Hospitals and Healthcare organizations are facing a number of talent challenges – attrition, skills shortages for specialized roles, and competition from other employers. Hospital systems have seen employees resign at alarming rates in recent months. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in May of 2023 alone, 588,000 Healthcare workers quit their jobs in the United States. That’s an increase of 69,000 compared to May of 2022.
Even more recently, over 75,000 union workers at healthcare provider Kaiser Permanente went on strike: the largest walkout by health workers in US history. There is a chance of a second, potentially longer, walkout next month. As well as pay, the focus of the dispute has been on workers' demands for better measures to ease staffing shortages and high turnover.
So what can Healthcare organizations do to attract, engage and retain talent with the critical skills they need, in a market beset by labor-related challenges? A good place to start is by looking at the overall talent experience. Personalizing the candidate and employee experiences is one of the most effective ways to attract your ideal candidates – and to encourage them to stay.
Just as patients expect a personalized experience from doctors and nurses – one that will meet their unique needs – today’s Healthcare employees expect their employers to offer tailored programs for their development. With the right technology and the right data, HR professionals and Talent teams can personalize the talent experience for hospital workers, at scale, to make people feel more valued and appreciated.
Expand your talent pool
Healthcare professionals have extremely unique skills that are in high demand, but not everyone’s skills are suited to every role. HR and Talent teams in healthcare are responsible for sourcing and recruiting all sorts of specialized talent – emergency medicine, general surgery, labor and delivery, cardiology, nursing, medical billing and coding – the list goes on. It’s a huge challenge for hospitals to find talent with these critical skills, when they need them.
If you’re struggling to find qualified talent, examine the beginning of your candidate journey. When candidates visit your Careers Site, what are they seeing? Today’s candidates expect personalized experiences from potential employers. Ideally, they should be able to log in and see personalized job recommendations, based on the preferences they have set and their skills.
Candidates also expect the process of browsing and applying for a job to be as seamless as possible. Does your candidate experience require applicants to fill out extensive forms, instead of simply uploading a resume or connecting a LinkedIn profile?
In a talent market as tight as what we’re currently seeing in the Healthcare industry, it’s critical that this experience is friction-free – to convert more prospects into candidates, and more candidates into employees. Personalization is key if you want to cast the widest net, to create the largest possible talent pool.
Nurture your talent pipeline
According to an Aon study, nurses were the most sought after talent in 2022.
It doesn’t matter how many nurses or other Healthcare professionals are in your Talent Community if they aren’t being nurtured and engaged, to help you build a strong talent pipeline.
It’s important that members of your Talent Community hear from you regularly, and that you are able to give them a good idea of what it would be like to work at your hospital. These communications should be personalized as well. If you are sending a candidate open roles to apply for, they should be roles that match their skills. If you are sending them content, it should be content that is around a topic that they have expressed interest in.
The good news is, keeping your Talent Community engaged, and ready to apply when the right role comes up, is easier now than ever. With a Talent Lifecycle Management platform (and CRM), you can keep track of all candidate data in one place. From there, you can easily automate nurture campaigns with the help of AI. These personalized communications help you create a positive impression in the candidate’s mind.
Increase your quality of hire
Healthcare is one of the most specialized industries in the world, and key skills are in high-demand. It’s vital that hospitals are able to identify talent that have the skills and qualifications to meet the ever-changing needs of their patients and their communities.
While having a large and highly engaged Talent Community is a good first step, the true benefit of personalized experiences is the quality of hires. With explainable AI, it’s now possible for HR teams at hospitals to match people to roles based on their skills. AI even has the ability to suggest matches that a well-trained recruiter may have overlooked. Humans will continue to make final hiring decisions (as they should), but AI-driven technology can provide smart recommendations – ensuring that your hospital or Healthcare organization can find the very best ‘fit’ for every role.
Offer tailored L&D and Mobility opportunities
43% of Healthcare employees say they are either considering leaving their job in the coming year, or they already have a new job lined up.
This means that employee engagement and retention is paramount for Healthcare organizations. How can hospitals make their employees feel truly valued?
An AI-powered Talent Marketplace, is a great place to start. These tools are able to dynamically showcase the full picture of the talent hospitals already have internally, and identify the critical gaps that still need to be filled. A Talent Marketplace can match current employees who possess the right skills, with internal opportunities, such as part-time gigs, full-time jobs, and even training courses.
In our Talent Index research, 19% of Healthcare workers we spoke to said development and career growth opportunities were the most important thing they were looking for in their next employer. A Talent Marketplace makes it simple for employees to find those opportunities – making it more likely they will stay at your organization.
Boost employee productivity
Healthcare workers are perfect examples of “the frontline”. These individuals are crucial to the successful operations of hospitals and doctors’ offices. By personalizing the talent experience – ensuring the right people with the right skills are in the right roles – helps to get work done more efficiently. Ideally, organizations break down ‘jobs’ into tasks (Forrester refers to this as ‘unbundling the job’) and match the skills your talent has with the skills needed to complete those tasks.
In an industry like Healthcare, where skills gaps are widening, it makes sense to take a step back and see how data and AI-driven technology can help you close those gaps in the most efficient way. A skills-based approach to recruiting and redeployment of talent, is key to a personalized experience across the talent lifecycle.
Even when recruiters, Hiring Managers and HR professionals have the very best intentions, it’s still likely that at least some level of bias (conscious or unconscious) exists within the talent experience. The Healthcare industry is no exception.
These workers deserve to be treated as the unique individuals they are, and differences should be celebrated. By removing one-size-fits-all approaches to talent management, and introducing personalization, hospital systems can become more equitable, inclusive, and can increase the overall diversity of their organizations. We already know that a more diverse workforce leads to better business outcomes, but studies also show that diversity in Healthcare improves patient outcomes as well – a true win-win situation.
And for Healthcare candidates, seeing personalized recommendations could give them greater confidence to apply for a role they otherwise might not have. Engaging with individuals based on their unique set of skills offers a far more inclusive talent experience. To offer personalized, equitable experiences at scale, Healthcare organizations need tools backed by explainable AI, which can also generate personalized talent experiences far beyond the hiring process.
The level of personalization we are talking about requires a lot of data. And as all Healthcare professionals know, data privacy is critical – for patients and employees alike. The truth is, gathering data always comes with some level of risk.
But with the right tools and technology, hospital systems can easily manage the risk and ensure compliance. Having a true Preference Center for candidates gives Healthcare employers the visibility they need to see who opted in and when. This type of personalization gives your legal team the peace of mind they need, and at the same time, gives candidates control of their data and the communications they receive from your organization.
Gain new efficiencies
In our recent survey of business leaders, Navigating The Changing Talent Landscape, 64% of Healthcare respondents said that increasing skills shortages is one of the biggest challenges they face in the coming year. Hospitals and Healthcare organizations are no strangers to the need to “do more with less.”
However, when you utilize technology that allows you to personalize experiences at scale with automation, you are going to see both time and money savings. With the right tools, HR teams in Healthcare can automate manual tasks that need to be done, but don’t need to take up a human’s valuable time that could be better used doing something more meaningful.
This technology allows the HR team to gain real-time insights about candidate and employee preferences, as well as skills and interests. This approach also means you Healthcare Recruiters can focus on only the talent that is best suited and most interested in open roles. And by putting the right opportunities in front of active (or passive) candidates, sourcing and recruiting becomes much more efficient – saving the organization time and money.
For hospitals and other Healthcare organizations looking to do this at scale, you need proper management of skills data and the smart application of explainable AI. This could bring a whole host of benefits for you as the employer, and for your talent.