How to Pipeline Healthcare Talent in a Tough Market


If you’re like most people, you don’t necessarily think about your health until you have to. It’s something we all take for granted until we don’t. But when we are patients, we definitely want the best care we can get access to. And the best care comes from the best healthcare workers. Unfortunately, for those who need care, there is a major shortage of quality healthcare talent that crosses each sector of the industry. Unemployment in healthcare is at an all-time low and demand for skilled healthcare workers keeps climbing.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, ‘the healthcare industry is projected to add more jobs—over 4 million—than any other industry between 2012 and 2022.’ It’s one of the fastest growing industries nationwide, but as Becker’s Hospital Review reports, healthcare doesn’t have ‘enough skilled people entering the workforce to fill the gap.’ And that can translate into negative consequences for quality and efficiency of care.

Top Challenges in Healthcare Recruiting

Healthcare organizations today often struggle with finding a steady stream of talent and building talent pipelines for healthcare that keep up with the demand for highly skilled professionals. To explain this further, we’ve compiled a list of top challenges in healthcare recruiting today, according to several leading healthcare organizations:

1) Collaborating With Corporate Marketing

Nursing jobs

Recruiters and talent acquisition professionals agree that having support from internal marketing and communications departments is important. However, it often limits the freedom that recruiters have in messaging to candidates and slows down the process considerably. Often, recruiting teams hear from corporate marketing the question of ‘Why didn’t you engage us sooner?’

Additionally, with constraints to branding and marketing communications, the recruitment marketing story may not be effectively presented to candidates and focus more from a corporate branding lens rather than a candidate-centric perspective. Remember, modern recruitment is modern marketing, so try to find ways to engage your corporate marketing teams early and often—rather than on a limited, disconnected basis. Working together, you can create a collaborative approach that addresses the divide between departments.

2) Creating Compelling Job Descriptions

Job descriptions for healthcare positions should tell a story. They should not be a laundry list of job responsibilities for candidates. And since job descriptions are often part of the attraction mechanism to get candidates to apply for certain positions, they should inspire rather than discourage. When healthcare candidates experience your employer brand early on in the attraction phase, a basic job description later on stands in stark contrast to your storytelling efforts. Instead, good storytelling should set the tone and framework for any job description—especially to set apart key healthcare positions in competitive markets.

But too often, job descriptions are still owned by members of the compensation team rather than content writers. This disconnect is especially problematic when trying to deliver a consistent candidate experience. Make sure to leverage help from your internal communications teams and marketing department for assistance in drafting compelling job descriptions that will set your organization apart and differentiate your organizational story.

3) Identifying the Best Fit Jobs for Candidates

With such a highly skilled, specialized talent segment, recruiters should treat healthcare professionals in a consultative manner. In other words, it is not solely the healthcare candidate’s responsibility to find a job that best fits them—it’s also the recruiter’s job. The demand placed on recruiters makes it difficult to look beyond the day-to-day. They are often forced to focus on filling jobs and are compensated on filling a single role.

Instead, taking a talent advisor role, or viewing themselves as career agents if good healthcare talent emerges, allows recruiters to think differently in how they connect candidates to the right roles. Rather than executing at a requisition level, recruiters should take a higher-level view and consider shifting the way they view talent attraction for highly skilled healthcare workers. 

Building Talent Pipelines for Healthcare

Now that we’ve looked at some of the top challenges in healthcare recruiting, let’s take a look at how you can get down to the business of building talent pipelines for healthcare, especially in a difficult market. Talent pipelining is one of the best ways your healthcare organization can fill future positions and have a ready stream of highly skilled healthcare talent to meet your workforce demands. Here are three keys to building a better talent pipeline:

1) Nurture Silver Medalists

A silver medalist is a healthcare candidate who went through the entire hiring process, including interviewing, but was considered runner-up for the position. This individual is already engaged and attracted to your organization, so make sure to take time in your CRM to identify, track and nurture these silver medalists. Execute personalized, targeted campaigns to keep them engaged with your organization. The best ROI happens when all recruiters and sourcers have access to silver medalists in your CRM, so they can be considered first for your upcoming, available healthcare roles.

2) Work Your Talent Network

One of the main goals in nurturing highly skilled healthcare candidates is to get them to opt in to your talent network. Candidates who are not ready to apply for open positions today may be ready to apply in the future. So don’t overlook their value in building talent pipelines for healthcare. Attract passive job seekers by letting candidates opt in to your talent networks from your career site directly. Make the call to action easy for healthcare candidates to use and opt into. Then use your CRM to segment and engage your various talent networks. It’s one of the best ways your talent pipeline can attract the types of skilled healthcare candidates who want to know more about you and receive updates on future opportunities.

3) Recruit Who You Already Have

Did you know upwards of 45% of candidates have already been paid for previously? That means you are likely investing in and paying for access to someone else’s database—rather than your own. And that’s the point of building a proprietary talent database that you can leverage for better talent pipelining of highly skilled healthcare workers.

Similarly, internal healthcare employees are some of the richest sources of candidates for filling future positions. Healthcare workers are often highly mobile, and if they are unaware of opportunities that exist in other parts of your organization, you could lose them to a competitor. Consider internal employees as a strategic talent audience that you can nurture for future positions. Give them visibility into other roles that may help them career path in your organization. That way, you spend more time recruiting who you already have and less time relying on external sources.

Start Building with the Right Approach

Getting the most out of your healthcare recruiting efforts is essential in a competitive market. So make sure you are not overlooking opportunities to make your talent acquisition process more efficient and effective. Numerous healthcare organizations, like UPMC and Gwinnett Medical Center, have partnered with Talemetry to build stronger talent pipelines, improve their recruitment marketing activities and optimize their recruiting performance. You may be on the fence when it comes to selecting a recruitment marketing platform. But if you’re a leading enterprise healthcare organization, then partnering with Talemetry will empower you to drive meaningful recruitment ROI and maximize your healthcare recruiting efforts. 


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