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Challenges to Rural Healthcare Recruitment and Some Solutions

Most rural hospitals and clinics have had to make recruiting top talent a major business strategy with in their organization.  Hospitals and looking for ways to improve their recruitment processes and strategies.

In today’s hyper competitive recruitment world paired with a labor shortage of healthcare professionals, hospitals must have strategies in place to overcome challenges that they will face.

Below are some of the biggest challenges that we have seen so far this year and some solutions to win talent quicker than the others out there hunting.

#1 – Slow Hiring/Interview Process 

This one can and will lose more candidates than any other challenge that we see out there.  Candidates are moving targets and once they start looking they are talking to many recruiters and hospitals at once.  Most candidates begin to realize that they are in high demand. Many candidates become overwhelmed by the number of people contacting them.

Some Solutions we have seen:  Have a process in place.  Process, speed and communication.  Most of our clients have processes in place.  If they have a candidate that is a top candidate they will schedule a phone interview immediately.  After the phone interview they will give the candidate feedback and set up an on-site or a skype with in 2-3 days after the first phone interview.  Setting up an in person interview should happen with in 2 weeks after the phone interview.  After the on-site interview most of our clients will have an offer ready to go if they like the candidate.  Most hiring should take place 3-5 weeks after the initial contact.  Also, give candidates more control and visibility into the screening process so that they can easily and quickly follow your company’s hiring procedures. A full-featured screening solution can allow applicants to check their status, complete tests, view pending activities, and electronically sign documents.

#2 – Limited or No Available Housing

We have been seeing this more and more.  You have a new opening and you start looking for a candidate.  Many times a hospital will have a good process in place and move quick and land a candidate quickly.  Then the candidate starts to look for a place to live and they end up backing out because it becomes so hard to find somewhere to live.

Some Solutions we have seen: Most of our clients are prepared and know that there is a housing shortage in their area.  They will know all the realtors in the area and will be on the lookout for available housing.  Many of our clients will have apartments that they rent and make available as temporary housing to new hires so they can look for something when they get to the area. Also all of our clients put our candidates in touch with a trusted realtor that can show them around during an on-site meeting.

#3 – Lower Compensation Packages 

In the hyper competitive healthcare environment, hospitals and clinics that compensate the best often win the talent hunt. As a result, healthcare companies that can’t offer competitive compensation packages miss opportunities to recruit top talent. Even if they offer exceptional sign-on bonuses, their employees may quickly leave if another hospital offers them a better signing bonus down the road.

The solution: If your hospital can’t afford more than competitive salaries or offer bonuses, draw less attention to your compensation package and more attention to your other employee benefits. If you can’t pay the best, what is it that your hospital does better than others? Perhaps you offer incredible career growth opportunities, a laidback work environment, or a flexible work schedule. Whatever your employment brand differentiator is, emphasize it on your website and during interviews so that candidates know why they should choose you over a high-paying competitor.

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