The healthcare employment market remains a candidate-short one, and the challenges continue to mount for many subsectors. We are yet to see skilled migration return to pre-pandemic levels, and this, combined with local skills shortages, is creating the perfect storm and a significant challenge for this essential service.
Case in point, vacancies for Registered Nurses alone are up 72.6% on pre-COVID levels. Across the board in healthcare, vacancies are up 51.5%, far higher than the national average of 36.2%.
Adding to the challenge, it’s a sector where most roles require a particular set of skills and qualifications with little to no room for subjectivity. This means strategies used to combat shortages in the corporate sector, such as hiring for fit, training for skills or hiring from outside the industry, aren’t applicable.
So how do you gain an edge to attract the best talent in such a challenging market? The answer may lie in increasing efficiencies to enable proactive recruitment.
In today’s market, it’s possible that your candidates have 3 or 4 other opportunities in the mix, so it’s critical to move fast. Some key areas to consider here are:
Capture points for future candidates
Many employers think of recruitment as a contained process that occurs when a vacancy arises, but the most successful recruiters use an ‘always on’ strategy. A vital part of this strategy is capturing the data of people interested in working for you even when you don’t have a vacancy. This is often done by a simple register of interest form on the website, with regular call-outs via social channels to encourage registrations.
Upfront salary disclosure
Recent research by LinkedIn found that 61% of candidates want to see salary in the job advertisement. When you have more vacancies than candidates, it pays to be upfront so candidates don’t waste time applying for a job that won’t meet their expectations. Transparency on this front could also encourage more applications.
Ease of application
A simple, efficient online process is a must if you want to attract the best candidates. In fact, according to CareerBuilder, 60% of candidates will abandon a long or complex application process. It may sound simple, but attempt your own application process and look for bottlenecks that may be increasing candidate attrition. There is a fine balance between capturing the pre-application information you require and candidate drop-off.
In a highly competitive process, employers who communicate regularly with their candidate pool are more likely to keep them engaged and invested in the process until the end. Automated communication tools via your Applicant Tracking System (ATS) make this process easy.
Another area to consider is communicating future vacancies and providing company updates to unsuccessful candidates. They represent an engaged pool of candidates who’ve already indicated they want to work for your company, so it makes sense to keep them advised of future opportunities and cultivate an ongoing relationship. As the economic landscape changes in Australia over the next few years, previous applicants will represent a wealth of potential talent.
The right technology
The right recruitment tech is a game-changer, with tech review site G2 reporting that 78% of ATS users say it makes finding great talent easier than ever.
Not only does the right ATS increase efficiencies across your end-to-end process, but it also has an array of tools that can help you reach the right talent, including:
– access to a wealth of data points to make more informed hiring decisions
– a range of simple features to speed up and streamline the candidate experience, including automated communication
– search tools powered by artificial intelligence to trawl through existing and new candidate data to find the best matches fast
– compliance tools to ensure you can swiftly complete background and qualification checks.
So, while the recruitment situation in healthcare right now isn’t the most favourable, there is some light at the end of the tunnel. As skilled migration increases once again, we should see some equilibrium return. Those employers who invest in attracting more candidates now will be well set up to make the most of the influx of new talent.