A great medical facility is only as good as its weakest employees, but it's not always easy to fill a clinic with qualified professionals.
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When it comes to recruiting healthcare professionals, here are five of the biggest obstacles organizations face:
1. Low Talent Supply
Though utilization of healthcare services has decreased since the recession in 2008, the number of patients still far outpaces the number of doctors necessary to treat them. Some estimate that we'll be short 90,000 physicians by 2025.
From a recruiting standpoint, not much can be done regarding this particular challenge. The best you can do is appeal to medical schools to recruit more students, thus bringing the necessary talent into the market.
2. Finding Quality Employees
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The quality of professionals in the workforce is also an issue. Healthcare organizations can't operate with low-quality physicians, and the shortage of candidates makes it difficult to get the highest quality providers into each facility.
Sourcing potential staff members from high-quality medical institutions is more important than ever. Recruiters should pull from talent pools of properly educated and certified applicants from universities and residencies that can be trusted. Lengthy interviews and in-depth research into each candidate can also benefit the organization.
3. Location-Based Challenges
Though finding quality employees in sufficient numbers is a problem for many healthcare recruiters, it's not an issue for all of them. Many organizations, especially those located in larger metropolitan regions, have no problem attracting highly educated and skilled candidates.
In rural areas, it's a completely different story. It can take more than a year to fill a role in these areas. If a company can't pay higher wages, many physicians aren't interested in moving to rural facilities.
Recruiters in rural areas may want to emphasize the "quality of life" benefits of working with their organizations. Abandoning the hustle and bustle of the city for the peace and quiet of the country can be very attractive to tired doctors. Use this and other perks to your advantage when competing against larger facilities in more urban areas.
4. Limited Diversity
Diversity is critical in the medical field. When your staff members represent a variety of different backgrounds, you get more comprehensive care for your patients. Studies show that when patients can identify with a doctor who shares their ethnicity and cultural background, they have higher patient satisfaction scores.
Diversity can be a challenge, depending on your location. Some areas simply have less diverse populations than others. If this is the case for you, you'll want to recruit outside of your home region.
5. Lengthy Recruitment Cycles
Perhaps the most daunting challenge facing medical facilities is the length of the recruitment cycle. It can take several months to a year to fill a health care position. All the while, existing staff are overworked and unable to fill the gaps. Customers don't receive the same quality of care, and the reputation of your healthcare facility takes a hit.
However, the length of the recruit cycle an be shortened at least a bit by streamlining your screening processes, improving your marketing and employer branding efforts, and finding the right talent pools to source from. These three things are challenges on their own, but if you invest in them, you'll end up with a more efficient recruitment process overall.