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Healthcare Recruiting Trends for 2023

Healthcare Recruiting Trends for 2023

With inevitable shortages looming within the healthcare industry, recruitment strategies are evolving to gain competitive advantages in attracting and retaining talent. Shortages are expected to persist for the coming years as the lingering of effects of the pandemic, coupled with an aging workforce and increased patient needs, continue. Despite these challenges, healthcare industries have remained flexible, adaptable and resilient in addressing growing talent demands.

 

Shortage Statistics Diagram Chart

Staying informed on the latest recruitment trends unique to healthcare challenges can enable organizations to have a competitive advantage in attracting the right talent and creating sustainable recruitment strategies for the future. For healthcare leaders, employers, and recruiters, this blog details upcoming healthcare recruitment trends to integrate into your workforce strategy for greater success.

Recruitment trends that health systems are increasingly focusing on in the coming year include:

  • Employer brand
  • Diversity
  • Technology
  • In-house staffing programs
  • Employee wellbeing
  • Remote recruitment
  • Digital compliance
  • Contingent Labor
  • Engage with the emerging workforce

1. Employer Brand

Employer brand matters. Now more than ever employers need to distinguish themselves and highlight how they differentiate from the competition. A powerful brand strategy will communicate the organization’s mission, values, unique characteristics, benefits, workplace culture, DEI initiatives, and a commitment to employee wellbeing. This, in turn, can be a valuable recruitment tool.

With endless job opportunities for candidates to choose from, it’s fundamental to not only market these initiatives when recruiting, but to make them accessible at all times for job seekers. LinkedIn’s 2021 Employer Brand Statistics survey demonstrated that 75% of candidates considered an organization’s brand reputation before even applying for a position, suggesting that showcasing benefits and workplace culture on websites or social postings (such as employee videos or pictures of workplace culture) can be an important determinant factor for job seekers.

Employer Brand Statistics Diagram Chart

    2. Diversity 

    Diversity and inclusivity practices are important for job seekers and is often a condition used to evaluate a brand. Lack of diversity initiatives can deter skilled and valuable talent from your organization – talent that organizations cannot afford to dissuade.

    Equally, integrating diversity initiatives yield positive results for patient wellbeing, employee happiness, and overall business outcomes. Having a diverse workforce allows teams problem solve more effectively, foster creativity, eliminate health disparities, deliver personalized care, and improve employee morale.

    Sourcing from a diverse talent pool helps broaden recruitment efforts. Recruiting efforts should include strategies such as:

    • Outreaching to diverse talent pools
    • Crafting job descriptions that encourage diverse applicants and perspectives
    • Creating standardized interview processes to minimize hiring biases

    Tip: Often, traditional hiring methods are restrictive in finding the right person, particularly when traditional methods rely on local sourcing. Try utilizing service providers to source a broader pool of talent and minimize bias throughout the hiring process.

    Managed service providers or external staffing agencies often have a large network of applicants, vendors, and resources from across the nation to help healthcare organizations source temporary or permanent staff – this can be helpful in tapping into diverse candidates that would otherwise be difficult to source.

    3. Technology

    Integrating digital innovations into the workplace can give healthcare brands a competitive edge. Leveraging AI and automation technologies allow brands to save time, streamline recruitment operations, enhance the hiring process, and improve the candidate experience. 

    The candidate experience is an important dynamic in recruitment. Poor candidate experiences stemming from undefined recruitment and hiring processes leads to miscommunication, delayed onboarding, poor credentialing, and overall inefficiency. This can discourage valuable candidates from moving forward in the hiring process and can hurt an organization’s brand reputation. It’s fundamental to create a smooth and consistent hiring experience that positively reflects your brand’s professionalism.

    Overall, having a streamlined recruitment and hiring process powered through automation enables healthcare facilities to acquire qualified permanent and contract labor quickly.

    Vendor Management System (VMS) automates recruitment lifecycle chart

    Use VMS automation to enhance recruitment processes.

    4. In-House Staffing Programs

    Coping with ongoing shortages and increasing crisis rates for travel nurses, many organizations are choosing to turn operations into in-house staffing models. Rather than relying on external agencies to acquire travel clinicians, organizations are building their own travel staffing teams to build a pool of talent that can be deployed to various locations.

