Beat the Clock: How to Recruit and Deploy Healthcare Staff to Meet High-Demand

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The need for healthcare professionals has never been higher than this past year as organizations rushed to meet the needs of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the need increased, so did the laborious process of onboarding, including reference checks and employment and licensure verification. And as those in the healthcare space know, there’s much more that goes into deploying healthcare workers, regardless of the climate.

Now with vaccine rollout upon us, the healthcare industry has a unique set of new challenges that they face. There is a large talent gap that is expanding by the day, making it difficult to recruit the talent they need to handle the influx of COVID-related healthcare demands. According to data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities for nurses are predicted to grow at a faster rate (15%) than all other occupations through 2026. To avoid a further shortage, it projects the need for 11 million additional nurses. Additionally, the healthcare industry overall is expected to add about 2.4 million jobs by 2029, faster than the average for all occupations.

With all Americans expected to be eligible for vaccination starting May 1, the need for talent is only increasing, and getting enough help to meet demand can seem nearly impossible. However, hope is not lost.

Here are the key ways healthcare organizations can recruit and deploy the talent they when time is critical:  

Embrace Recruiting Technology

Technology that has helped HR and overall healthcare teams optimize recruiting, hiring, orientation, and onboarding will help improve efficiency long after COVID-19 is over. Facilities that have previously implemented new tech have had a unique advantage in getting the talent they need in a market with a vast talent gap. However, facilities can now utilize new tech-driven techniques such as offering virtual orientation and completing onboarding steps in tandem with the interview/hiring process to streamline new hires’ experience. Also, they can turn to AI and automation to increase the number of people being considered when sourcing candidates. 65% of high-performing companies are looking to AI to identify behavioral skills like growth mindset and creativity for building diverse, adaptable teams, compared to 16% of peers.

Renew Employer Branding

Healthcare workers have always been unsung heroes, but with COVID-19, the stresses and pressures have never been more intense. We cannot take for granted the fact that we are living in a moment in time where medical professionals are bravely engaging in high-risk exposure work and doing so with a truly remarkable sense of purpose. To attract the talent needed to jump into high-risk positions, organizations cannot utilize the same employer branding pre-COVID. They must reflect the new values of their workforce with consistent and empathetic messaging that speaks to the time we are living in. Through website and social promotion, onboarding processes, and recruiting messaging, healthcare organizations can spread their message consistently. The first step? Addressing the new challenges and the specific steps the organization has taken to aid in supporting their healthcare workers during the new normal.

Streamline Pre-Credentialing

When a mass of COVID-19 patients strained the healthcare system in 2020, hospitals were crushed with trying to meet the needs of these cases. Now, we’re about to experience a similar kind of strain as the vaccine is rolled out. With the President’s early commitment to administer 100 million shots in 100 days, the pressure is on for healthcare organizations to recruit both traveling nurses and rapid response clinicians on the fly. The biggest barrier of entry? Credentialing. Confirming the credentials of a healthcare worker is a lengthy 9-step process and one that organizations hiring traveling nurses do not have the time to waste.

Forward-thinking organizations are utilizing credentialing software that completes almost all credentialing in advance, making it easy for travel nurses to upload their documents and move through the review process with ease. Also, organizations can give nurses easier and more rapid access to the hospitals that need them by implementing a virtual wallet, giving travelers access to credentials for future hospital placements, and cutting down on the time needed to transfer those in between each position. Promoting this during the hiring and recruiting process can be an attractive selling point, as it shows your organization’s ability to adapt to new technologies and expedite previously stressful processes.

No matter the need, we are ready to find your healthcare talent to successfully steer your organization through uncharted waters. Reach out to us today.

About the Author

Lauren Badonski
SVP, Healthcare Executive Search

Lauren is an experienced professional with nearly 16 years of experience in the staffing and recruiting industry, specifically in the healthcare arena.

Prior to joining Addison Group in 2014, Lauren spent five years as a contract nurse recruiter before transitioning to a boutique home healthcare company where she served as the Director of Recruitment. Lauren began her tenure at Addison Group as a Search Associate to launch the Healthcare Direct Hire practice. She quickly made an impact in the healthcare division, becoming a manager in 2015 and Senior Vice President in 2018. Since then, her teams have expanded operations to focus nationally. With practices in Chicago and Houston, they specialize in Revenue Cycle, Clinical Operations, and Coding/HIM.

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