Healthcare Recruitment Strategies

Healthcare Recruitment Strategies people waiting room

Employees represent the foundation of every healthcare operation, and thus, effective healthcare recruitment strategies are a fundamental component of every successful operation.  As a service-oriented industry, healthcare depends on the quality of our employees and any provider that does not focus on these four basic elements runs the risk of failing to provide the quality of care that our patients deserve:

  • Recruitment/hiring of great employees
  • Orienting employees
  • Training (and re-training) great employees
  • Retaining great employees

Healthcare recruitment strategies represent the first step in this process.  In this blog, we’ll focus on the first part of the recruitment process, while part two will focus on the interviewing/hiring process.


Healthcare Recruitment Strategies #1-It starts by looking inward!

It does seem strange that the recruitment process starts by looking inward, but if you really think about it, it makes sense.  Before you can begin recruiting candidates for the position you are looking to hire for, you need to intimately understand that position.  Do you have a detailed job description as well as a set of standards of performance?  An effective job description is just that-a description of what the job entails.  It doesn’t have to be lengthy, but it should accurately describe the key components of the job.  Standards of performance should address this-if you do these things, you will be deemed successful in the position.

It is not unusual for a healthcare recruitment strategy to be lacking these two components, or if they do exist, they are not accurate or detailed or representative of the position.  If this is the case, this is your opportunity to strengthen two critical elements in the hiring process.  I have found it to be quite effective to have someone successful in that role review the job description and standards of performance for the position and provide me with their input on the accuracy of the documents.

What better way to test the quality of the job description and standards of performance than to have someone who is successfully in that role evaluate them?

Now, if you don’t have someone in that role in your organization, then you might seek the help of someone who is familiar with that role or even someone outside of your organization.  I have even sought out friends or family members and gather their opinion.


 Healthcare Recruitment Strategy #2-Weird Science?!

Remember that 1985 movie Weird Science?  Okay, if you’re not a baby boomer like me, let me do a brief plot summary.  Two nerdy teenage kids, Gary and Wyatt, use a computer program to create the perfect woman, Lisa.  (If you haven’t seen it, check it out-it’s a funny and a bit poignant coming of age movie!)  Well, Gary and Wyatt have the right idea when it comes to the recruitment part of your overall healthcare recruitment strategy.  As you contemplate the recruitment for the position, consider what does Lisa look like?  What does the ideal candidate look like in your mind?  I don’t mean looks from the physical appearance perspective, but what specific traits/characteristics does the ideal candidate possess?  What experience and knowledge?

I’m not advocating that you hold out for your ideal candidate.

I have found that it is very rare that the ideal candidate walks through your door.  But, if you know what the ideal candidate possesses, then you will be able to identify what are the critical elements that your candidate must-have for you to hire them.  Knowing what you want will make your healthcare recruitment strategy more effective, more efficient, and less time-consuming.


Good and great are a whole lot better than bad!

I don’t think I’ve ever encountered anyone that wants bad instead of good or great.  It’s the same with employees.  If you’re reading this, then you want to develop healthcare recruitment strategies that bring great employees to your organization.  Many times, it’s unreasonable to focus on recruiting just great employees-sometimes, it’s just as effective in bringing in good employees and by focusing on the four elements that were outlined at the beginning of this blog, you can make them into great employees.  But let’s face it, it makes no sense at all to bring in bad employees.

By ensuring that you have descriptive, accurate, and specific job descriptions and standards of performance, you have laid a solid base for your healthcare recruitment strategy.  You are now prepared to tackle the next step-the interview process.  We’ll address that in the next blog installment.

When you need proven expertise and performance

Craig Fukushima, NHA, MBA

Mr. Craig T. Fukushima’s health care experience spans more than 35 years with special expertise in the long term care sector, including implementation of innovative health care projects in domestic and international locations.