What the next era of healthcare recruiting looks like

Jul 24, 2020 - Cat DiStasio

The state of healthcare recruiting is always evolving. Last year, many healthcare recruiting trends stemmed from the changing attitudes and preferences of candidates. Now, amid a global pandemic, healthcare recruiters are making big shifts to respond to new hiring needs. They’re increasingly turning to virtual recruiting, hosting virtual career fairs and conducting remote video interviews, as the first steps to staff essential frontline positions to help us fight the coronavirus.

While many traditional recruiting tactics have been put on the back burner due to the current circumstances, recruiters across the country are wondering what the future will hold. When, if ever, will healthcare recruiting get ‘back to normal’? Clearly, there are many reasons that recruiting may never again look like what we’d all become accustomed to, and there will be some lasting changes stemming from the pandemic. The next era of healthcare recruiting will require recruiters to remain nimble, creative, and in touch with what candidates want and need, all while keeping safety top of mind.

Virtual career fairs and video interviews

Over the past several months, the number of healthcare recruiters using virtual career fairs and video interviews has skyrocketed, and with good reason. Pivoting to virtual recruiting events was the easiest and most logical way to continue recruiting while maintaining safe social distancing. These virtual recruiting methods come with a host of other benefits as well. Virtual career fairs can help organizations reduce recruiting costs (including cost per hire), they are more convenient for candidates and recruiters, and they make it easier to connect with talent outside your immediate geographic location.

Skeptics wonder if technology gets in the way of human relationships, but using video interviews to connect with candidates is actually a good way to start a relationship. Video offers the next best thing to meeting in person, because candidates can meet recruiters and hiring managers face-to-face from a distance. These conversations foster the same real human connection that candidates need to gain trust in a potential employer.

Virtual recruiting makes a lot of sense right now, because it’s basically the only option if you need to keep recruiting. What will happen once the dangers of the pandemic have passed? It’s not likely that recruiters will give up the benefits and convenience of virtual recruiting tools to return to expensive in-person career fairs and time-consuming phone screenings. Virtual career fairs and video interviews may well emerge as the new standard in the post-COVID era.

In-person interviews/worksite tours

Typically, in-person interviews and worksite tours are a crucial part of the healthcare recruiting cycle. Healthcare candidates need to understand what their day-to-day shifts will look like before they accept an offer, and that’s not just a priority for clinicians. Fortunately, hospitals and medical centers can safely continue these visits because they already have procedures in place to reduce risks of exposure to all manner of contagions. Amid this pandemic, healthcare recruiters may be reserving these in-person visits for the most serious of candidates, when in the past, they may have invited candidates at earlier stages of recruiting. Reducing the number of candidates invited for in-person visits helps reduce risks, while saving time and allowing recruiters to focus on the most promising candidates. In the next era of healthcare recruiting, these visits will continue to be an essential component of the recruiting cycle, and recruiters may limit these visits further in an attempt to keep risks low and use their time more judiciously.

Using technology to follow up with candidates

With the shift to virtual recruiting tools, healthcare recruiters are recognizing the importance of following up with candidates — after online chats, virtual career fairs, and video interviews. The best virtual recruiting event platforms have built-in follow-up tools that help recruiters gather feedback and stay in touch with candidates. This continued communication improves the candidate experience, increases engagement, and strengthens the employer brand. Recruiting during the pandemic using virtual tools has put a spotlight on the need to continue communicating after recruiting events, even when candidates aren’t selected to move forward. Whether you’re continuing the conversation via email or text messaging (according to each candidate’s preference), following up will become a standard best practice in the next era of healthcare recruiting.

The evolution of healthcare recruiting

The trends made essential by the pandemic and the need for social distancing will continue to shape healthcare recruiting for years to come. As technology improves and candidate attitudes shift, healthcare recruiters will continue adopting new strategies and honing old ones to respond to candidates’ needs and the changing landscape of recruiting. Getting comfortable with virtual recruiting options will help healthcare recruiters compete for top talent, and keep the frontlines fully staffed throughout our current global health crisis, as well as prepare their organizations to face future challenges.

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