For years, interest in healthcare careers had been in decline. Healthcare professionals work long hours, and depending on the positions, don’t always do the most glamorous work. These highly trained professionals often don’t get the best working conditions or the best pay, either.
Simultaneously, while interest in these careers wane, demand has been steadily increasing along with our aging population. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare occupations are projected to grow by 14 percent from 2018 to 2028. That’s almost 2 million jobs in the US alone. The demand for healthcare professionals is so large that healthcare HR expert and CIO of Talent Think Innovations, Janine Truitt, says, “staffing demands in hospitals are so large that they are looking to pull retired nurses out of retirement just to keep up.”
In the past two weeks, though, hiring in the healthcare industry went from “high demand” to “on the verge of collapse.” Part of the problem includes a staffing shortage to begin with. Now, healthcare organizations face a new challenge brought on by the COVID-19 global health crisis. The other problem is keeping healthcare professionals treating sick patients healthy themselves.
If that isn’t enough, on top of normal healthcare hiring challenges and increased Coronavirus demand, an additional hiring challenge includes the need to hire safely. With the recent recommendations to self-quarantine and practice social distancing, many organizations have “gone remote.” In doing so, many have halted hiring, which has typically been an in-person process.
Luckily, recent actions and technological advances now allow the entire hiring process to become virtual, and safe. Here’s what you need to know to fill these high demand roles while practicing #SafeHiring:
Healthcare is full of substantial regulations. Thus, large amounts of training - both in patient care and compliance is required. To help organizations hire the people they need to care for the increase in patients, some local governments have already started “cutting the red tape” on health professional hiring. The San Francisco Chronicle reports, “Typically, it takes the city six months or more to hire a nurse. Under the new rule, some medical professionals can be hired on the spot and start working in as little as a week.” On a wider scale, the article reports, “The Department of Public Health was already working on making changes to the protocol to hire nurses in 45 days or less. On Tuesday, The Board of Supervisors also passed a resolution — written by Supervisor Ahsha Safaí — to expedite the hiring process to less than 90-days from the day they receive an application.”
Screening plays a critical role in fast, remote, and safe hiring. Being able to quickly understand and process a person’s basic qualifications (i.e. degrees, certifications) and past work experience plays a critical role in time to hire. Having an automated chatbot that can integrate seamlessly into your HRIS, ATS, or CRM can help you easily access all the candidates that meet some basic criteria with ease.
In addition to some basic qualifications, many organizations require or prefer candidates to take some kind of skills or aptitude test to assess industry, regulatory, or even customer/patient care knowledge. Online and automated assessments can be a great way to quickly learn critical information about candidates even before an interview.
Typically, the most in-person part of a hiring process is the interview. In an effort to hire safely, video interviews are a great alternative to face to face interviews. They allow for hiring teams to meet live with a candidate, whether one on one or in panels. Or, there are asynchronous options, which allow candidates to answer questions on their own time that hiring teams review when it’s most convenient. In times of crisis like these, asynchronous interviews may be needed.
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