Ways Healthcare Employers Can Attract The Best Candidates
In Job Search
May 15, 2019
Attracting the best candidates in the competitive healthcare job market can often feel like an uphill battle for healthcare employers. Qualified healthcare professionals know how in-demand they are in the growing healthcare industry, and healthcare employers need to do all they can to ensure they are able to attract and hire the best candidates.
There are plenty of ways that healthcare employers can spice up their recruitment strategy to attract the best candidates in the competitive healthcare industry. Continue reading to find out what you and your healthcare organization can do to increase the amount of top-tier talent applications for your open job postings.
12 Ways Healthcare Employers Can Attract The Best Candidates
1. Highlight Organization Values and Mission
Increasingly, job seekers are looking for employers who have a clear focus on their organization’s values and mission. One of the best things that healthcare employers can do is make it clear to potential candidates what the mission and value principles are because it clears up some confusion for potential candidates. In addition, clearly stating and highlighting an organization’s values and mission attracts candidates that align with the organization’s core objectives.
Increasingly, top-tier candidates are looking for organizations and employers that value the same thing they do. The healthcare industry is unique in that nearly every organization has the same goal of helping patients improve their well-being and life a healthy lifestyle, but there are plenty of ways organizations can still stand out in this highly competitive industry. Organizations can stand out when highlighting their values and missions by explaining why they decided to select those particular values or mission.
It’s important to highlight the organization values and mission that are in practice and reflected throughout the organization’s current employees. For instance, if a healthcare employer states that one of their core values is to provide employees with a way to advance their education, but doesn’t offer a stipend or scholarship opportunities then job seekers will see right through it. Highlight the authentic organization values and mission and you’ll begin to attract the best candidates to your open positions.
2. Improve The Application Process and Make It Easy
One of the biggest barriers to attracting and hiring the best healthcare candidates falls on the lengthy and difficult application process. This largely falls upon the fact that applicant tracking systems are largely outdated and use archaic systems to narrow down candidates or force them to fill out pages of information before their job application can be submitted. The reality of the modern job marketplace is that candidates don’t have the time or patience to fill out an applicant tracking system that is confusing or doesn’t function properly.
Some applicant tracking systems force candidates to fill out the same information on multiple different pages, which can frustrate top-tier candidates throughout the process. Ensure that your application process isn’t convoluted or forces applicants to jump through unnecessary hoops.
One of the best ways to improve the application process is to only ask for the absolutely necessary information. All of the extra information or unnecessary information can be gathered at a later date in the candidate selection process. The goal of the initial application process should be to attract the best candidates and then collect important information from them in an efficient and quick manner. The more pages you have or more hoops you force candidates to go through when submitting an application, the increased chance you have of losing the candidate in the process.
3. Understand the Entire Application and Selection Process
One of the best ways to attract candidates is to identify some of the weak points in the candidate application and selection process. Many modern applicant tracking systems have an entire analytics suite or package that healthcare employers can use to improve their processes. Modern applicant tracking systems and software can identify the percentage rate of different metrics and candidate flow. In addition, they can help identify where the problems might exist in attracting the best candidates.
For instance, if your applicant tracking software indicates that you’re only receiving apply clicks from a quarter of all the traffic that the page receives, why is that? Do candidates begin their application and then stop at a certain point only to never complete their application or return at a later date?
Take the time to understand the entire application and selection process to identify potential areas to improve and increase the likelihood that you’re making it easier for the best candidates to fill out an application and move forward in the candidate evaluation process.
4. Communicate Salary Expectations Early
The next way healthcare employers can attract the best healthcare job candidates is by communicating and being open about salary ranges or salary expectations for the available positions. Serious healthcare candidates want to know up front what they can expect for salary, benefits, and other compensation early on in the consideration process for a position. The best candidates are frequently being considered for several positions at any given time and will be off the marketplace quickly.
Trying to hide what the salary or compensation package is until later on in the process can severely hurt your chances of attracting and retaining the best healthcare candidates. In fact, highlighting the salary and benefits early on in the process might even attract candidates because they are looking for certain compensation packages, benefits, or salary targets.
When you try to hide or conceal the salary and benefits package until later on in the candidate selection process, candidates will frequently feel like there is something to hide and that it won’t be as competitive as some of the other positions they are considering. Eliminate this concern and be up-front about the salary and compensation package to keep the best candidates interested.
One of the most frustrating things for job seekers is the feeling that there isn’t enough communication, or that the communication that does exist is severely lacking or delayed. One of the biggest things that upsets modern job seekers is the feeling that their emails or communication requests are going unheard or often take weeks for a simple reply.
The best candidates in the healthcare industry often check in on their current application status and want to know where they stand in the candidate selection process. When a healthcare employer doesn’t maintain adequate communication with them or often make them feel like they are being ignored or left hanging, they move on to consider other positions because they often feel like their time isn’t being valued or that it’s being wasted.
