12 healthcare recruiting best practices (plus importance)

Updated 10 July 2023

Healthcare recruiting is a vital process that requires continuous monitoring and innovation. By frequently updating your recruitment practices and strategies, you're able to attract the top talent and gain a competitive edge over other health care companies. Learning healthcare recruiting best practices is a good way for both beginner and experienced recruitment professionals to ensure they remain on target when devising new strategies. In this article, we discuss the importance of a good health care recruitment strategy and provide tips for best practices.

Why is a health care recruitment strategy important?

A good health care recruitment strategy is essential when it comes to gaining an advantage over competitors in the industry. It ensures that you align the company's business strategy with an evidence-based approach that demonstrates the company's commitment and culture. HR departments often fail to separate resources between current and prospective employees without an allocated recruitment plan and budget in place. A good recruitment strategy also ensures that a company prioritises positions based on criticality, thereby filling the most important roles first. This allows for smoother business operations which can have a positive impact on the workplace as a whole.

Related: 10 recruiter interview questions (with answers and examples)

Healthcare recruiting best practices

There are many healthcare recruiting best practices you can follow to boost the company's hiring processes. It's important to keep these practices in mind, even when new recruitment innovations or competitors, so that you always cover the basics. Some recruitment practices to follow include:

Offer compensation and benefits

Evaluate company benefits and compensation packages to ensure you're offering candidates good incentives. Make updates to outdated company policies and be sure to draw attention to new benefits that are likely to resonate with your audience. The company's compensation and benefits may be the deciding factor for candidates choosing between the company you work for and a competitor. Some common benefits to highlight include flexible work environments, telecommuting policies, career growth and training opportunities, debt relief, financial bonuses and mentoring sessions. Be sure to capitalise on various types of benefits so you can capture a wider talent pool.

Appeal to other brands

Look at other medical or public health care branches that relate to your field when seeking out qualified candidates. This allows you to widen your talent pool and attract candidates that may not have applied for your job opening of their own volition. Nurses who previously avoided progressing in their career because of the challenges associated with the health care sector may feel more confident applying if your recruitment strategy outlines how your company intends to relieve these challenges and foster a more positive work environment. Consider targeting travel nurses or temporary nurses who may want more permanent work.

Embrace diversity and inclusion

Recruiting health care professionals from diverse backgrounds is essential to increase creativity and widen your talent pipeline. A diverse workforce allows you to draw from varied perspectives and use insider information to target more diverse patient markets. Promoting diversity in the workplace also fosters a more positive work environment that focuses on collaboration between people. This commitment to inclusivity helps boost staff retention and referral hires, thereby making you spend less on recruitment strategies in the future.

Related: Guide: How do recruitment agencies work? (Plus benefits)

Assess soft skills

Alongside specialised knowledge and skills, health care professionals also require a range of soft skills to ensure they approach patients correctly. Some soft skills essential to look for during the recruitment process include:

  • interpersonal skills

  • communication skills

  • teamwork skills

  • time management skills

  • adaptive skills

  • patience

Focusing on these skills throughout the recruitment process guarantees that you hire candidates who take a people-centred approach to their work and place a high value on helping patients. Be sure to prepare interview questions that allow candidates to demonstrate these traits. You can use scenario-based questions or evidence-based questions, or even use psychometric assessment tools before the interview stage.

Create a behavioural health assessment routine

A behavioural health assessment allows you to determine the future performance of candidates by using past behaviours or experiences as an indicator. The assessment involves a series of questions and interviews that help you identify how candidates responded to certain situations in the past. It provides information on a candidate's behavioural competencies, traits and temperament while working in a health care setting. Drawing conclusions based on real-life experiences is a good way to determine whether a candidate's actions or thought process align with the company culture or vision.

Refine your hiring process

It's important that you update your outreach methods frequently so that you're able to reach more candidates. Individuals are also less likely to apply for a position if they feel that the practice itself is outdated. Leverage a hiring process that allows you to capitalise on modern outreach methods, such as social media and in-built website applications. Be sure to improve on other areas of the recruitment process too. This includes updating the questions you ask in the interview, what compensation and benefits you offer, and how you represent your brand culture throughout the various recruitment stages.

Be aware of skills gaps

A skills gap occurs when the company's employees don't have the skills necessary to perform their jobs properly. This gap occurs when companies focus exclusively on hard skills vital to the health care position without taking into consideration more primary skills. Be sure to remain flexible in your job description to attract candidates who hold important skills in varying degrees while also outlining the type of person you want for the role.

Outlining the persona necessary for the position is a good way to draw attention to the soft skills necessary to be successful. If you feel that the workplace is already suffering from a skills gap, you could promote opportunities for further on-the-job training. You could also focus more exclusively on recent university graduates or experienced professionals who have demonstrable proof that they can meet the job requirements.

Related: How many jobs are available in healthcare? (With careers)

Improve employer branding

Job seekers usually research prospective employers before applying to or accepting offers. This makes it essential to promote a positive brand image across various platforms to capture more prospects. Illustrate the company culture by including employee and patient stories on the company website and social media accounts. Be sure to detail the various benefits of working for the company to demonstrate what the company can do for its employees. There are several ways to increase company recognition beyond social media. You could attend local health fairs, host talks or conferences at local medical institutions, or host regular networking events.

​​​Related:​​ ​13 jobs in health services administration (With salaries)

Create a multi-platform campaign

Creating a multi-platform campaign ensures you reach a wider range of qualified candidates than if you were to stick to posting on job boards or social media. This approach increases the visibility of your job offerings and makes it more likely that the right candidate sees it. Some platforms to consider posting your recruitment opportunities on including social media, the company careers page, job boards, the company newsletter, emails and the company website.

​​​Related:​​ ​16 Hospital Management Careers (Plus Duties)

Stay in contact with talent

As a recruitment professional, you may come across candidates who aren't suitable for the current job opening but suitable for an upcoming opportunity. These potential additions have already expressed interest in the company and are therefore more likely to accept a future job offering. Send out emails advertising newly opened positions to previous candidates you consider suitable for the role. Organise these prospective employees into a talent pool and communicate with them regularly to update them on company features and positions. This ensures that candidates maintain their positive view of the company.

Related: Need to fill a position? (Internal recruitment pros and cons)

Create candidate pipelines

Take a proactive approach to health care recruitment by implementing strategic talent pipelines that focus on national and regional talent pools. Partner up with local universities, public health departments, schools and colleges to create a more comprehensive pipeline that serves you in the future. Be sure to demonstrate your commitment to diversity and inclusivity when corresponding with local institutions to increase the amount of talent and perspectives that enter the pipeline.

Invest in a recruiting software

Today, health care recruitment agencies are becoming increasingly reliant on software that helps them increase their talent landscape and find prospective candidates from a variety of sources. Recruiting software allows you to keep track of various recruitment metrics, including time-to-hire and high cost per hire. You can also use this information to improve recruitment processes in the future by identifying ways to cut down on spending. Some recruitment software providers allow employees to have a more active role in the recruitment process, allowing them to answer candidate questions related to the company or a specific role.

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