By Tim Teague on Jul 3, 2019 11:00:00 AM
Nurse and medical professional shortages are a very real problem in today’s healthcare industry. There’s no doubt that many employers and recruiting agencies are confronted with major staffing challenges. However, this reality is not an excuse for making subpar hires.
Instead, today’s competitive landscape increases the need for thoughtful planning. Here are critical points for employers to remember moving forward in the months and years to come:
A Bad Hire Is Worse Than No Hire
Managers may be tempted to quickly onboard a nurse or healthcare worker when time is of the essence. However, urgency must never take precedent over finding the right person. Bad hires can wreak havoc on an organization and cause damage that takes years to remedy.
An employer who finds herself in a position where she must lower her standards probably has bigger problems to address. Thoughtful planning and diligent execution prevents the need for “fire” hires. Successful healthcare organizations have strong pipelines of qualified candidates at any given time.
Candidate Pipelines Take Years to Develop
Candidate pipelines are critical to nurse and medical staffing success, but this begs the question, “How does an employer create such a pipeline?” There’s no silver-bullet solution. However, there are techniques to help.
Companies should start early and recruit aggressively. An organization may serve a small patient population at the moment, but things can change quickly. Employers never want to be put in a position of playing catch-up.
Leaders must remember that it’s totally appropriate to recruit even if there’s no current opening. Doing so serves the interests of both the employer and candidates. Everyone wins if and when an urgent opportunity presents itself!
Finally, organizations should incorporate an “all-of-the-above” strategy in sourcing applicants. They must leverage social media with posts and ads. Companies should also utilize outside staffing firms and implement the latest technology solutions.
Employees Change Positions but Needs Remain
Long-term strategy recognizes the transitional nature of nurse and healthcare employment. If a worker leaves on good terms in order to accept a more lucrative position, his employer shouldn’t hold it against him. There are many instances when a good employee returns years later.
Similarly, hiring managers shouldn’t lose track of candidates who don’t receive a job offer or end up accepting a competing position. The nurse who’s passed over today may be a great fit once she has more experience down the road. Or, the great candidate who accepted another offer last minute may find that he’s not happy at the other company.
Word-of-Mouth Referrals Are Gold
When it comes to healthcare professionals, the best workers are often peer referred. The old saying, “Birds of a feather flock together,” often rings true. Employers should give priority to referred candidates, and should also consider providing referral bonuses.
Leaders should also recognize that a company’s reputation precedes itself in the healthcare community. New employees and recent graduates may be unaware of an organization’s image. However, tenured healthcare professionals know the “word on the street.”
All employers must make urgent hires now and then. However, these situations shouldn’t be considered normal. Long-term recruiting strategy is critical to the success of any healthcare organization and is the only thing that will consistently ensure a quality staff.
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