The best way to ensure you’re adequately communicating with the top healthcare candidates in the industry is to make sure that you’re open and honest about the applicant consideration and selection process. Due to the fact that the candidates are often interviewing for other positions at the same time, frequently communicating or reminding them about the process and where they stand in the process is a good way to keep them informed and maintain that open line of communication between them.
In each stage of the consideration process, you should be communicating with each candidate about what they can expect moving forward and when they should expect to hear from you. In the event that the timeline passes and you didn’t follow-up exactly when you said you would, reach out to them and remind them that you haven’t forgotten about them and that you’re still considering applicants and they are one of the candidates being considered.
The next way to ensure that candidates are receiving adequate communication is to follow-up in a timely manner whenever a candidate reaches out to you to learn more about things they might have concerns or questions about. Candidates shouldn’t be waiting days for a simple follow-up email or an answer to one of their questions. If you’re not certain about an answer and don’t want to provide a candidate with misleading information, it’s still good practice to follow-up with them and let them know that you’ll get back to them with the right information when you have time to figure it out.
Maintaining an open line of communication and frequently following up with candidates is also a great way to keep them interested in the position. The last thing you want to happen is to identify several top candidates, and then they move on because they felt like they weren’t being considered because the line of communication was cut off. Effectively communicating with the best candidates is a great way to keep them interested and secure top candidates for open healthcare positions.
6. Showcase That You Value Candidates
The next way that healthcare employers can attract the best candidates is by showcasing that you and your organizations value candidates and current employees. Increasingly, candidates are seeking employment in healthcare organizations that not only value their patients but value the workforce that makes the healthcare industry so great. One of the best ways to showcase that you value candidates is by highlighting your organization’s commitment to a proper work/life balance.
In the modern job search environment, qualified healthcare candidates are looking for jobs that allow them to keep their professional life and personal life separate. Because the healthcare industry frequently asks their workers to go above and beyond, a breath of fresh air in their personal life is always a way to rejuvenate their energies and come to work with a good attitude each day. Another way to highlight your organization’s commitment to candidates and employees is to highlight all of the ways in which your culture goes above and beyond to serve employees and make them happy and comfortable.
The next way healthcare employers can demonstrate to potential job seekers that they are going to be valued in a future role is to highlight all the ways in which employees can grow and develop throughout their career in your organization. Increasingly, healthcare job seekers are looking for roles in which they can learn on the job and engage in new experiences each day to become stronger career professionals. If your organization is committed to educating the workforce and teaching new skills to your employees, then let candidates know about your commitment to their career growth.
Every little thing that you do to demonstrate that you’re committed to the employee and candidate as they are to you in a future role, you’ll automatically begin to attract the best candidates in the competitive healthcare industry.
7. Consider Peer Interviews
Another fantastic way of attracting fantastic candidates is by giving them an inside look into who they might be working alongside in the role they’re pursuing. Candidates often want to get some insight into what a normal day might look like, what the working environment is like, who they might collaborate with on a daily basis, and more. Human resource professionals and hiring managers can only provide so many answers to the critical questions that candidates might ask.
Instead, your organization should consider peer interviews as a step in the candidate selection and evaluation process due to the fact that candidates can ask potential future co-workers about on-the-job questions that only they might be able to answer.
Another benefit associated with peer interviews is that they can also provide some key insights into candidates from your existing employees that they might be working with. Your current employees have a good understanding of the role responsibilities, expectations, team dynamics, and more. They, arguably better than anybody else, will be able to identify whether or not a candidate would make a good fit and if they should be considered for the position.
8. Use Niche Job Boards
The next way to attract the best candidates in the healthcare industry is to use niche job boards. Large job boards and job aggregators like Monster, Indeed, and ZipRecruiter have plenty of problems, and organizations are increasingly turning away from them to more catered solutions to find top-tier talent. The problem with large job boards and job aggregators is that they make it too easy for job seekers to apply to hundreds of positions in a mere matter of minutes. While this does allow organizations to collect hundreds of applications in a short period of time, it also leads to an abundance of bad candidates.
The one-click apply method makes it easy for job seekers to just scroll down a list of jobs and apply without evaluating the job posting or thoroughly reading the job description. As a result, healthcare employers are getting inundated with spam candidates and applications that aren’t even remotely related to the job posting. Over time, this adds so much extra work for healthcare employers as they are then forced to evaluate hundreds of candidates and sort through the spam candidates from the qualified ones.
In this sorting and evaluation period, qualified candidates might accidentally get passed over or buried amongst the wrong stack. This means healthcare organizations and healthcare employers are potentially missing out on dozens of qualified healthcare professionals per job posting because they’re getting buried underneath other unqualified and spam applications.
One way that healthcare employers can eliminate this risk is by using niche job boards to attract, source, and hire qualified candidates. Niche job boards like HospitalCareers make it easier for healthcare employers to identify and tailor their marketing efforts to qualified healthcare professionals instead of having to worry about spam applications. Niche job boards allow healthcare employers to place their job postings on sites that tailor their marketing and outreach efforts to industry-specific candidates.