    This internal staffing model has several competitive advantages including cost reductions, creating an on hand talent pipeline, as well as recruiting, retaining and recapturing previous staff. Organizations are able to develop their own packages and offer flexibility to core and travel clinicians.

    This recruitment strategy can yield positive, long-term results, however, with technical limitations and an improper strategy, many in-house programs fall short. Consider investing in a vendor management system. Often this powerful, yet easy-to-use technology is leveraged by healthcare service providers and external agencies in their own recruitment strategies for consistency, transparency, and efficiency within recruitment programs.

    A VMS empowers in-house programs to:

    • Automate and streamline recruitment operations
    • Provide market rate tools for visibility on real-time rates for healthcare occupations in the region
    • Track candidate and vendor profiles within a single system
    • Integrate all sources of data within a single platform for program transparency and consistency

    5. Employee Wellbeing

    The pandemic emphasized the need to acknowledge healthcare employee wellbeing. With increased stress, fatigue, burnout, as well as mental and physical repercussions resulting from healthcare shortages and high workload demands, many clinicians left their position or the industry all together.

    52% of nurses surveyed in 2022 are considering or intending to leave their positions, while 60% reported feeling burned out, and 75% of nurses experienced exhaustion and stress.

    Source: American Nurses Foundation 

    Organizations are now shifting priorities to encourage employee wellbeing. With endless employment options available, healthcare practitioners now expect flexibility, greater work-life balance and improved working conditions. It’s important for recruitment strategies to convey an employer’s commitment to employee wellbeing, as well as initiatives and resources to promote employee health and happiness.

     

    6. Remote Recruitment

    An emerging trend gaining traction is remote recruitment. Remote recruitment has the benefit of tapping into a larger talent pool, reducing the time it takes to do in-person hiring tasks, and reducing resources spent on recruiting talent traditionally. It’s important for recruitment teams to evaluate or implement a virtual end-to-end recruitment strategy to accommodate a larger audience. Important touchpoints include virtual interviews, onboarding, and training.

    Virtual interviews allow candidates to remotely partake in the interview process and are advantageous to both candidates and hiring leaders. With healthcare clinicians working busy schedules, often at non-traditional working hours, trying to establish an in-person interview between healthcare hiring managers and candidates is difficult as time conflictions may arise. Recruitment software, such as a VMS, often include virtual interview tools that allow hiring leaders to set important work-related questions and allow respondents to submit virtual videos of their responses. Videos are accessible at any time convenient to the hiring leader’s schedule. This allows for optimized interviewing for both parties.

     

    7. Digital Compliance

    An important touchpoint in the screening and onboarding process is compliance tracking. Compliance tracking and management is no easy feat in healthcare, but to deliver high-quality services to patients and avoid costly penalties, it’s essential to properly credential oncoming employees. Healthcare recruitment trends are turning to digital verification to ensure credentials and avoid the risk of a bad hire. Many automated recruitment technologies will integrate with frequently used compliance software to automatically track needed credentials, expired credentials, and upcoming expiring documents.

    See how StaffBot’s VMS integrates with healthcare compliance entities such as Nursys, the American Heart Association (AHA), and Relias to ensure candidates are qualified at all times with a complementary demo.

     

    7. Contingent Labor

    Though the use of contingent labor is not a new trend, it can be used in new ways. Many health systems relied on temporary labor to meet shortage demands since the onset of the pandemic. Though rates were driven to unexpected heights at the peak of the pandemic, they have gradually lowered (however, compensation continues to be higher than before the pandemic).

    Contingent labor is an indispensable feature that health systems currently leverage and will continue to do so. Systems conducting in-house staffing agencies agree that external, temporary labor through agencies is still an essential component to their workforce strategy.

    Rather than relying solely on contingent labor, organizations are seeking long-term solutions to attract and retain staff. Part of these efforts include boosting employee wellbeing, promoting flexible scheduling arrangements, and encouraging PTO. Recruiting a contingent workforce can help boost these efforts by:

    • Reducing workloads to enable greater work-life balance
    • Taking over remaining shifts to accommodate core staff work arrangements or time off opportunities
    • Avert oncoming shortages

    Furthermore, some organizations are building strategic float pools consisting of contract and permanent placements to help address unexpected shortage needs throughout various departments.

