Solving Ongoing Struggles of Retention with Healthcare Recruitment Strategies

At the beginning of the year, TA leaders sent out the typical 2020 trends articles boasting a tight labor market. After a few months, everything had turned upside down, and that’s especially true for the fast-moving healthcare industry.

In terms of recruitment, the global pandemic had a particularly profound effect on the healthcare industry. Now in the latter half of the year, we’ll take a look at the current state of recruitment, unraveling the cycle of healthcare turnover, and the healthcare recruitment strategies and tech that industry leaders are adopting.

Understand the Cycle

From a staffing perspective, the healthcare industry is known for its low retention. This is due to long hours, burnout, training time, cuts in onboarding due to budget cuts, and the overall lack of upward mobility in the field.

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Whether it’s a nursing team, doctors, or front-end staff, many healthcare workers were in danger of becoming disengaged before the stress of COVID-19 hit. The high-pressure atmosphere that comes with working in healthcare can drain the most dedicated workers’ morale, causing top employees to look elsewhere. When looking at employee engagement across a variety of occupations, the healthcare industry ranks at the bottom.

Between high patient loads, tedious data entry, and the added risks of COVID-19, many healthcare workers are not only considering leaving their jobs — they’re considering abandoning their career choice entirely. This cycle continues as recent graduates get a taste for the day-to-day. For recruiters, this means continuous hiring and often hiring in high-volume.

Predictions for Healthcare Staffing

Even before the pandemic, the healthcare staffing firms needed to adjust to cope with high healthcare turnover. Yet, it was expected that from 2016 to 2026, employment opportunities in the healthcare industry are expected to grow by 18%. The industry is ripe for a huge talent gap.

Here are some predictions of what healthcare recruiting may see given previous retention issues and the strain of the pandemic:

Employer brand matters more than ever. The way organizations treat their employees is showcased like never before. If employees are treated well, their positive culture will shine in times of sustained stress. But, this can also go the opposite way. If employees are not prioritized, it could be detrimental to a company’s reputation — making future recruitment initiatives a challenge.

A widening talent gap with high demand and low supply. Especially for nursing, there will continue to be an increase in demand for talent and a decrease in the supply of interested candidates.

Virtual recruitment and onboarding. Most companies had to pivot to a completely virtual talent acquisition process, and healthcare is not immune to this change. This means more virtual career fairs, virtual interviews, and even a virtual onboarding process. Doctors and Nurses may be quickly transitioned from virtual onboarding to telehealth calls.

Reaching out to new audiences. With low talent supply, staffing firms are finding themselves reaching out to previously untapped healthcare sectors to close the talent gap. Medical students, military health workers, retirees, and travel nursing organizations could be considered ‘fair game’ when filling dire positions in a talent shortage.

Initial and continued training improvements. We still don’t have a grasp of when things will go back to “normal” or if things ever will. As we learn more, new and continued training and development plans will have to be implemented that focus on the pandemic.

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Healthcare Staffing Tech Solutions

Artificial intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools are being seen more frequently to manage time-to-fill and solve retention issues in healthcare staffing. Rather than physically screening resumes, an AI tool can locate qualified candidates in a large candidate pool in a matter of seconds, giving staffing firms more time to focus on engaging pre-screened talent and ultimately filling positions quickly.

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Automated Interviewing

Healthcare interviews have previously been lengthy. Now, there simply isn’t time for a lengthy process. But with automated interviewing, staffing firms can still ensure a thorough screening process. Even the back and forth of interview scheduling adds too much to a mid-pandemic hiring process. With automating interviewing, screenings can be instantly scheduled. Interviews can consist of predetermined questions with video recordings on a cloud-based application.

A Focus on Retention

With the current state of the world and workforce, healthcare recruiting can’t handle disengaged talent. We need engaged talent in healthcare roles more than ever, seeing as engaged workers result in fewer complications, enhanced patient safety, and boosts in revenue.

If we don’t focus on training and retention issues that have been prevalent in the industry, the usual unpredictable overtime, a stressful workload, and lack of workplace flexibility will continue to contribute to low engagement and, ultimately, poor retention.

For more insight into the future of healthcare recruiting and proven solutions to help along the way, consider a Talent Tech Labs membership for continued thought leadership. We’ve mapped and tracked every technology that touches the space to create an exhausted library of vetted research with access to experienced research analysts available when you need them.

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