“I’m giving my 2-week notice.” Those words are hard to hear in any business, but they are especially daunting in medical offices. The pool of qualified and experienced healthcare professionals is shallow, so finding replacements takes both ingenuity and persistence.
The Medical Recruiting Struggle is Real
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there could be 2.3 million new jobs in healthcare by the year 2024, a 19% growth. The bad news is that the U.S. is already experiencing a shortage in skilled medical workers ranging from technicians to physicians to home health aides. When turnover occurs, it can take precious weeks or months to fill the vacancies and this can take a serious toll on your patient care and overall patient satisfaction.
Similarities in Marketing and Recruitment
When it comes to medical staffing, it makes sense to treat your recruitment process just like you approach marketing your medical services to potential patients. It’s essential to make your practice attractive to job applicants because the competition is fierce. The small pool of medical job seekers will have a large ocean of medical facilities/practices from which to choose, so the more you differentiate your benefits from the rest (aside from salary), the easier recruitment will be.
5 Tips to Recruit Healthcare Workers
You will notice that the tips below have major similarities to good marketing strategies. Your practice may already be doing these types of activities to promote your services; extending these into recruitment may take less effort than you think.
- Check your reputation.
Potential patients visit online sources such as review sites to find out what other people think of your practice. They also take word-of-mouth feedback very seriously when deciding whether or not to choose your practice for a procedure.
The same can be said of job seekers. According to some studies, 69% of job candidates will not accept a job from a company with a bad reputation, even if they don’t have a job. However, 84% might actually leave a job to work for one with a better reputation.
If you already have reputation management strategies in place, you will be ahead of the game. You will already know how the general public views your practice and you will have already made strides to improve your patient experience. By encouraging your staff to share their opinions about your practice online, you will be building a stronger reputation within the medical community. They can describe how your practice helps improve the lives of your patients by sharing feel-good stories. The more engaged your practice is with the community and with each other, the more attractive your practice will be to job seekers.
- Build an awesome work culture.
Patients can pick up on negative vibes in a medical office the instant they walk through your doors. The same can be said of job seekers. If you have nurtured a culture of happy people, seamless workflows, positive teamwork and a welcoming environment, job applicants will be drawn into your practice. Treating every staff member with respect and compassion will go a long way toward retaining staff as well as attracting new employees.
- Utilize social media.
You undoubtedly use social media to promote your services, special events, limited time discounts and more to potential patients. This platform can also be highly effective for recruitment. It has been estimated that social media is used for job searching by 79% of job seekers. Posting your job openings on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and more can help you attract qualified candidates that actually see your posts or get them forwarded by family or friends that see the posts. Job descriptions on social media no longer have to be stuffy, they can be creative and eye-catching, showcasing your practice’s personality and culture. Paid job ads on social media can also be very effective.
- Offer referral incentives.
Birds of a feather flock together! It is highly possible that your internal staff have friends in the medical industry that might be interested in joining your team. It could be much less expensive to pay a referral incentive to your staff than it would be to pay for recruitment services. Experiment with different incentive levels: cash, gift cards, gifts, bonuses, vacation days, etc., given to staff when they submit a referral name or when the person is actually hired at your practice.
- Make your website mobile and SEO-friendly.
Why does your website design or content matter in recruiting? Most job candidates today will visit your website to look at job descriptions and they will do so on their mobile devices. If you have taken the time to design a website that automatically adjusts so it is easy to read on a smaller screen, you have a better chance of the job seekers staying on the page to read your openings. While you’re at it, streamline the job application form so it’s interactive, short and painless to complete.
Job seekers will also search online for jobs in their field. By using search engine optimization (SEO) strategies in your job descriptions, you will attract more candidates to your site because your jobs will jump to the top of search engine results.
These tips can be applied for large practices in urban settings or small practices in rural settings – and every type of practice in between.
Recruitment is a Full-Time Job
As stated earlier, attracting and hiring the right medical professionals in your practice takes ingenuity and persistence. Not all practices have the in-house expertise and time to devote to this process. If your practice needs recruitment help, Advantage Healthcare Consulting, a division of Advantage Administration, can help. Under The Administrative Advantage MSO®, our Management Services Organization, we have partnered with ophthalmic recruitment firms that offer savings on these services. Members of The Administrative Advantage MSO® have the opportunity to get help with ophthalmic staffing for any level of employee, from physicians to technicians. To learn more about how Advantage Healthcare Consulting, a division of Advantage Administration, can help with recruiting for your ophthalmology practice, contact us today.