    Learn how MSP’s can help boost your contingent workforce and recruitment strategies.

    8. Emerging Workforce

    A strategic recruiting approach many organizations are investing in is reaching out to the emerging workforce. Partnerships with nursing programs and universities are allowing organizations to market their job opportunities to the oncoming talent pipeline. Establishing a relationship and offering benefits, tuition reimbursements, and training opportunities allow organizations to secure future talent.

    Looking to Boost Your Recruitment Strategy?

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    Workplace Diversity Improves Healthcare: How to Foster Greater DEI

    Workplace Diversity Improves Healthcare: How to Foster Greater DEI

    A major Human Resources (HR) initiative is overseeing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) – a component that lends itself critically important within healthcare. Diversity refers to the varying demographics of people within a workforce that can include differences in race, ethnicity, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical abilities and disabilities, political beliefs, religion, language, socioeconomic background, education and culture. Equity entails fair treatment, opportunity, and advancement for individuals of any background. Inclusion determines whether an organization cultivates a culture of respect for individuals from varying backgrounds that allow members to participate and contribute without fear of discrimination or bias.

    Current Workforce Diversity Trends

    Though patient communities display a wide range of diversity, healthcare systems fall short in reflecting a similar diverse workforce of the communities they serve.

    Healthcare Diversity Trend Charts

    Promoting diversity within healthcare is imperative, with increased diversity having several ethical and strategic advantages that benefit minority employees, minority patient groups, and healthcare organizations themselves. Greater diversity, equity and inclusion helps deliver effective healthcare outcomes by promoting:

     

    1. Greater understanding among associates and patients
    2. Increased employee morale and retention
    3. Sparks creativity
    4. Improves team problem-solving
    5. Helps eliminate health disparities
    6. Increases patient outcomes and satisfaction
    7. Improves brand reputation
    8. Enables greater career advancement

    Diversity in Healthcare Systems

    What is cultural competence?

    Cultural competence entails the set of knowledge, skills, and behaviors that equip healthcare practitioners in effectively understanding and interacting with patients from varying sociocultural backgrounds. This ensures culturally sensitive and respectful interactions towards patients, while also providing optimal care and effective communication.

    Maintaining a cultural competent workforce yields a wide range of benefits to healthcare organizations from increased employee wellbeing and productivity, to improved patient outcomes and brand reputation.

    1. Greater Understanding

    Healthcare workforce diversity has direct impacts among coworkers and patients. Exposure to workforce diversity can help create an environment of understanding, compassion and empathy towards those from different backgrounds. Being within a diverse environment itself changes behavior and mindsets. Studies demonstrate that those in the presence of diverse individuals showed greater empathy, as well as a greater capacity for being openminded

    A greater understanding toward work associates and patients from various social backgrounds builds an environment of inclusiveness and belonging, both of which have positive effects on team morale, workplace productivity, employee retention, and patient outcomes (discussed further below). 

    Exposure to varying backgrounds can also help reduce biases while strengthening relationships between coworkers and patients. Biases refer to internalized prejudices towards someone or something. Biases can be overt or subconscious and can often result in unfair treatment. By acknowledging biases and learning from different cultures, greater team cohesion and patient interactions can be achieved. 

    2. Higher Employee Morale

    Creating a diverse workplace fosters a sense of belonging and inclusiveness for healthcare employees, which in turn creates a stronger workplace culture and community for organizations. Nurturing a safe environment for all employees of diverse backgrounds improves team morale, increases productivity, and improves employee retention. 

    3. Enhanced Creativity

    Diversity enables enhanced creativity in addressing complex problems. A culture-friendly environment that embraces diversity allows minority employees to feel included, accepted and empowered to share ideas while reducing the feeling of being rejected. People with varying perspectives, experiences, and knowledge can contribute their unique input in crafting creative solutions. Adversely, lacking a diverse workforce can cause minority employees to conform. The fear of rejection inhibits employees to contribute their unique talents, creative approaches, and valuable input.

