culture?
Listen to these telltale signs of what your team can improve upon to assist your recruiting efforts.
Recruitment Marketing: 5 Healthcare Recruiting Strategies to Find the Best Candidates
The following five recruitment marketing strategies can help your organization source and hire talented individuals.
Strategy #1: Added Efforts Around Diversity & Inclusion
In summer 2020, Black Lives Matter and other movements around equity and inclusion inspired discussions around diversity globally.
A diversity and inclusion protocol is not only something applicants want; it is something they expect and demand. For example, 83% of candidates consider an organization’s workforce diversity to be one of the most important factors when deciding where to work.
In other words, this is an opportunity for your organization to work with marginalized groups in your local community, launch workshops about diversity and inclusion in the workspace, and have your team go through bias training.
Create recruitment opportunities that revolve around university BIPOC groups such as Black Student Unions and other professional organizations. Investing in diversity and inclusion is a company-wide initiative, and it’s essential to adjust your recruitment pipeline accordingly.
Where recruitment marketing can help to highlight your company’s diversity & inclusion efforts:
- Review your recruitment marketing materials for opportunities to add more diversity in race, age, gender, sexual preferences, and disabilities.
- Highlight these efforts using social media and other communications efforts to advertise your commitment to be more inclusive broadly.
- Update your careers page and your website to speak to your company’s fair hiring practices and culture.
Strategy #2: Highlight Or Supplement Company Benefits To Support Mental Health
The pandemic has affected most individuals, and many are experiencing mental health-related issues and extreme cases of stress, burnout, and anxiety. Highlighting mental health care and services in your recruitment marketing and job descriptions is just one way to anticipate the inevitable question.
Does your organization currently have any benefits or a healthcare provider that assists well with mental health? Is there a low-lift benefit you can offer, such as arranging an employee discount for the Calm or Headspace apps?
Even considering more flexibility among work-from-home policies for working parents is an excellent way to think about your workers and their mental health.
Highlight these policies in boilerplate job descriptions and recruitment materials with candidates and job applicants throughout the recruiting and hiring process.
Strategy #3: Remote Interviews Must Be An Option (If Not The Standard)
If there is anything we learned from 2020, it is that we need to be flexible. COVID-19 has shifted marketing strategies across industries, and it’s no different when it comes to recruiting.
Applicants all come from different backgrounds and lifestyles, resulting in an array of preferences, interests, and motivations for their job search.
Depending on the role, an individual applicant may prefer to interview via Zoom. This strategy is not about changing your entire process, but more so considering flexible options during the initial interview round and finding solutions that fit your applicant and company’s needs. If you have not hosted online interviews before, Monster provides instructions and best practices to help.
Taking virtual recruitment a step beyond remote or video interviews makes your recruitment process much more accessible with digital options
For instance, create job posts within social platforms instead of referring to your website. Doing so allows applicants to complete an application from their mobile device quickly.
Or, make selecting a time easier with a calendar tool like Calendly or with a Doodle poll.
Too many back-and-forth emails about times and dates create an asynchronous conversation. By the time you settle on a time/day, it may not fit for the candidate anymore due to work meetings or other obligations.
Strategy #4: Publicize Your Company Culture – Yes, Even Virtually
If your company invested in an open office plan or break rooms with gaming tables, you know it’s tough to sell a remote work environment to healthcare workers in office settings.
Suppose your organization doesn’t typically hire at the highest salaries or with the most vacation time. In that case, it can be to your benefit to share your company culture throughout the recruiting process.
One way to cultivate company culture virtually is to mail company-branded swag to your new hires or have a virtual happy hour. Encourage them to share a photo on social media, tagging your organization!
That’s a great way to build your employer brand.
Strategy #5: Ramp Up Your Social Media Recruiting
Are you currently on LinkedIn? LinkedIn has been an excellent platform for finding qualified candidates for healthcare positions for years.
But since the pandemic hit the US, the social media hashtags #readytowork and #opentowork allow users to raise their hands to recruiters to contact them for work. This hashtag can help recruit qualified applicants if you take the time to search or follow the hashtags on LinkedIn.
You can also see the custom frame around the user’s profile when they apply for one of your positions.
Other social media tips for recruiting include:
- Creating job listings within the LinkedIn platform rather than having the LinkedIn post redirect to your HR site.
- Include outreach on social media as part of your standard process to recruit healthcare workers.
- Investing in LinkedIn paid recruitment solutions to boost your posts.
- Consider other platforms to spread the word about open positions, like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can even geo-target job posts on social media to candidates near your facility with ads about the type of role and the company overall.
Often in recruiting, it can be challenging to find and attract individuals ready to work in your region, so in that situation, this is the perfect solution.
Something as simple as reaching out via LinkedIn’s messaging tool or even commenting on their #readytowork post to showcase your current openings. Another option is to promote job openings on social media through hashtags related to your organization or open positions.
How a Recruitment Marketing Firm Can Help
As we face the first anniversary of lockdown in the US, 2021 brings more recruitment challenges in the healthcare industry. If we’ve learned anything from this sheltered year, we need to focus on what’s important and acknowledge when we don’t have the capacity or ability to complete every task on our to-do list.
Finding the right healthcare recruiting firm means that you will work with a team of experts who specialize in the difficult challenges facing healthcare recruiters today.
So, why should you consider outsourcing your recruiting efforts?
For starters, an outside firm will have access to tools that you may not have, and they’ll be up-to-date with current research and trends on where your ideal candidate pool is looking. They’ll also have more of the marketing know-how to be able to advertise across platforms.
Just think: sharing your to-do list may be just what the doctor ordered.
Recruitment Marketing For Healthcare: Final Thoughts
- The COVID-19 global pandemic has accelerated many recruitment trends: Digital-first processes, remote working, and flex-time opportunities. To ensure your company isn’t merely checking a box, put action behind the efforts with enhanced benefits and inclusive interviewing procedures and hiring processes.
- The use of social media in hiring and virtual interview options have helped take some administrative burden off the recruiter. Using social media recruiting tools can enhance your recruitment efforts on platforms like LinkedIn that showcase an #opentowork candidate and increase job applications for listings.
- Reach out to a recruitment marketing agency for help if you need extra support finding best-fit candidates.