2021: Trends in Healthcare Recruitment Post-COVID

In the past year, a lot has changed for talent acquisition and recruitment specialists. This may be true in any given year, but especially considering Covid-19: a year of increased remote work, a roller coaster of extreme high or low demand in different sectors, burned-out employees, anxious employers, and unpredictable markets. 

Have you taken stock of the ways healthcare recruitment has changed? Are you shifting with the times?

Employers and employees, job seekers and recruiters alike — especially in the healthcare industry — have shifted focus, become more flexible and adaptable, and learned new skills quickly. For those working, hours have been longer, and pressure has been higher, while those out of work may be considering their next professional step

Let’s look at some of the big picture trends in healthcare recruitment for 2021, in light of 2020, with some optimism. 

What trends should you keep in mind as you start your hiring process?  

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE BENES! 

  • Covid has done a number on healthcare workers, and they may not have been getting the support they need. Workload may have increased while they have fewer resources. Chances are anyone you interview will be a little wary of what situation they are entering when starting a new job. 
  • What do you have to offer that will make a potential candidate feel recognized for their worth? Will a new hire stick around, or get burned out after a year or two, starting your hiring process all over again? 
  • How will you accommodate for employees’ needs for mental and physical well-being, while meeting hiring demands and accounting for strict budgets? 
  • Active job seekers may have been dissatisfied with a previous role because of these factors and are looking to improve their quality of life. Passive job seekers will be even less likely to change roles if an employer is not aware of the importance of these issues.  
  • Change can be good! Be upfront about your benefits, and make sure your benefits are focused on employee well-being. Sounds simple, right? But too often these things are overlooked or not prioritized, especially if the same system has been in place for a long time and seems to be working fine. Now is a great time to examine what you have to offer and make changes that will lock in qualified candidates for the long term.  
  • Typical benefits include paid time off, mental health resources, comprehensive insurance, retirement plans, community-building, realistic work schedules, child care benefits, and remote work options. Simply offering those without details is not enough for most candidates. Is what you are offering useful to your employees in a sustainable way? What could you be offering that speaks to your employee’s needs directly? 
  • Quality benefits will increase candidate loyalty and their ability to stay at the job without burning out, but a good salary is the ultimate dealbreaker for candidates.  

DIVERSITY IN HEALTHCARE 

  • Speaking of possible changes that could be made, have you looked at your hiring practices and addressed ways to increase recruitment of minority or disadvantaged candidates 
  • This year has brought the conversation to the forefront. Listen to your employees or the candidates you are interviewing. Examine your own instincts. Change in this area can be hard and should be nuanced, but that doesn’t make it any less of a priority.  

MORE CANDIDATES CHANGING OR DIVERSIFYING PRACTICE FOCUS 

  • A year ago, most elective surgeries were on hold, but demand for frontline physicians and psychiatrists increased dramatically. Many healthcare workers had to shift gears quickly or were simply out of work. Even with high demand, many open positions, and lots of people laid off, many were not qualified to jump into a new role that fast. Education and certifications were required.  
  • Now that we are a little further away from the urgency of spring 2020, there is still a demand for these positions to be filled, and more and more healthcare candidates who are either looking to change fields or have experience that isn’t being utilized.  

CANDIDATES MORE OPEN TO RELOCATING 

  • While there is of course a need for healthcare workers to be available in-person and local, more candidates are willing to relocate than they were previously. Many are responding to burnout by looking for opportunities in more rural areas or moving closer to family. Recruiters may have shied away from non-local candidates in the past to narrow the pool, but should consider the fact that with increased remote work, increased demand for positions to be filled, and many candidates looking for a fresh start, you may be surprised who you find when you cast a broader net. 
  • If you can conduct interviews remotely, do so! This will allow you to consider candidates who might not be close by but are willing to move. Keep it personal with a video chat, and then if an in-person interview is needed make the necessary arrangements 

TELEHEALTH, REMOTE WORK AND VIRTUAL EVENTS 

  • We’ll get deeper into this in a future article but suffice to say that the world of telehealth is exploding. It is not an exaggeration to say that almost any practice has or should have some structure around telehealth and virtual doctor’s visits at this point, which means there is also a higher demand for candidates willing to do this work, as well as more healthcare workers looking for these opportunities as a part of the job description.  
  • Virtual events and interviewing are the new norm. Connecting with candidates virtually allows you to connect with more candidates without the time and money of traveling for either party. While we may miss the more personal feeling of bumping literal elbows with someone at a conference, the virtual hiring process is quicker. Virtual events allow a candidate as well as a recruiter to connect with more people in the field, increasing the chances that a connection with real potential is made, leading to more quality hires.  
  • Discover the many virtual event and networking service options available with the YM Careers Network. 

We can now more clearly envision and work towards the future that the world is settling into. This will involve a lot more flexibility, focus on employee well-being, diversity in hiring, and remote work and networking. 

What can you do to attract and hire the best candidates in the healthcare industry?

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