Skills shortages across the healthcare sector have been widely publicized, with studies continually predicting shortages of over 29,000 nurses alone by 2025. Especially facilitated by an aging population that’s simultaneously overloading healthcare services and resulting in the retirement of the field’s best experts, this shortage has already seen healthcare reeling in the face of a global pandemic, and things are only set to get worse.
Luckily, while these facts paint an undeniably bleak picture of healthcare in general, there is a less-publicized light at the end of this tunnel when you consider that 12 of the 20 fastest-growing occupations in the US right now fit under the healthcare umbrella. It’s for this reason, and the advancements rife within the industry in general, that new and upcoming healthcare facilities are best poised to enjoy significantly high levels of success regardless. To make that happen, they simply need to find the ideal teams, and achieving that goal despite significant and very real ongoing skills shortages is dependent on an organization’s ability to perfect competitive recruitment in the following ways.
Focus On the Next Generation of Healthcare Providers
As is often the case in high-stakes industries, healthcare organizations are often guilty of prioritizing experienced staff. As well as largely being to blame for the healthcare shortage in the first place, this focus on more mature recruits is becoming increasingly unrealistic as more experienced providers reach retirement age. Moving forward, the future of competitive healthcare recruitment very much rests on the next generation of healthcare mavericks. As risky as it may seem, focusing recruitment at college graduates is an especially fantastic way to work past this roadblock, and has the added benefit of ensuring keen teams of healthcare providers who are not only aware of cutting-edge treatments, but who likely have unique and innovative ideas about how to implement them. By getting ahead in this area through college recruitment drives and even graduate-level job fairs, healthcare employers are in the best possible place to secure the most exciting up-and-coming talent well ahead of the inevitable healthcare curve.
Make Your Hiring Process Flexible
The ball is very much in the court of a rather small (though, admittedly, fast-expanding) healthcare talent pool right now, meaning that inflexible hiring processes, especially those that fail to cater for existing employment or educational commitments, can soon see competitive recruits looking elsewhere. Recruitment teams therefore need to take their time considering how best to flexibly facilitate the needs of every potentially lucrative recruit. On-demand recorded video interviews where candidates answer pre-set questions are finding real traction here, especially during the early stages of a recruitment drive that helps to narrow down talent pools. In-person interviews should then be far easier to navigate as a higher likelihood of acceptance sees candidates more willing to pull strings to attend.
Increase On-the-Job Training
Skills shortages inevitably make top-level recruits harder to find, while a focus on graduate-level professionals can leave a lot of functional on-the-job expectations in the dust. On-the-job training is essential for overcoming these setbacks, both across standard daily implementations like software for health systems and more specifically with regards to relevant treatment options and approaches. While this doesn’t negate the importance of quality findings during recruitment itself, it does ensure that even emerging diamonds in the healthcare dust can flourish and thrive. By single-handedly enabling the advancement of even unversed medical professionals, this focus especially stands to jump the healthcare gap for quality performance moving forward.
Make Room for Soft Skills
With high-stakes a standard across healthcare roles, employers have just cause to seek expansive educations and, as has been the case until now, high levels of experience. As the net tightens, however, seeking the highest quality candidates requires a step away from these often stringent requirements. Obviously, education will always remain a prerequisite, but the need to step away from experience is also heralding a time where, often, employers need to look for soft, as well as hard, skill sets. Behavioral and situational questions at the pre-interview stage are an especially useful way to determine, outside of sometimes fresh educational benefits, whether a candidate has the emotional and behavioral cues necessary to truly and successfully find their feet in the real world of healthcare.
Shrinking healthcare talent pools have long stood between healthcare providers and the teams that stand to take their services to the next level but, with shortages not going anywhere soon, implementing these competitive recruitment practices regardless is a prerequisite of success in an industry that, despite predictions, is on the brink of a glorious come back.