    When people are surrounded by those similar to themselves, they tend to assume that everyone holds the same perspectives. This prevents people from challenging viewpoints, limits the range of information exchanged, and creative solutions that would otherwise be reached based on a diverse set of input. 

    4. Problem Solving

    In conjunction to enhanced creativity, diverse perspectives, opinions, and unique information fuel better problem solving and decision-making processes. An array of varying inputs enables teams to identify and reduce blind spots and come to creative solutions to complex problems. Studies frequently demonstrate that teams composed of diverse individuals are greater problem solvers and outperformed their homogenous counterpart teams.

    5. Eliminate health disparities

    Health disparities among minority groups is a persisting issue. Healthcare providers exhibiting explicit or unconscious biases towards patients of various backgrounds affect the quality of care groups receive, furthering unequal treatment. Some evidence suggests that health providers from various racial groups tend to hold biases unconsciously that display positive attitudes towards white patients and negative attitudes towards people of color. This often results in a distrust of minority groups toward their healthcare practitioners, negative interactions with health providers, and overall reluctance in seeking medical attention.

    A key approach in minimizing health disparities is developing a diverse healthcare workforce that reflects the community it serves. Having employees that represent varying groups enables positive patient relationships, establishes trust, and increases positive patient outcomes among minority groups. Additionally, a diverse environment allows practitioners of all backgrounds to better understand and relate to culturally diverse patients and employ culturally competent interactions.

    Pregnancy deaths for Women healthcare disparities chart

    6. Increase patient satisfaction and outcomes

    With a diverse patient population, fostering a culturally-safe environment is imperative for successful health outcomes. Lacking diverse employees can run the risk of patients feeling misunderstood, create distrust, as well as compound language and cultural barriers.

    Having diverse practitioners can help patients feel represented and understood. This allows patients to feel safe, less anxious, and more confident about the care they receive. Feeling safe and understood also empowers patients to seek medical attention, speak up, ask questions, discuss treatment plans, and comply with medical advice, allowing for successful patient outcomes and satisfaction.

    Diversity among healthcare professionals also allows for communication and cultural barriers to be appropriately addressed for the correct treatment. Language and communication barriers can lead to adverse effects such as a misdiagnosis, poor care, unequal treatment, and noncompliance – all leading to negative patient outcomes. It is essential to have employees that can effectively and accurately communicate all related health information, services, treatment and outcomes.

    Lastly, diverse input from a workforce with varying backgrounds, experiences, and knowledge helps creatively problem-solve patient issues. Having limited perspectives can cause teams to overlook critical information regarding patient diagnosis or medical history which negatively affects patient care.

    7. Improved Reputation

    Fostering a culturally-friendly environment that welcomes varying backgrounds and embraces differences positively improves reputation for healthcare organizations. While strategically it’s wise to include diverse groups in terms of the endless benefits diverse individuals contribute to organizations, it’s also ethically imperative to do so. Having a diverse environment attracts like-minded candidates to join your organization, as well as draws patients from various backgrounds as well. This allows organizations to connect with its community internally and externally in a powerful and meaningful way.

    8. Employee Advancement

    Greater representation within high-level positions is critical in avoiding tokenism and gives institutions the opportunity to practice inclusion. Simply having a workforce consisting of different people is not enough. In order to truly cultivate and embrace diversity, healthcare organizations need to empower programs and opportunities for career advancement among minority groups. Research consistently demonstrates that businesses and corporations with greater diversity in high-level positions outperformed competitors that lacked any diversity in similar positions.

    Furthermore, greater representation in high-level positions allow minority healthcare practitioners to identify with a role model and mentor. Mentorship is an essential component within healthcare as professionals often seek guidance from mentors to help further their careers. Lacking diverse representation can impede employee career trajectories.

     

    Improving Workplace Diversity

    Often, HR is tasked with managing diverse teams, promoting a diverse workplace culture, and sourcing diverse skillsets. Increasing diversity is a major initiative and there are several ways to promote and maintain a diverse workforce within healthcare organizations including optimizing recruitment processes, creating a safe and welcoming environment, furthering opportunities for employees, and measuring results to further refine DEI opportunities.

