Recruitment of the best and high-quality staff is challenging and stressful in every industry. It is not so different in the medical field.
Medical organizations are extra careful and vigilant to hire the best resource out of the large pool of professionals. The sensitive nature of the job and the direct dealing of medical staff with patients makes it a more difficult task for recruiters.
It is critical to hire the medical staff well suited according to their area of expertise. The quality of the staff represents the image of the healthcare service provider and improves the overall patient experience.
Furthermore, medical facilities are also under constant pressure to meet the criteria set by several government regulatory agencies to ensure the delivery of quality services. For instance, all medical facilities have to follow the regulations set by the Care Quality Commission.
Following are some common challenges the healthcare industry faces to recruit medical professionals.
1. Finding High-Quality Employees
Healthcare organizations can’t afford to hire low-quality staff, and the shortage of competent professionals makes it more difficult for them to fill the open positions sooner.
Several recruiters face the challenge of finding high-quality employees in various healthcare specialties. For instance, health tech professionals are in high demand owing to the increased use of digital tools and tech-based medical procedures.
But their recruitment is an arduous task as they are hard to find. Many health companies and institutions have inquired about healthtech recruiting at WeEngage Group to understand the kind of candidates applying and whether or not they’d be best suited for the job requirements.
Since most healthcare organizations can’t conduct talent hunts for potential candidates, they refer to recruiting companies like WeEngage to find talent best-suited for their requirements.
2. Shortage of Healthcare Professionals
In the UK, there are around 593,000 registered nurses working in various sectors. The NHS indicates that there are 90,203 mental health nurses and approximately 20,000 working for the disabled.
With more than 30,000 vacancies still to be filled, the NHS states approximately eight nurses for every 1,000 British people.
The latest figures by the NHS concluded that the overall shortage of nurses is up by nearly 3,000 compared to 2020.
London needed almost 10,000 nurses, a 2% increase since last year. Analysts predicted this shortage would only get more significant with time; the government isn’t taking the measures necessary to hire a skilled workforce.
This shortage has already placed an immense burden on the healthcare sector. Several other factors are contributing to the low supply of healthcare professionals.
These include the growth of the aging population, retirement of the healthcare workforce, high rate of chronic diseases, and the limited number of fresh graduates.
Only 23.8% more nurses were hired in 2020, compared to 2019, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. But encouraging stats also indicate more medical professionals will be hired to fill the gaps.
3. Location-Based Challenges
Location is a primary factor when healthcare organizations search for high-quality medical staff. Organizations located in larger metropolitan areas have easier access to highly educated and qualified professionals.
On the contrary, rural areas have limited access to a high-quality workforce due to a lack of facilities. It takes more than a year to fill a job vacancy related to healthcare in these areas.
Many physicians prefer to stay in big cities and join organizations paying them lucrative salary packages. However, recruiters in rural areas can offer high remunerations to medical professionals to attract them.
Healthcare service providers interested in offering their services to far-flung and less privileged areas can be better choices for recruiters in rural areas.
4. Limited Diversity
Diversity in the healthcare sector is a crucial factor. Many healthcare service providers face a constant threat to patients’ primary care due to a lack of diversity.
Patients are likely to receive more comprehensive care and achieve higher satisfaction when treated by medical staff belonging to the same ethnicity and cultural background as they are.
Achieving diversity in the medical field is challenging due to the lack of opportunities for some races and ethnicities.
Moreover, some locations have limited diversity. People belonging to different cultures and ethnicities don’t reside in some areas.
5. Lengthy and Complicated Hiring Procedures
The most daunting task for medical facilities is dealing with lengthy and complicated procedures to hire medical professionals.
Healthcare organizations spend months on average to fill any open vacancy. This duration is 20.5 days above the industry average. In some cases, it takes even several months to fill the space.
Lengthy and complicated screening processes are the primary factors behind hiring delays. It may include social security and criminal history tracing.
Some other processes are specific for the recruitment of medical professionals due to the sensitive nature of the job. These additional screenings are:
6. Screenings and verifications of credentials
This includes degree verification, background check with previous employers, and screening of professional certifications and licenses.
The General Medical Council (GMC)checks an applicant’s documentation and history before being allowed to work in a medical institution.
It also provides information about any warning letters issued to an applicant based on medical practices.
Some hiring professionals can also check applicants for required medical tests and vaccinations specifically relevant to the job.
These medical tests and screenings can take a long time, especially without prior information and proper documentation.
Existing staff are overburdened during all these screenings and unable to deliver quality services.
Medical professionals are in huge demand, but their recruitment requires a comprehensive and proper mechanism to follow.
Medical organizations can upgrade their systems or hire recruiting agencies to ease their work burden and continue delivering quality service to their patients, in this case, their patients.