While some employers are putting a temporary pause on their hiring initiatives as they re-examine their 2020 talent needs in the face of a global pandemic, healthcare recruiters worldwide are confronting a drastically different reality. These talent acquisition teams are now tasked with one of the most essential asks of our time—hiring frontline hospital workers during a pandemic that is affecting the largest health systems in major cities on nearly every continent.
Given the extraordinary demands, along with talent shortages that persisted well before the pandemic, healthcare recruiters need more support than ever as they adapt their strategies in this unprecedented environment. While you grapple with how to respond quickly to hiring needs and where best to focus your team’s efforts, keep in mind that many of the best practices you used before the coronavirus outbreak will help you succeed moving forward.
More specifically, there are three things you can do now that will help ensure you have a strong talent acquisition foundation in place for the coming weeks and months.
#1: Conduct an in-depth assessment of your health system’s internal talent availability and mobility.
First and foremost, analyze the skills and experience—both past and present—of each facility’s existing clinical workforce. Once you complete this assessment, work with department and floor managers to transfer staff members to areas that are in urgent need of clinical support (ED, ICU, etc.). This approach helps you alleviate vacancies in the most critical areas and, from there, you can then determine which skill sets and positions to focus on for recruiting via external channels.
#2: Update your recruitment marketing messaging.
Our new reality means current and prospective candidates are, like everyone else, on edge. As such, the recruitment marketing messages you used prior to the pandemic may be ineffective in connecting with job seekers in today’s world.
Consider the home page of your career website, which probably features employee stories about collaboration and positive patient-care experiences—stories that are undoubtedly meaningful but were developed within a much different hiring context. Visitors landing on that page now may find the experience of being presented with content that appears out of context unsettling. At minimum, you should update your careers home page to include a highly visible message acknowledging the crisis and the heroic role that clinicians and other healthcare workers are playing, plus the need for more to join the monumental effort that is underway.
You should also assess other key areas where prospective candidates are likely to go for information as they decide whether to apply. For example, if you have an applicant FAQs page, update it as soon as possible, as well as your playbooks if you’re using a chatbot to answer common questions. Share details regarding how your hiring process has changed to better manage rapidly fluctuating demands, plus what’s being done to protect the health and safety of all staff members. If you can, assign a talent acquisition team member to own this as you will undoubtedly need to edit existing questions and answers while adding new ones as your team learns more about the information that is most important, and influential, to applicants at this time.
#3: Implement a system-wide virtual recruiting strategy immediately.
Take time now to figure out how your facilities can all follow similar procedures and practices for virtual recruiting, from one-on-one interviews to webinars that can help you communicate safely with groups representing in-demand talent.
Even if you don’t already have an end-to-end virtual recruiting platform in place, there are many options available so that you can get up and running fast. You can begin by understanding the capabilities of your organization’s current webinar/web conferencing platform as the vehicle for hosting recruiting events and conducting interviews.
Next, evaluate your options to support the management of your virtual recruiting events, which should include tools to easily develop and send your event promotion communications. You should also identify a mechanism that lets you to pre-screen attendees so that you’re able to gather supplemental candidate information prior to a virtual recruiting event as this will make it easier to prioritize candidates for post-event follow up.
The coming weeks and months will pose evolving challenges and considerations for healthcare recruiters, and your teams will need to respond swiftly and efficiently. Putting these three strategies in place now will make it easier for talent acquisition teams to meet ongoing hiring demands and secure the essential workers we are all depending on.
To support talent acquisition teams during this challenging time, GR8 People is offering our Virtual Recruiting Event Solution free for the first 60 days with no obligation—learn more.
Download GR8 People’s full brief—Healthcare Recruiting: Strategies for Hiring During a Global Crisis—for additional insights and strategy recommendations.