Instead of large job aggregators that shell out job postings to every member, niche job boards tailor job postings to qualified professionals in that industry alone. This means that niche healthcare job boards like HospitalCareers send qualified healthcare professionals directly to healthcare employers — significantly cutting down spam candidates and saving time for employers.
9. Seek Input From Candidates and Current Employees
Another fantastic way for healthcare employers to attract the best candidates in the healthcare industry is to seek input and feedback from their pool of candidates and current employees. One of the best ways to evaluate room for improvement in your candidate evaluation and selection process is to get critical feedback from those who are currently going through the process or have gone through the process already.
Take the time to ask current employees about what caused them to apply for a position with your healthcare organization. Find out what things made them ultimately choose your organization over other ones they were evaluating. Once you’ve done that, take the time to get into a routine of asking the same questions when you’re evaluating current candidates.
Once you’ve received some feedback about what incentivized current employees and candidates to apply to positions in your organization, evaluate whether or not there are ways to implement their feedback and comments into the recruitment process. If they identified with something that the organization values, make sure those values are clearly presented on the Careers page or in the recruitment marketing material.
Take the input you receive and actively find ways to implement it into your recruiting practices to attract more candidates of the same caliber.
10. Take Advantage of Social Media
Social media is one of the greatest advancements in recent history. There has never been a better way for employers and candidates to connect directly with one another. In addition, there haven’t been as many fantastic opportunities for employers to use a free marketing tool to inform potential candidates about why they should consider working in the organization.
In the modern job search, candidates are doing more research than ever when they’re evaluating job postings. Part of this research process is to identify the social media profiles and accounts of healthcare organizations that they’re interested in. Each one of these healthcare organization social media accounts offers a unique marketing and branding opportunity to advertise and pinpoint some of the selling points for potential candidates.
One of the best ways to attract candidates through company and employer social media accounts is by highlight all of the benefits of working in the organization, values, and mission. Another way in which healthcare employers can use social media to attract the best candidates is by showcasing the personality and stories of the current employees. Many top employers are doing “employee takeovers” where an employee will have a Q&A session with social media followers where they tell personal stories, talk about working in the organization, and answer any questions that candidates might have as it relates to being an employee.
Another way healthcare employers can take advantage of social media is through the new job posting features that many social media networks are offering to employers. Many social networks are making it easier for their userbase to find everything they could possibly want on one platform, and that includes jobs. When you post your job openings on social media accounts, those interested candidates can share it with their peers and friends who might also be interested in the job. Every share that your jobs receive on social media means that each job has additional exposure, which can lead to an increased number of qualified candidates.
Take advantage of the ever-increasing popularity of social networks and leverage the new job posting features to share your job postings to attract the best candidates.
11. Craft Compelling Job Descriptions
Each job description provides candidates with a quick glimpse into the role. One of the best ways to attract candidates to fill out a job posting is by crafting compelling job descriptions that make them want to apply to the job and the healthcare organization. In the healthcare industry, as the competition heats up to find, attract, and hire qualified professionals, recruitment professionals and hiring managers need to put on their marketing caps and find ways to creatively write job descriptions that showcase some of the key features of each job in the job description.
Some of the best ways to craft compelling job descriptions is by listing five to ten key characteristics and responsibilities associated with the position. From there, you should highlight the ideal candidate characteristics that you feel would match the ideal candidate.
For those professionals who are looking to transition careers or aren’t quite certain they’d make a good fit in the role, including some information about the ideal candidate characteristics is a great way of finding and attracting those candidates who would make a good match based on their skills and personality.
12. Launch an Employee Referral Program
One of the best ways to attract qualified healthcare job seekers is by using one of your best resources, the word-of-mouth of your current employees. Employee referral programs are ways to incentivize your current employees to share current job openings with their former co-workers, friends, family, and earn some money along the way. Each employee has the potential to connect with hundreds or thousands of other qualified professionals who might make a great fit for your organization. The likelihood is that those qualified professionals most likely have never heard of the job posting, or have never considered working in the role before.
Have you ever been in a position where you thought to yourself, “I know someone who would be perfect for this role?” Your employees have most likely felt the same way! Why not incentivize them to share job postings with their friends and family who might be the most qualified for the open position, and attract the best candidates with referral programs that actually work. With the advent of social networking, employee referral programs make it easy for employees to share jobs with their friends and family. Cash bonuses are a great way to encourage employees to participate in the referral program and earn some extra income in the meantime just for sharing a job posting with the qualified professionals they feel would make a good fit.
The healthcare industry is one of the most competitive industries in the modern job search environment, and healthcare employers need to constantly adapt to new strategies to remain competitive and source the most qualified healthcare professionals. There are plenty of fantastic ways that healthcare employers can attract the best candidates. All it takes is a few simple steps to identify potential problems and step up efforts to attract qualified healthcare candidates in the increasingly competitive healthcare industry.