Recruitment and Staffing Blog

A New Paradigm for Healthcare Hiring Managers

Recent reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that the healthcare industry is the single largest vertical driving job growth and new opportunities for the American workforce. Adding a reported 44,000 jobs in May and another 39,000 in June with projections for employment to grow at a 19% clip from 2014 to 2021 that will ultimately add another 2.3 million new jobs to the economy, healthcare hiring managers are under more pressure than ever to find qualified professionals to fill these new roles.

The secret to flourishing in the new healthcare hiring paradigm requires an in-depth understanding of relationships, a keen sense of culture, and breaking from the norm by relying more heavily on specialty hiring managers to fill open positions.

Starts With A Thorough Understanding of Shifting Trends

Once considered a more simplistic approach that required posting online positions and screening applicants, the new paradigm requires healthcare hiring managers to actively build relationships between departmental managers and recruiting experts. Cultivating these relationships helps both sides develop a better understanding of important industry trends to recognize, more effectively assess the unique needs of an organization, and keep current on changes that affect the hiring process.

These new healthcare recruiters are “specialists,” characterized by their keen ability to clearly understand both the needs of the candidate and those of the department and provider.

Recognizing And Appreciating Generational Divides

Becoming an effective hiring manager in the new healthcare paradigm requires an understanding that modern candidates could span three different generations – Millennials, Generation X, and Baby Boomers. Each of these generations can have radically different perspectives and priorities, but also share common ground that should be considered in the hiring process.

For example, millennials are considered to be very tech savvy utilizing online job boards, third-party web sites, or some other form of technology when job hunting. Specific career goals are a priority so healthcare recruiters must adopt a creative approach that strategically uses social media and other tools and platforms that specifically appeal to this generation.

Sandwiched between Baby Boomers and Millennials, Generation X candidates tend to focus more on the value of their abilities relying on their relationships with head hunters as a value add to their job search. Preferring a mix of face-to-face contact with technology tools, Generation X candidates are often characterized as independent, resourceful, self-managing, and seeking a work-life balance.

Baby Boomers rely more on peer connections to explore new opportunities and many are said to prefer a more traditional recruiting style such as local newspaper ads or temp agencies but occasionally may be open to using technology tools to find open positions.

Taking into consideration generational differences that impact language and approach is a starting point for the hiring process in the overarching strategy to develop specific, tailored approaches to developing meaningful engagement. What’s clear is that developing an understanding and appreciation of generations helps alleviate the urge to “pigeonhole” individuals based on stereotypes.

Best practices include the ability to categorize and consider the collective dynamic of each generation and then to drill deeper with each individual candidate, asking these questions:

  • What is the ideal work culture you would thrive in?
  • What would you consider to be your most important ideas and values?
  • What are your interests?
  • What is your passion?

What Matters Most

Perhaps the single most effective approach to effective healthcare hiring and recruitment is the ability to know which questions to ask that go beyond simple job descriptions and dive deeper into answering the question on whether a potential candidate is a good cultural fit. Questions such as:

  • What is your management style?
  • What are the career advancement opportunities?
  • Can you explain how you demonstrate to employees that they are valued?

Are career advancement and opportunities for growth a top concern for prospective job candidates? If so, recruiters and hiring managers must work together to highlight future growth potential as the centerpiece of their discovery campaign. Instead of focusing on potential for salary growth, healthcare hiring managers and recruiters would be better suited to focus on the “career opportunity” of a position over simply “a job.”

Right Tools, Right Techniques, Right People

The shift change to focus on cultural adaptability has pushed healthcare organizations to concentrate more on personal attributes that enable potential candidates to interact effectively and harmoniously with others (i.e. “soft skills”). The rising use of behavioral assessments that include customized questionnaires which effectively assess how someone may react in certain situations are helping healthcare organizations winnow applicant pools and more quickly identify the most promising matches. Combining this with a push for more continuing education through channels such as webinars and an increased desire to network with other professionals and it becomes easier to grasp the most effective tools and approach to the new hiring paradigm.

A deft combination of technology and “soft-skills” assessment is the strongest support tool to match potential candidates with opportunities where they have the best chance to grow and thrive. The ability to utilize the right tools to identify and engage the most qualified candidates has evolved from “nice to have” to “must have.”

Partnerships Are The Key

Optimizing the hiring process in healthcare requires a symbiotic relationship between hiring managers and recruiters that includes a consistent evaluation process to assess performance and identify areas of success and potential improvement. This means hiring managers and recruiters have to educate themselves on the latest technology trends, tools, and research that helps keep them sharp and cognizant of what works and what doesn’t.

We can’t stress enough the importance of building and sustaining meaningful relationships both internally and with potential candidates. Modeling this philosophy will not only improve recruiting and hiring efforts, but it also builds bridges that can pay dividends down the road when you least expect it.

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