Healthcare recruiting: how to win at every stage of the funnel

Aug 21, 2019 - Cat DiStasio

Are healthcare job seekers fickle? Or do they just know what they want?

From their employers of choice to ideal schedules to benefits, healthcare candidates often start their job search with a long wish list of criteria their next employer must offer in order to make a match. They also have high expectations for the recruiting process, from the information available before they apply to conversations with recruiters to follow ups after interviews. If your talent acquisition team is struggling to identify qualified candidates or keep them engaged throughout the process, it might be time to dissect your approach and look for opportunities to improve.

Every talent acquisition team needs to create (and execute) a conversational recruiting strategy that is designed to respond to the specific needs, wants, and attitudes of the job seekers in their industry. In the fast-paced world of healthcare, a custom-fitted recruiting strategy is especially key. Throughout the recruiting process, there are a variety of opportunities and options for delivering a candidate experience that meets (and hopefully exceeds) job seekers’ expectations. In this article, we’ll walk through the talent acquisition process and identify the best practices that can help you grab candidates’ attention and remain competitive in this tight talent market.

Sourcing

You won’t find qualified candidates if you’re not looking in the right places, and good sourcing in healthcare recruiting is all about creativity. Use the traditional channels - a careers site, job boards, social media - but don’t stop there. Reach out of your comfort zone and employ other unique methods for connecting with your ideal candidates. Think about where they are already spending their time, both online and in person, and then meet them there.

Industry conferences and local networking events are great places to meet candidates, and spread the word that your organization is hiring. Use unexpected channels and don’t be afraid to experiment. Adventist Health found success advertising jobs on Pandora, the streaming service. Consider other channels to get your message in front of the types of people you want to come and apply for your open reqs.

Before they apply

Communication is important to healthcare job seekers. Like, really important. In a recent survey by Brazen and Talroo, almost 60% of nurses said they would prefer to chat with a recruiter BEFORE applying for a position. This compares to only 48.5% of job seekers across all positions, demonstrating a marked difference in preference among healthcare job seekers. 

The Recruiting Chatbot Revolution ad

While online chat is a fantastic way to offer communication before job seekers apply, it’s not your only option. Installing a recruiting chatbot, either on your careers site or on individual job postings, is another way to greet job seekers and help them find the information they need and get answers to basic questions about your company or the position - all before they submit an application. You can also set up your recruiting chatbot to collect contact information from job seekers around the clock, so a human recruiter can reach out and answer their questions once they are back in the office. 

The application and what comes after

Like most candidates, health job seekers want to know where they stand throughout the consideration process. Across industries, a majority (58%) of job seekers say clear and regular communication is a top priority in considering their satisfaction with their candidate experience. Don’t leave your candidates hanging after you receive their application, after an online chat, after a phone screening, and especially not after an in-person interview. Be proactive about supplying all the critical information they might need to evaluate the job opportunity like pay, schedule, benefits, and professional development. 

But don’t put it all in one email and throw it at them at once. Consider the stage of the process when determining what information is appropriate and relevant to share, while making yourself available to answer whatever questions job seekers have. This may seem like common sense but a healthcare candidate who may be considering five or six different opportunities will have a lot of information coming at them fast. Don’t be the one to overwhelm or confuse them. Instead, make the process easy and organic by demonstrating a genuine desire to build a relationship. (That’s what marketers call authenticity but if you really mean it, all you have to do is be honest.) 

During the interview and consideration stage, many candidates can become anxious waiting for news. This is a good time to step up the personal touch. Creating simple videos to send candidates at this stage can be an easy and cost-effective way to make a connection and keep candidates engaged while they wait for news after an interview which, by the way, they really want. Most job seekers (51%) want feedback concerning rejections.  

When the offer is on the table

Most candidates accept the job offers they are presented. Research shows the offer acceptance rate averages 94% across all industries. But what about the 6% of offers that are rejected? Given the high cost of recruiting, both in actual dollars and human effort, the higher your offer acceptance rate the better. But it can be challenging to improve your rate if you don’t know why candidates reject offers, and the reasons for candidates to decline a job offer are as numerous as the number of candidates saying “no thanks.” The mystery doesn’t have to linger, though. Consider surveying candidates who reject your offers - or better yet, set up a phone call or online chat with a live recruiter - to find out what factors led to their decision to turn elsewhere for work.

On the flip side, what happens when a candidate applies, remains engaged throughout the recruiting process, and then isn’t selected for the position they applied for? Sure, you can send a form letter that you’ve selected another candidate to move forward, but how does that help the candidate or the industry as a whole? Easy answer: it doesn’t. As we mentioned previously, most job seekers want feedback after being rejected, so tell them why they didn’t make the cut. Perhaps it’s a lack of skills or experience that they could improve upon to become a better qualified candidate down the road. Maybe it’s something else entirely. The clearer you can be about the reasons, especially if you feel the candidate is the type of person you’d like to see working at your company in the future, the better you’ll leave the candidate experience. This becomes especially important if you want to invite that candidate to a future virtual career fair or apply for other positions.

Happy healthcare hiring

Adopting these strategies will help you refine your conversational recruiting strategy - or customize a brand new one, if you’re starting over. By putting candidates and their needs first, talent acquisition leaders can create the type of candidate experience healthcare job seekers are looking for. With these best practices in your pocket, you can compete for top talent and set your organization apart from other employers who are trying to get the attention (and a commitment) from the same talented healthcare professionals. 

CTA: Do you want more data-driven insights on recruiting in the healthcare industry? Sign up and be among the first to receive a new report, “2019 State of Healthcare Recruiting”, we’re producing in partnership with Talroo, due out in September. 

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