Healthcare Sourcing Strategy in a Competitive Market

Written by: Lisa A. Burke
Published on: Jan 20, 2020

candidate interview

A 2019 report on the Future of Nursing by Elsevier, a leading medical publisher, states that nursing administrators across the country are facing a severe nursing shortage making recruiting and retention the number one priority for leadership in all types of healthcare facilities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. will need an additional 1 million Registered Nurses by 2024 but the lack of available talent will result in thousands of positions remaining unfilled and keen competition among healthcare facilities. In this competitive climate, the first step in establishing a successful recruiting program is to develop a targeted sourcing strategy that will attract and engage top-tier candidates.  

Pre-Sourcing Considerations

  1. Before your organization can embark on a sourcing initiative, it’s important to develop a clear picture of your target candidate in terms of both hard and soft skills, such as education, credentials, experience, leadership potential and work style. If your organization develops a clear vision of the idea candidate, the sourcing effort will be much more efficient.
  2. In a competitive market, you also want to consider what your organization offers candidates that set you apart from other facilities. These considerations include compensation, benefits package, professional growth and development, but also work culture and work-life balance. 
  3. Once you have developed criteria for candidate sourcing and a clear vision regarding what your organization offers, create a targeted job description that addresses each area.

recruiter checking mobile

Sourcing Strategies

Job Board Posting

In a competitive talent market, the best strategy is a proactive one. Once you have developed a targeted job description, post it to healthcare-specific job board. An excellent option is Elsevier’s job board which offers customized packages to fit various recruitment needs and budgets. With a quick and easy posting process, recruiters can not only reach active and qualified job seekers but also gain extended reach to passive job seekers in the Elsevier network consisting of over 1.5 million healthcare professionals in 600+ societies and across over 80 specialties.

Employee Referrals

One of the most effective sourcing strategies is tapping into the circles of influence of current employees. This circle can include colleagues at other facilities, fellow alumni, members of professional associations, etc. The referral program should provide a bonus to employees who recommend a candidate that is hired. This strategy enlists employees as partners in the recruiting effort and shows that the organization values their contribution. Strategies to promote referrals including posting vacancies in common areas and the facility Intranet, as well as discussing during staff-wide meetings and professional development events.

Social Media and Associations

An efficient method of sourcing candidates is to search for them via professional forums and association chat groups, as well as social media. These strategies allow recruiters to engage and build rapport with candidates based on shared interests rather than a focus on traditional employer/candidate dialog. This type of interaction also provides an opportunity for recruiters to talk about the mission and values of the organization, highlighting those factors that make it a rewarding place to work.

Develop a Long term Healthcare Recruiting Strategy

It often happens that you may find great candidates who are not a fit for a current vacancy but could be valuable for future roles. In light of the shortage of healthcare workers and the resulting competition, it’s critical to build candidate pipelines by engaging in ongoing communication to maintain interest. Include top candidates in the distribution list for the organization newsletter or invite them to the company events.

There are a variety of sourcing strategies that can attract talent but the critical ingredient in all is the value your organization places on the candidate experience. Sourcing is not a one-time activity but is about building relationships and establishing your organization as an attractive employment option in a competitive market.


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