Successful Healthcare Recruiting During A Pandemic

Written by: Lisa A. Burke
Published On: Apr 13, 2020
Category:

female doc wearing face mask

The coronavirus has affected all aspects of the business community with U.S. non-essential workers urged to “shelter in place.” The number of total cases across the U.S. is changing literally minute-by-minute. Firms of all sizes have had to quickly implement remote-based tools to keep productivity flowing, often leading to significant downtimes as employees adjust to a remote-based work style. For recruiters the impact  needn’t be too stressful as much of the work is performed virtually as a matter of course. The most significant adjustment with regard to the hiring process will be the shift from in-person to virtual interviews and job fairs. We’re going to discuss each of these strategies below and have also included a section on safe practice during in-person interviews for those of you who live in areas less impacted by the virus.

Tips for Successful Video Interviews

While in-person interviews remain the preferred method of meeting candidates and may still be viable in areas not hit hard by the virus, other areas, such as New York where there are a large number of reported cases, recruiters will need to transition to an exclusively virtual platform. LinkedIn, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, PwC, Intel, and others are now relying on video and phone interviews in lieu of face-to-face meetings. Virtual platforms enable recruiters to stay connected with candidates throughout the hiring process on a real-time basis thereby fostering stronger engagement and client retention. 

Video interviews involve more than sitting in front of a camera. Below we note several tips to ensure a successful meeting:

  1. Video interviews require careful planning to create a structured interaction. It could be beneficial to develop an outline of topics to cover and share with the candidate.
  2. To minimize any disruption during the call, do a test run of the technology, for audio and video quality. If you plan on sharing your screen, make sure that feature is working properly as well.
  3. Because candidates aren’t able to visit the facility, it’s important for recruiters to make an extra effort to promote the culture of the company by emphasizing its mission and values.  Use visual materials, such as brochures, career-site, social media pages, and employee testimonials.
  4. Healthcare recruiters need to show candidates that the video interview is as serious as one conducted in person so dress professionally and conduct the meeting in a private and quiet room. Be personable and engaging by maintaining eye contact and smiling or nodding at candidate comments. Take notes so you can revisit certain areas later in the meeting. 
  5. Send a thank you note to the candidate for their versatility and spending their valuable time to speak with you. It might also be a good idea to ask for candidate feedback regarding the virtual process to improve the experience. How did it go for them? Was it comfortable? What could have been better? 
  6. Inform candidates of next steps in the process -- candidate retention is all about transparency and communication.

video interview

Conducting Virtual Job Fairs

This activity is probably one that is not new to the healthcare recruiters in your organization but it may play a great role over the next few months, especially as medical conferences and other in-person activities are put on hold. If planned carefully, virtual fairs are a highly effective method to recruit candidates across multiple practice areas at one time.  Below we’ll discuss strategies to boost attendance and engagement.

  • Virtual fairs need to highlight the company brand. When setting up the virtual booth, be sure to include a few company video clips (such as employee testimonials), social media pages, a listing of open positions, company locations and latest news. It’s important to incorporate new materials that can’t be found in other company literature, such as staff changes or “day in the life” of an employee.
  • Develop a multi-channel marketing campaign to promote the objectives and target audience for the event which will help candidates self-select out if the purpose of the event doesn't match their interest. Some popular communication channels include online banners, email campaigns, event notices on professional association websites, and a special event page created on job boards and social media pages.
  • When chatting with qualified candidates during the fair, try to set up a time in the next day or two to speak with them in greater detail.  Many virtual platforms have features that allow recruiters to save chats or record video calls with candidates so that they can reference the discussion and follow up.

Tips for Conducting In-person Interviews During Coronavirus Crisis

While many areas hit hard by coronavirus will need to resort to a remote hiring strategy, if your area is not significantly impacted, you still have the option to continue conducting on-site meetings. However, it’s important to take some of the precautions we note below. 

  • Elbow bump rather than handshake. Businesses across the world recognize the need to maintain safe distance while also respecting the social amenities of the interview. It’s perfectly acceptable to meet, smile and sit down, forgoing the handshake or exchange a fun elbow bump. A fist bump might be acceptable but you want to try and limit direct skin-on-skin contact.
  • We have all heard the advice to wash hands up to 20 seconds as this is the easiest way to contain the spread of coronavirus. With this in mind, develop the habit of washing your hands at least two times when conducting in-person interviews. Once before you meet with the candidate, and the second time right after.
  • It is recommended that people keep a minimum of 6 feet distance to minimize contagion. Prior to the interview, position the chairs this distance or greater before the candidate arrives and be sure to disinfect the tables and chairs after each meeting. 
  • Do not ask for a hard copy of the candidate resume but upload the digital copy to your laptop for review during the meeting.

This health crisis will pass but, until it does, recruiters are well positioned to conduct business as usual due to the technological tools available nowadays. Two tools that should definitely be considered, video interviews and virtual job fairs remain very effective to foster engagement and communication quickly and safely.

 

Want to explore more recruitment advertising options such as medical journal websites, job enewsletters and online job postings? Contact our Sales Director Traci Peppers at t.peppers@elsevier.com today.