Healthcare Recruitment: Overcoming Challenges and Seizing Opportunities for Success

The healthcare recruitment industry is confronted with challenges and opportunities, mandating healthcare staffing firms to be even more strategic when expanding their operations and engaging with candidates and clients.

A historic talent shortage, a hyper-competitive market, and recruiting in the digital age pose new challenges for healthcare recruiters. Conversely, new delivery models represent opportunities for them as they adapt to an ever-changing marketplace.

According to Bullhorn’s “2018 North American Staffing & Recruiting Trends Report: The Industry’s Outlook for 2018,” 71% of healthcare staffing firms anticipate increases in total billable hours, 64% eye hikes in bill rates, 59% see gains in margins, and 56% expect rises in temporary placements. However, healthcare staffing firms face numerous hurdles as they look to grow their businesses.

One of the biggest obstacles is the acute talent shortage. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, there will be a deficit of nearly 105,000 doctors in the U.S. by 2030.

As a result, the principle challenge is finding quality providers in the marketplace — especially since unemployment rates are at an all-time low, and demand is at an all-time high in healthcare staffing. Because unemployment is so low, there’s a smaller candidate pool to fill more jobs, which is pressing with an already hyper-competitive market; one that’s only going to get even more competitive.

“To our customers’ credit, their internal sourcing strategies are considerably more innovative and assertive than before,” said Kyle Mattice, President at ES Healthcare, a division of The Execu|Search Group. “This is outstanding for our industry. Provider wages are flourishing, and staffing firm bill rates are surging in this type of market. As an industry, we’re evolving rapidly, and it’s incredibly motivating.”

The monumental test facing healthcare staffing firms is how to strategically attract talent and prospects. Recruiting in the digital age -— engaging with candidates and clients via smartphones, text messaging, and social media — is paramount for success because candidates and clients prefer to communicate through these channels. If recruiters don’t incorporate these channels, they won’t be able to connect with the vast marketplace of candidates and clients for their opportunities, inviting competitors to get to them first.

PREMIUM CONTENT: US Healthcare Recruitment Strategies

Despite the complexities, the healthcare recruiting industry is poised with opportunities, especially in areas such as the Inpatient Acute setting, and the biggest opportunities originate from a company’s ability to be innovative in an evolving industry.

“As an industry, we must bring value to market in areas like home care and digital health,” Mattice said. “Clients and candidates are looking for value-add partnerships, which means that we can no longer just pick up the phones and fill jobs. We can add more value as subject matter experts who advise our partners on how to differentiate as employers or job seekers in light of new trends.”

The convergence of public policy, cost, and technology will influence the future of healthcare recruitment. The sector cost challenges aren’t dissipating and are instead prompting technology to counter margin pressures in the digital revolution. Companies that embrace technology will be out in front and win, and the companies that don’t embrace technology will fall back and lose.

“At ES Healthcare, for example, we’re incorporating automation into our workflow,” Mattice said. “That being said, the unique part of healthcare is the patient-provider relationship. The focus on building long-term relationships with patients and providers will never go away. It’s the crux of the healthcare industry. For any staffing firm, this means sales ability will be the single biggest talent to internally hire.”

After all, current challenges can spawn new opportunities, and new opportunities can ignite stronger relationships.

Steve Vittorioso

Steve Vittorioso
Steve Vittorioso is the media relations manager for Bullhorn, a global provider of CRM and operations software for the staffing industry.

Steve Vittorioso

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