Health Care is hands down one of the most challenging verticals to recruit for. The vexing combination is of course at play here with high demand and limited supply of qualified talent. But interestingly so, the underlying drivers of growth in this Health Care employment sector are not just cyclical (the way many other job types are tied directly/solely to economic fluctuations). No, Health Care growth drivers are actually quite “linear” in that demand for top talent, particularly for licensed roles such as Registered Nurses, is here to stay and only moving in one forward moving direction. The age wave of the US population places significant and compounding pressure on the North American Health Care system. Not only is there heightened urgency behind hiring for these hard-to-fill roles, there is the equally menacing context to contend with of extreme hiring competition.
It’s no wonder then that there are only a select few RPO providers that tout success in recruiting for this difficult category. Sevenstep has been recognized in the top 4 of the HRO Today’s Baker’s Dozen Best Health Care RPO providers three years running. Our clinical health care recruitment depth of expertise includes serving a Fortune 50 Managed Health Care Company where we fill over 3,000 Health Care roles a year. Experts like us in this space know how to identify and address the three main challenges to keep our clients ahead of the curve in this fiercely competitive recruiting climate:
- Hiring Surges & Volatility: Unanticipated volumes are the norm in Health Care recruitment. For Managed Health Care companies specifically, volumes are primarily dictated by winning new state contracts or variances in new plan membership. These events can lead to astronomical hiring volumes that often come about with little advanced notice. While we can’t change the nature of the bidding/sales process or year-over-year membership variances, a smart RPO provider can control its preparedness for this inevitable hiring volatility by paying attention to:
- Pipeline: Partner with the company’s sales team to gain visibility to contracts that are closest to closing. This will provide a high-level forewarning of what pursuits are in the queue so TA can be more prepared for potential scalability needs. Public market intel should also be researched and leveraged for insight on potential pending new contract decisions.
- Analytics: Consistently analyze historical health care recruitment and resourcing information to perfect the formula for the right amount of people required for delivery. This analysis will need to be customized to the exact SOW and often varies geographically as there are very difficult location challenges within clinical and Health Care recruiting that require specialized resourcing strategies.
- Hiring Competition: For common clinical roles such as RN’s, there are many different employment options for a clinician to choose from to include hospitals, nursing homes, insurance companies, and home Health Care agencies. This variety of employer channels intensifies the competitive landscape even further for what continues to be a talent pool in short supply. In order to stay competitive and win over talent, RPO providers need to understand what matters most to Health Care candidates and help their clients develop and emphasize the following key factors to the employee engagement proposition:
- Salary: Counsel companies on how to create competitive compensation packages that take into account the local market. For example, in California there is a severe nursing shortage and, therefore, salary levels must be maximized. Supply/demand stats are critical to educate hiring leaders and help guide them to appropriate and winning comp strategies.
- Benefits: Companies must also look past “base” salary to provide additional perks such as certain healthcare benefits, generous PTO, wellness and healthy lifestyle incentives, and onsite childcare. We’ve even seen programs like pet therapy that have had an important influence on a decision to accept an offer.
- Work/Life Balance: Perhaps the greatest selling point within the Managed Health Care industry specifically is the ability to work standard business hours of 9-5. Nurses working in traditional bedside care rarely dictate their own schedule and are often needed to stay late, work weekends/holidays and regularly spend time “on-call”. Having the ability to work standard business hours is extremely appealing to Health Care workers at all professional levels and can often be a trade off for other offer characteristics. And flexible work from home options within Managed Health Care are also an appealing work/life balance advantage.
- Highly Specific & Varied State-Based Compliance: Regardless of whether a new Managed Health Care contract is state, federal or commercial, hiring practices are highly regulated. These tight regulations can provide quite a few challenges in terms of finding talent and meeting target deadlines. For example, specific certifications or advanced licensure may be a requirement in one state contract but not in another. Certain licensures are difficult to find and can drastically limit the pool of viable candidates. RPO providers must build a highly complex and comprehensive sourcing plan to pipeline for these bespoke-tailored clinical skill sets by focusing on:
- Distinct Talent Pools: Research relevant degree programs within Universities and colleges as well as professional organizations such as local chapters of the Case Management Society of America that will host people with the background and licensure needed.
- Industry Networking: Recognize the passive and elusive nature of clinical talent and constantly have advertising in place via Health care focused social media, talent communities and even industry meet ups. Live sourcing for referrals must be done with every touchpoint to maximize word of mouth sourcing within the Health Care communities.
- Advanced Data Mining: List sourcing is a must. Leverage public licensure databases such as Nursing Boards to identify what your potential viable candidate pool size is and where specifically to target search efforts.
The Health Care industry has been in a state of rapid change due to this heightened demand for talent, continued technological and skills advancements within the field, and the ever-evolving regulatory landscape. The health care recruitment program that succeeds will need to be extremely agile, scalable and highly educated to stay on top of these complexities and explosive growth within Health Care Talent Acquisition.