All organisations are vulnerable to challenges with recruitment when labor market conditions change, but rarely are stakes so high as they are in the healthcare sector. The health and wellbeing of their customers directly depends on the healthcare organisations being able to recruit and retain the right talent – healthcare professionals with the right experience, skills and qualifications. On top of this, the recruited personnel must meet all the usual criteria present in any recruitment scenario, such as being the right fit for the culture and the values of the organisation. The American public are becoming increasingly aware of the gaps in service when it comes to our healthcare sector. So what are the reasons the hiring process isn’t going as smoothly as it should?

Shortage of healthcare professionals

Fewer available physicians, nurses and other types of healthcare professionals is the main reason for the recruitment difficulties the healthcare sector is facing. This critical issue can be ameliorated by using medical recruiters who benefit from extensive databases of active job seekers in the healthcare profession. They can also add value to the recruitment process by undertaking some of the more labor-intensive steps, thus saving resources for the already overstretched healthcare organisation.

Why has the number of candidates reduced in the healthcare job market? One of the reasons is reduced immigration. For example, the U.S. State Department enforcing a freeze on green cards for foreign nurses is predicted to further worsen the already dire situation with regard to recruitment of nurses. The pandemic has negatively affected the nursing profession, with as many as 100,000 nurses leaving the sector during Covid19. The shortage is exacerbated by the falling number of students enrolled in U.S. nursing degrees, as well as master’s degrees and doctoral programs. All this means that the sector’s reliance on nurses from other countries needs to increase but the changes hamper this in the U.S. immigration policy.

Routes to better recruitment

There are actions that healthcare organisations can undertake in order to mitigate the talent shortage and its impact on recruitment. The first, of course, is to ensure that salaries in the sector are competitive and come with a robust package of benefits. As healthcare roles are physically and often emotionally demanding, it is important to ensure a certain flexibility of schedules, to enable healthcare professionals to also care for themselves and their families. Embracing technology is an important step, and acceleration of the time it takes to qualify in the profession, especially for nursing, is something that the sector could consider as a long-term strategy. In the meantime, one of the most available routes to faster, more efficient recruitment is through employing the services of professional medical recruiters, who have ready-made pools of candidates to draw from, and extensive experience in filling professional healthcare roles. They can undertake the front end of the recruitment process, handling the initial selection of candidates and interviewing them in order to assess broad suitability for the role. A good medical recruitment specialist will work in partnership with a healthcare organisation to minimize periods of understaffing which can negatively affect both revenue and patient health outcomes.

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Recruitment of professionals is becoming more challenging for the healthcare industry. Read on for reasons why this process is presenting a problem for healthcare organizations.