According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the world will be short 10 million healthcare workers by 2030. Nearly 85% of respondents surveyed by WHO said their facilities have a moderate to a severe shortage of allied healthcare professionals.
With traditional hiring methods no longer working, it’s time to reimagine the healthcare recruiting game.
Trends to Inform Your 2023 Healthcare Recruitment Strategy
Bridging the vast health workers’ gap requires listening to what professionals want, rebuilding work culture, and hiring to attract candidates. Here are some definitive strategies to include in your long-term talent acquisition (TA) plans:
1. Prioritize healthcare workers’ mental wellbeing
Working through the pandemic, with persistent understaffing and patient emergencies, triggered a mass exodus of healthcare professionals. And acute healthcare staffing challenges still persist. Almost 34% of nursing professionals reported plans to leave their jobs by the end of 2022, and 44% of the respondents cited burnout and a high-stress work environment as the primary reason for their departure.
TA leaders and recruiters must highlight organizational mental health resources and initiatives. The culture must show (not just tell) how your company promotes mental wellbeing. Highlight mental healthcare services, resources, additional benefits far, or even possibly those you plan to offer in upcoming years. But keep it real and be honest.
Commitment to the following benefits and resources is known to be a plus for candidates:
Flexible schedules: A typical shift lasts 8-12 hours per day, with some healthcare staff pulling multiple shifts at a stretch. Hospital shifts rarely offer flexibility and often leave professionals exhausted. Giving nurses a say in their schedule is critical to retention and wellbeing. Everyone has a personal life – workers often balance studies, multiple roles, or caregiving responsibilities. Checking in with them regarding their availability and ensuring autonomy shows you care.
Mental wellness programs: Move beyond one-day mindfulness seminars and focus on consistent, evidence-based mental health services. Whether through telehealth apps or in-person services, having mental health professionals on board will help create a safe space for employees. For instance, HCA Healthcare provides Nurse Care, a unique, free, and confidential mental health program for their hospital nurses. It is a 24/7 service that helps the nursing staff manage anxiety, work, and life responsibilities, engage in self-care, among other issues.
Alternative care models: Current care models require the registered nurses (RN) to undertake care work for multiple patients, in addition to administrative duties. Due to the sheer volume of patients and a widespread RN shortage, this is unsustainable. Fortunately, hospitals are moving onto better models, investing in technology that promotes prompt information sharing which can reduce risks and workload.
2. Empower existing healthcare professionals
Without growth opportunities, it’s unlikely that employees will stay at your organization. In fact, career advancement and training opportunities were one reason nurses planned to change jobs! Providing opportunities to move forward will empower your current professionals and improve retention. Moreover, you can attract new candidates with career development strategies.
Personalize career development: When you hire from within, you demonstrate that career growth is possible. Curate learning experiences and specialized training opportunities for nursing and allied staff who want to upskill and reskill. Also, allow freshers to shadow team leads and senior physicians or arrange internships for novice members.
Scholarships and financial aid: While enrollment in healthcare and nursing courses has increased, many individuals refrain from pursuing education due to cost. In South Carolina, Self-Regional Healthcare preemptively hires certified nursing assistant students and provides scholarships and a stipend. Similarly, the UK provides nursing students with a grant or bursary, covering up to half of their tuition. Hospitals and recruitment organizations now offer scholarships and financial aid to attract new nursing talent. And investing in education is an excellent way to get seasoned professionals on board.
Developing training sites: Despite the increase in nursing school applicants, universities and colleges are compelled to turn away thousands of students due to a lack of clinical sites and faculty, as well as other resource constraints. In fact, in 2020, US universities were forced to reject 80,521 qualified applications. Partnering with hospitals and nursing schools will give you access to a large group of qualified candidates and enable you to retain professionals trained within the community. For students, such collaborations offer additional clinical sites and improved training opportunities. Some universities, like the University of Oklahoma, have already adopted this cooperative model to train nursing students.
Get insight into the latest talent sourcing and recruitment advertising benchmarks across 16 of the top professions in the US.
Recruitment Benchmarks for Top 16 Professions!
Get insight into the latest talent sourcing and recruitment advertising benchmarks across 16 of the top professions in the US.Read here
3. Build a robust, data-driven talent pipeline
The healthcare staffing shortage is unlikely to be resolved anytime soon; instead, it will likely worsen. For hospitals and healthcare providers, now is the time to plan for the long term. While it is necessary to fill positions now, it is also crucial to establish a talent pipeline for imminent shortages. Start identifying professionals with essential skills and build relationships with them. This includes both professionals inside and outside of your organization. Connecting with target candidates is an opportunity to share your brand story, highlight work culture, and proactively source diverse candidates who meet your requirements.
Hiring healthcare workers requires more than impressive sign on bonuses and high salaries. More and more professionals are focusing on meaningful relationships and organizations where they can grow and improve the work environment. Understand what healthcare professionals want and use it to design engagement campaigns for your target audience. However, these tactics are useless without the right tech or data strategy.
In our digital age, recruitment is powered by data – use it to your advantage. Accurate and reliable candidate data allows you to find qualified candidates swiftly through social and niche job boards. For example, healthcare recruiting platforms aggregate licensed professionals’ information with public profiles to generate a list of candidates you can sort based on location or specialization. With contact information, you can send personalized content to engage candidates.
Monitoring your sourcing efforts gives an insight into your hiring needs and channels that yield results and refine your strategy. Tech solutions, like recruitment advertising, enable you to allocate spending smartly and distribute ads broadly – bringing in more candidates than the traditional single-channel approach.
Healthcare systems across the US and Europe are plagued with workforce challenges due to a grave shortage of workers – especially in rural and remote areas. As professionals leave due to high work stress and burnout, companies are staring at a long-drawn battle to fill open positions and retain existing employees. In 2023, healthcare professionals are looking for employee-centric jobs that care for their mental health and support their career growth. To develop a long-term and sustainable healthcare recruitment strategy, focus on prioritizing employee mental health and education to retain and attract talent. Employee-focused policies add to your employer brand and draw qualified professionals to your talent pipeline.