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Tips for adapting your hiring approach during the pandemic

According to Statistics Canada, as the pandemic continues to take its toll, the healthcare sector will face more than 100,000 job vacancies across the country – with job postings for nurses up nearly 50% since the last year.

Given the ongoing pressures of the pandemic, and the demand for capable employees, more senior care leaders are realizing the importance of evolving and improving their hiring strategies, interview processes and employee onboarding practices during the pandemic, in order to attract and retain top talent.

Here we look at strategies that senior care leaders can adopt to improve their hiring and training practices.

Invest in Recruitment software

Recruitment software including tools such as applicant-tracking and marketing platforms offer healthcare leaders access to highly skilled healthcare professionals seeking employment

Leverage Social Media

Platforms such as LinkedIn can be particularly effective in healthcare recruiting. By using social media in their recruitment strategies, healthcare and senior care leaders can find job seekers on the platforms that they are already using. Furthermore, in trying to attract candidates from the millennial pool, leaders may consider using platforms such as Instagram where, according to recent research, more than half of Canadian and US millennials are active.

Cast a Wide Net

The virtual workplace has created an opportunity for organizations to seek candidates from a much wider net. According to research, remote work is gaining in popularity with workers and employers, with 83% of workers eager to work from home at least once a week, while 55% of employers saying they expect to maintain hybrid work opportunities in the future.


Equitable Hiring

 Long before the COVID-19, diversity and inclusion were important topics in the workplace. Since the onset of the pandemic, world events have led to a resurgence of discussion around equitable hiring.

Senior leaders should not only introduce a diversity and inclusion program into their organizations, but they should also ensure that equitable hiring practices are incorporated into their HR structures, so that candidates from many different backgrounds and cultures can come forward. By creating a work environment that is inclusive, the workplace only becomes stronger and attracts stronger candidates.


New Interview Policies

Be open and transparent about the organization’s hiring policies, the approach to remote work and how management engages with employees. The more information that can be shared early in the interview process, the better so that organization and candidate can be sure of the right fit.

Given the pressures of the pandemic, consider offering an interview process that makes things easier for the candidate, such as sending interview questions in advance of the meeting or meet during after business hours. Also consider compensating those candidates who are asked to complete skill tests or assignments.


Promote and Hire from Within

Don’t make the mistake of overlooking members of your existing team, particularly those who are ready for a change and to take on more responsibility. According to LinkedIn, internal hiring is on the rise, with 73% of talent acquisition specialists saying that internal promotion is a priority in their companies.


Best Communication Practices

Effective communication is crucial, particularly during difficult times. Consider partnering with a communications and marketing team or agency to develop a hiring communications plan. Once the plan is in place, be sure to communicate with candidates throughout the process – even if the individual does not get the job offer.

Don’t forget to enhance your organization’s career page, in order to give candidates a clear and comprehensive picture of your organization and its culture. Include information on how the organization is operating during the pandemic.

To receive more job applications, many healthcare leaders are allocating resources to improving and optimizing their career sites, so that organizational culture, values and mission are prominently highlighted in order to attract highly qualified professionals. Site optimization can also help target specific candidate personas. A little effort in optimizing a career site can make a huge difference and increase the number of high-quality applicants.


Off-Hour Interviews

In healthcare caregivers often work off hours that don’t fall in the usual 9 to 5 schedule. To accommodate, many healthcare and senior care organizations are offering evening and weekend interviews to accommodate the strongest candidates. 

Colleges and Universities

Many healthcare and senior care recruiters are using university and college job boards, newsletters and online platforms to advertise open positions.

Work-Life Balance

 Healthcare leaders have added flexible scheduling of shifts to attract more candidates who may be seeking a balance between personal time and work time.

Offer a Great Onboarding Experience

During the pandemic, anything that can be done to enhance the onboarding experience will go a long way. Set up weekly one on one’s with the new hire and consider introducing weekly touch points between the new candidate and professional peers. Another way to build connections is to offer virtual events to nurture team spirit and contribute to employee retention.

With effects of the pandemic predicted to continue for the long term, improving the hiring process and making well informed decisions about candidates makes sense. Use the pandemic as an opportunity to leverage hiring best practices that will lead to better outcomes in the long run.

Learn how BookJane helps health care facilities improve shift fulfillment by 40%, dramatically decrease their time to fill shifts, and significantly reduce burdensome scheduling and administration time.
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