How To Remedy the Healthcare Hiring Crisis


Job candidates need to be shown that the workplace is flexible and set up to accommodate their individual needs.

Thad Price

Thad Price

If the pandemic showed us one thing, it’s that essential. workers. matter.

But as healthcare workers quit in droves, qualified candidates are slipping through the cracks.

With the current U.S. unemployment rate at 3.7%, the reality is we’re not short of people. We’re short of staff. So, where are they and how can we meet the needs of today’s healthcare professionals?

Discover your candidates' wants and remedy the staffing crisis with these pro tips.

Encourage workers to show up for themselves

For years, workers have been led to disregard self-care for work. Physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals are a prime example of this as they are pressed to assume the responsibility for patients over themselves. They’re trained to prioritize others, no matter the cost — and that they don’t have the luxury of saying “no.” This can have a damaging effect not only with burnout, but the trajectory of their career.

Tammie Chang, M.D., in her article, “My Burnout Nearly Cost Me Everything. Now I Help Other Physicians Overcome It,” which was posted on the Harvard Business Review website, shares that healthcare providers “must show up for [them]selves before [they] can do right by others. Setting healthy boundaries around your time and energy is what will allow you to deliver the best care to your patients.” According to Chang, establishing these boundaries means guarding five key areas in your life: your emotional, physical, social, professional, and societal self.

Show applicants that your workplace is set-up for individuality, where their “yes” means “yes” and “no” means “no.” Because no job is worth sacrificing their well-being.

Don’t let candidates slip through the cracks

Plenty of traditional job platforms promise to plaster your jobs across the Web for a fixed price. Which sounds great; you know exactly how much you’ll be paying. But do you know what you’re paying for and where it’s going?

Let's say there are two billboards off the highway. Option 1 has worked well in the past, is nicely priced and relatively low risk. But recent on-going construction has obstructed the view.

Option 2 hasn't been used but is highly visible in a high traffic area. Which would you choose?

Option 1 may have worked well in the past, but it’s not the prime real estate it once was – making the investment fall flat. The real ROI lies with option 2, the board that is converting now. Ultimately, if your job posts aren’t following sites, they're wedged between the same construction, debris and lack of visibility.

The moral of the story? Positioning is key to job advertising. And knowing where to market may be what sets your organization apart from the competition.

Compare traditional versus programmatic advertising and decide which is the best fit for you. After all, you want results, not holes in your wallet.

Traditional job advertising allows you to have a fixed budget while using old job data to inform decisions as to where to post your jobs. The only downside is traditional doesn’t track how your job posts are performing on each site nor do they target job seekers. So, when your budget is declining, your job bids become scarce and can become lost in the sea of the internet.

Programmatic job advertising takes a profile-driven data approach. It monitors candidate behavior to match the right job seeker to your job listing. It then tracks which sites are gaining the right traffic, turning bids up on the sites that are working and turning them down on the sites that are not. While your budget may not be fixed, it still delivers even higher caliber candidates due to artificially intelligent targeting.

Peek into your candidate’s mind

Put yourself in the mind of your candidate.

What do they want? What worries them? What makes them tick?

Many are mulling over salary and job security as inflation grows in today’s marketplace. They’re looking for jobs with flexibility, growth and security to settle the score of a teeter-tottering economy. If you position your jobs to accommodate these concerns, you’ll attract top talent and end circular hiring processes.

Consider these key benefits:


Unfortunately, medical staff can’t always deal with crises remotely. But according to Steelcase, CADRE, and HKS, “flexibility, especially scalability and modifiability, allows organizations to respond efficiently to emergent needs and delivery modes.” In addition, 72% of research respondents “felt that flexibility did not necessarily equate to a higher cost. The key was to incorporate flexibility as an operational strategy (…) as there is a growing market for telehealth and desire for more controlled scheduling.”

Instead of one-time bonuses or better benefits, take advantage of this booming telehealth industry via controlled shifts and remote opportunities. Healthcare extends far beyond the physician’s office and highlights the work-life balance your candidates crave.

Pay higher wages

As inflation runs rampant through the American economy, flexibility and higher wages are far more attractive than promised bonuses or benefits. Data from a Talroo Healthcare Report stated that 62% of healthcare job seekers said that higher pay would increase their likelihood of accepting an offer, while 53% said that flexibility was their top deciding factor.

In the same study,80% of job seekers were more likely to apply for a job with a transparent salary range. With workers fearing mass layoffs in an uncertain financial landscape, posting salary range puts their mind at ease. To stay competitive, offer at or above market wages and be upfront with your salary expectations.

The cost of vacancy vs. the cost to hire

When short-staffed and under stress, hiring can come at a high price – so, let’s break down the costs.

To better understand ROI when hiring and determining salary, compare these 3 metrics:

Cost of vacancy

While it varies by industry, the cost of vacancy (COV) can be estimated by dividing company revenue per employee by number of annual workdays. This gives you the average revenue produced by an employee daily.

Just note that it’s difficult to measure the negative impact open roles have on productivity. It adds to burnout by disintegrating team morale, which makes it even harder to tie a monetary value to these metrics.

Cost of a bad hire

The U.S. Department of Labor puts the cost of a bad hire at up to 30% of the employee’s first year wages. That means, if you hire an employee for $70,000 a year, the employer expense could be as high as $21,000. These factors include lost productivity and damage to your reputation as a quality care provider.

Cost to hire

According to the Brandon Hall Group, “the average cost to hire an essential worker is $340, and for organizations with 1,000 employees or less, the cost is $670.”

How to gain and retain your healthcare workers

Smart Job Titles are groundbreaking in the talent marketplace, allowing you to use recruitment analytics to check your job’s reach along with the best-performing job titles and descriptions. You also have the power to track your job posting progress, edit the description and manage budget. These titles give you the ability to vet and select candidates from the get-go and ensure you reach top talent fast.

If you want great hires, don’t simply set their sights on the “now”, but instill a vision for tomorrow. Staff training is a powerful retention tool in healthcare. So, for positions that don’t require certifications, offer in-house training or sponsor higher education. By positioning your organization as a place of learning, you’ll ease burnout all while filling the skills gap. With the freedom to move vertically and linearly, your culture will instill hope – reminding staff why they dedicated their lives to medicine in the first place.

Thad Price is the CEO of Talroo in Austin, Texas.

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