February 14, 2023

Hiring in Healthcare in 2023: How to Overcome Recruitment Obstacles

Angela Lin
Angela is a Data Science and English major at UC Berkeley who juggles interests in machine learning with short fiction. Outside of writing blog posts, she can be found painting Bay Area views or trying new recipes.

Recruiting challenges in healthcare

The healthcare industry needs people. Up to 47% of healthcare workers are planning to leave their jobs by 2025. To meet rising demands, the industry would need to hire 200,000 nurses each year. But healthcare presents unique obstacles when it comes to filling empty roles. 

  1. Tedious application and screening process: 

Healthcare has one of the longest time-to-hire rates. Organizations must comply with various regulations which add complexity and length to the hiring process. The red tape leads to frustration for candidates, increasing applicant drop-off.

  1. Small candidate pools: 

Many specialized roles in healthcare require specific education and training. Employers face strong competition to attract qualified candidates, often driving high recruitment costs.

  1. Low retention: 

Healthcare provider turnover is currently 26%, double the national average. The industry’s staffing shortages cause burnout, stress, and further turnover, creating an ongoing cycle. 

  1. Limited remote options:

We’ve seen an increasing demand for remote work over the past year. But many healthcare jobs cannot be done remotely, widening the gap between the supply and demand for healthcare providers.

Grace’s story: what can we learn from the gig economy?

Grace worked as a registered nurse for four years in Dallas. After the pandemic exacerbated nurse shortages, she often worked 12 hour shifts and was overwhelmed with being assigned six patients at a time. Her job was causing her mental and physical health to suffer, so she quit.

Grace became a per-diem nurse and now works on an as-need basis. She has full control over her schedule and has the freedom to turn down shifts. Many of her coworkers have also left traditional roles to become travel nurses, PRNs, or per-diem nurses to find better work-life balance. 

The healthcare gig economy has seen a tremendous increase since the pandemic: travel nurses made up 23% of all hospital nursing hours in 2022.

Strategies to overcome healthcare recruitment challenges

  1. Flexibility

The rise of the gig roles has proved the importance of flexibility for healthcare providers. Give employees scheduling autonomy and paid time off to appeal to candidate needs. 

  1. Transparent and efficient hiring

Provide visibility into your screening process and its progress. Consistent communication is crucial to building stronger relationships with candidates. In addition, leverage AI and data technology to increase the effectiveness of sourcing and managing candidates. 

  1. Promote work-life balance and employee health 

The high-stress environment of healthcare has led to burnout for 55% of front-line workers. Mental and physical health are top priorities for jobseekers today. Be specific about your plans to promote work-life balance. What are your nurse-patient ratios? Are there mental health resources? Demonstrate exactly how you’ll care for your employees.

  1. The importance of employer branding in healthcare 

The competitive hiring landscape means you have to differentiate yourself. A compelling employer brand backed by personal stories will help candidates connect with your mission and people. Employer branding also helps boost workplace satisfaction and retention.

About Puck

At Puck, our mission is to make hiring more human. We believe that people and their stories should be at the center of your employer brand strategy. Stay up to date on hiring trends with our newsletter.

Thanks! We'll reach out to you shortly.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.