     

    Optimize Recruitment Processes

    Auditing talent acquisition strategies is an essential step in understanding how candidates are sourced and how diverse the talent pool is. First, evaluate how job descriptions are written – this may seem trivial, but its content can affect who applies. Create job descriptions that don’t deter a group of people from applying and encourages diverse applicants and perspectives. This helps position your organization as diversity-inclusive and welcoming.

    Developing an effective recruitment and hiring strategy that outreaches to a diverse talent pool can boost DEI inclusivity. Utilizing managed service providers or external recruitment agencies can significantly bolster efforts in reaching greater candidates from different backgrounds. Often, external agencies have a large pool of applicants, networks, and resources to source diverse candidates. Additionally, having a third party source candidates on your behalf can help eliminate implicit bias present in current recruitment processes. 

    Another measure healthcare organizations can consider is standardizing the interview process. Standardizing the interview process so that it is consistent and equal for all candidates helps minimize hiring bias and gives all candidates equal opportunity. For institutions conducting in-house recruitment create a set of standardized questions and processes that all candidates must equally follow.

    For organizations using vendor management technology, consider utilizing virtual interview tools that allow a set of standardized questions to be prompted to all candidates. Furthermore, virtual interview tools, such as StaffBot’s, allow several hiring members to have access to virtual interview videos at any point in time. With inputs from several different people, hiring bias can be reduced than when a single person is conducting an interview. 

    Welcoming Environment  

    Creating a safe environment that promotes diversity is fundamental in nurturing workplace happiness and long-term retention. Encouraging an environment that promotes inclusivity, support, and valuing all employees helps build a healthy workplace where people can feel they belong. Furthermore, a workplace that takes immediate action in instances of bias and discrimination further helps promote a safe working space for all individuals.

    Opportunities

    Providing opportunities, resources, and programs for advancement and leadership that is equally accessible, empowers individuals from various backgrounds to join and stay with organizations. It’s critical to go beyond having diverse employees, but to actively include members in greater opportunities that contribute to employee and company wellbeing.

    Training Programs 

    Investing in training resources has several benefits in educating employees and enabling greater understanding. Trainings on cultural skills, cultural differences, bias awareness and effective communication equips teams with essential education and cultural skills in working with members from various backgrounds. 

    Measuring Results

    Creating constructive, fundamental changes in promoting greater DEI for your healthcare workforce is ethically important and positively impacts employees, patients, and your brand. Implementing changes to promote DEI necessitates consistent monitoring and measuring in order to understand whether efforts are working, or if changes need to be made.

    Vendor management technology, whether through the use of an MSP or directly utilized by your organization, provides insightful data regarding DEI initiatives (and many more reporting capabilities). With all sources of data integrated within a single source of record, along with its AI capabilities, a vendor management system collates all data from your organization to create real-time custom, standard, and ad-hoc reporting. Such analytics provide powerful insights to institutions with varying business goals. Use powerful insights to monitor progress or pinpoint areas of inefficiencies to create better processes and results.

     

    Let StaffBot help with your HR initiatives

    With extensive knowledge on talent acquisition, StaffBot’s multi-faceted recruitment services help source a diverse candidate pool for your healthcare workforce. From MSP services to providing vendor management technology, StaffBot’s total talent solutions works alongside your organization to customize a tailored approach in addressing your organization’s pressing recruitment needs. With StaffBot, we aim for a true partnership. Connect with an expert below to find out how we can boost your healthcare recruitment strategy.

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    On Becker’s Healthcare Podcast: Building Self-Reliance in Hospitals Using Automation

    On Becker’s Healthcare Podcast: Building Self-Reliance in Hospitals Using Automation

    Becker’s Hospital Review hosted StaffBot’s President, Steve Swan, on their Becker’s Healthcare Podcast to discuss empowering healthcare systems and restoring trust through the use of vendor management systems. Steve highlights how organizations no longer need to rely on outdated, misinformation given by external agencies – and can now have greater control and data to make transparent purchasing and hiring decisions.

    With several unique features from market rate analysis to automated compliance, this episode demonstrates the shifting landscape in healthcare recruitment to better empower organizations through technology.

     

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