Recruiting Healthcare Talent: How Recruiters have Adapted to COVID-19 Demands

Written by: Alex Brown
Published on: Mar 15, 2021

recruiter interviewing candidate online

Healthcare talent shortages were a challenge before COVID-19. However, the pandemic has taken this shortage from concerning to alarming. Over a thousand hospitals across the US have reported critical worker shortages according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. While hospitals have prepared themselves by stockpiling essential equipment and resources to anticipate these spikes, they can do little without healthcare professionals to run the hospitals.

This shortage, combined with an unsafe environment, has left recruiters with a unique challenge: filling demand while still maintaining the health and safety of everyone involved. Not only do employers and recruiters need to sustain social distancing, they also must speed the recruitment process as certain demands grow.

Four Recruiting Changes During Covid-19

We found several ways recruiters have shifted their practices during the pandemic:

Taking Advantage of a Shift in Healthcare Demands

It took experts by surprise when 1.4 million healthcare jobs were lost at the beginning of the pandemic last year. Typically, healthcare is resistant to wild swings in employment, but fear of infection forced many patients to avoid going to the hospital. In turn, elective surgeries and non-routine appointments took a nosedive, and those sectors suffered as a result.

This job loss represented an important change in healthcare demand, which required recruiters to pivot to finding candidates for emergency response positions. This has drastically altered some recruiting timelines, but talent searches can be accelerated with a pool of experienced candidates.

Adopting AI for Prescreening

Speed is essential during a pandemic as each day a position goes unfilled could have dire consequences for patients. However, there are only so many people that one recruiter can prescreen in a day.

Artificial intelligence is now helping to speed the process, enabling recruiters to more efficiently find the most qualified candidates. AI algorithms analyze background information and match candidates with the requirements of an open position, while reducing bias and providing an inclusive, diverse talent pool.

Leveraging Remote Interviews

In-person interviews suffered significantly with the rise of COVID-19. To make the interview process as safe as possible, remote interviewing exploded in the past year. According to Gartner, 82% of organizations have been conducting interviews remotely.

Today Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and other video conferencing tools have replaced in-person appointments. Even phone interviews have helped recruiters narrow the field while still maintaining social distancing protocols.

Using Health Pre-Screens

Recruiters have found that the majority of the time, remote interviews are sufficient to fill a vacancy. However, there are some situations where in-person interviews are still necessary. So agencies have had to provide health pre-screening to ensure the safety of both candidates and recruiters.

Short email surveys are used to capture key information about candidates and their immediate households. Also, onsite temperature checks have been used at some locations to minimize the chance of spreading the virus.

Finding Qualified Candidates Faster

The pandemic fundamentally shifted HCP recruiting. However, recruiters have found ways to both find talent and create an effective recruitment process. They’ve gotten savvy at finding motivated, qualified talent and matching them the right positions quickly.

One helpful approach to finding the best candidates is to put your organization where active healthcare job seekers are – a channel that is respected and trusted. Check out Elsevier’s recruitment packages today and find the top medical talent faster.