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Navigating the Healthcare Staffing Shortage

Addressing the Growing Staffing Shortage in Healthcare—Learn how to combat shortages and improve the candidate experience to ensure quality patient care.

A Growing Crisis

The healthcare industry is no doubt the backbone of any society, responsible for providing vital services that ensure the well-being of individuals and communities. 100,000 registered nurses left the workforce during the past two years due to stress, burnout and retirements, and another 610,388 reported an intent to leave by 2027 1. In addition, this industry has been marked by a series of strikes and walkouts by healthcare workers, bringing to light critical staffing issues that demand attention and resolution.

The strikes have garnered significant public attention, sparking conversations about the state of staffing in the healthcare industry. The immediate impact often includes disrupted services and patient inconveniences, there are larger implications to consider—specifically, the need to improve and refine hiring practices. While the flames of recent staffing shortages have been extinguished, there’s still much to be addressed. One of the primary reasons behind the strikes is the severe staffing shortages2 that have plagued healthcare facilities. In this post, we address the ways to combat staffing shortages in healthcare organizations and attract top talent in today’s candidate market to ensure our hospitals are well staffed and our communities are properly cared for for years ahead.

In this post:

  1. Staffing Shortages in Healthcare
  2. Attracting the Right Talent
  3. Improving the Candidate Experience
  4. What’s Next
  5. Start Growing Your Healthcare Workforce

Staffing Shortages in Healthcare

Healthcare workers, including nurses, doctors, technicians, and support staff, have taken to the streets, picket lines, and social media platforms to voice their concerns and demands. These strikes and walkouts are not isolated incidents but rather the result of pleas for more favorable staff to patient ratios causing a growing wave of discontent within the industry.

Kaiser Permanente, the focal point of last week’s strike, had contingencies in place to counter the walkouts, but not all organizations have the financial resources to battle that. So how can you ensure your candidate pools are adequate to sufficiently counter impromptu staffing shortages to minimize potential gaps in quality patient care?

Talent Acquisition doesn’t change overnight and requires forethought and strategic initiative to actively drive the organization into the right direction to combat the shortages that we are facing over the next decade. Over 193,100 openings for registered nurses are projected each year, on average, over the decade3. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire. Is your organization already planning for those conditions and are you best equipped to attract and retain top talent today?

Staff Photo: Margaret Malagisi

“Many healthcare organizations are struggling to keep up with today’s shortages and demand for talent, which unfortunately does not allow them to effectively plan ahead for the next decade. Now is the time to embrace AI and technology tools that can help Talent Acquisition teams not only build their candidate pipelines but to elevate their brand as a top tier organization where candidates want to work through top candidate experience.”

—Margaret Malagisi, Sr. Vice President of Sales, Healthcare

Attracting the Right Talent

Addressing the concerns of healthcare workers is vital for attracting in the industry. If the healthcare sector is to thrive and continue providing quality care, it must prioritize candidate sourcing.

The obvious answer is to throw money at the problem until it goes away but as we know, this approach is just as effective as it is practical. Instead of casting a wider net, we should focus on a more targeted approach.

Leadline achieves just with our custom smart applications that rank your applicants with a match based on your own custom set of questions and their preferred answers. This means you can spend more time focusing on qualified candidates and let our built-in automations take care of those that don’t meet your qualifications.

One of the most important steps to ensuring adequate staffing is to focus on the candidate sourcing process. Leadline has developed custom applications that are able to rank your applicants based on a set of questions and the answers they provide. This will help to ensure that the candidates that are chosen are of a higher quality. Additionally, it is vital to provide a positive candidate experience.

Improving the Candidate Experience

Candidate experience is at the forefront right now. Candidates have options and their experience is crucial in making a decision on which organization they want to work for. One way to ensure that they choose your organization is to make sure those candidates aren’t left wondering where they stand in their application journey.

Candidate experience is still the leading reason for Nurses and support staff to choose the hospital they want to work for. Sure, salary and benefits are major factors, however overall reputation and hospital brand is at the forefront.

There’s one point of contention on the rise which can be easily countered. “Despite being frowned upon, ghosting has become an unfortunately accepted practice among employers. It is alarmingly dismissive and disrespectful towards job applicants . . . and it sets an unprofessional example”4. The good news is that this can easily be addressed with the right tools. Remember the automations we mentioned earlier? Imagine being able to keep all of your RN applicants in the loop without delay. Think of how much time you could save by leveraging Leadline’s automation to move your CNA candidates to their next steps in the hiring process, with just a couple of clicks.

Leadline ensures a positive candidate experience for each and every candidate—ensuring your brand is positive while you attract talent.

So What’s Next?

Recent Mergers and Acquisitions have contributed to some of the higher levels of turn over, which have reached as high as 50%—leaving recruiters and teams struggling further in an already tight healthcare labor market.

The recent strikes and walkouts in the healthcare industry serve as a stark reminder of the challenges faced by healthcare workers daily. They demand our attention and action to ensure a resilient and effective healthcare system.

It is our collective responsibility to our communities, to ensure that our healthcare facilities are adequately staffed and can focus on patient care and we can do so through simplifying the applicant’s experience and the overall hiring process by providing the right tools to hire the right people.

While we can’t prevent the dwindling candidate pool in healthcare, we can help your healthcare facility attract top candidates, ensure that their first impression of your company culture and inevitably your brand is positively represented through top-tier candidate experience.

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  • 1 Study projects nursing shortage crisis will continue without concerted action – aha.org
  • 2 Department of Labor Statistics – bls.gov
  • 3 Kaiser nurses, pharmacists and other workers have walked off the job – npr.org
  • 4 Ghosting in Recruitment: Did Your Dream Job Just Vanish? – psychologytoday.com
  • 5 Staffing crisis sparks largest health care strike in U.S. history – salon.com