Written by Katie Gochenour, Aledade Director of Talent Acquisition
As we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, many areas of the labor market are beginning to level-set; however, the healthcare worker shortage from the public health emergency is expected to continue – and potentially worsen – in the coming year. Your practice might be noticing this now as job openings get fewer responses and stay open longer.
This challenge is compounded by the increased operational demands that primary care practices like yours face today, like an uptick in in-person visits and patient calls following a year that put many medical services on hold.
At this critical juncture, what can your primary care practice do to fill vacant positions and keep your team running at full tilt? Here are three simple, yet effective recruitment strategies.
Sell the Job
When drafting your job description, your primary focus is probably, “What are we looking for in a candidate?” But it’s also important to consider what the candidate is looking for as they scroll through the job boards. If they get overwhelmed just reading about your open position, chances are they won’t apply for it. Be clear and concise when drafting this language. Ask yourself which information is essential to the candidate at this point in the process and then save the rest for the interview stage.
When discussing the day-to-day responsibilities of the position, you’ll want to highlight the five most essential functions of the job in bullet-point format. Begin each bullet with a verb, such as “manage and coordinate physician schedules,” to keep the list engaging and easy to read. Rather than using words like incumbent and duties, try to speak directly to the job seeker, in a warm tone. Instead of, ‘The incumbent will handle all receptionist duties, including greeting patients,’ try, ‘You will serve as the first impression for our medical offices.’ Help the applicant really envision themselves doing the job and doing it well.
This is also a great opportunity to share information about what sets your practice team, culture and mission apart. Is your office located in a vibrant downtown? Have you had historically low turnover? Are team members encouraged to get to know your patients? These are all statements that can help cast your practice in the best light and attract a candidate who will be the right fit for your organization.
Get the Word Out
An effectively written job description is a great start, but it’s equally important to get it in front of the right people. Central to your strategy should be online job boards. As a complimentary service, Aledade supports our ACO member practices by posting open practice positions to our careers website and well-known online job boards including LinkedIn, Indeed, Glassdoor, Monster and 14 diversity-focused recruiting sites.
More locally, we also recommend connecting with area colleges and universities as well as your local chamber of commerce to promote your listing through their channels. If you’re looking for LPNs and CNAs, nearby vocational schools can also offer a prime applicant pool.
In today’s hiring environment, web-based job boards are essential to an effective recruiting strategy, but don’t forget good, old-fashioned word of mouth. When listing a vacant position, be sure to share the opportunity with your practice staff. Encourage them to mention it to family and friends and to share the listing with their Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter connections. Remember, many resumes are submitted through employee referrals. Use your community networks and your social media channels to get the word out. You never know the connections you’ll make.
Keep an Open Mind
When coming up with the qualifications for your next ideal team member, it may be tempting to include a laundry list of must-haves; however, your qualifications section should include only the skills that are absolutely necessary to get the job done.
For clinical roles, a degree and/or license will be non-negotiable, but in the case of other positions, you’d be wise to assess what’s truly needed to succeed in the role. Anything that's a preferred qualification should be listed as such.
Finally, keep an open mind about the types of candidates that can excel in the position. Although we like to think we are all objective, bias can creep into the recruiting process. Will a person with 10 years’ experience in the industry necessarily do a better job than someone with three? Is a candidate’s Ivy League degree overshadowing the rest of their resume? Remember that a diversity of perspectives will make your team stronger. Ask consistent questions throughout your interviews but also take the time to understand how seemingly unrelated experience could be an asset. The leadership skills attained through military experience or customer skills developed in the service industry may be what stands between an average applicant and your star candidate.
Looking for ways to help your medical team operate at peak performance? Aledade can help. Learn more about how our hands-on support can help your practice improve workflows and maximize efficiency while tapping into the benefits of value-based care.