Healthcare Recruiting During A Pandemic: What Should You Do?

JANUARY 25, 2022 3 min read

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Hospitals and medical facilities across the world are facing a big question: how should they tackle hiring during COVID-19? Healthcare recruiting is a big enough challenge even without a pandemic. However, the urgency of demand today calls for healthcare recruiters to be creative and extremely persistent 

You may have seen these on social media. Images of doctors and nurses with marks on their faces from hours of wearing protective gear. Videos of grateful citizens showering applause and cheer to healthcare workers in their country.

Screenshot of bank account nurses and doctos after long hours of work during covid

At the forefront of COVID-19, millions of healthcare workers are putting their lives at risk for the sake of public health. The pandemic has magnified an already existing supply and demand problem in healthcare. To put things into perspective: In a pandemic-free time, the US would still need an additional 95,900 doctors. 

We took a look at search data on hireEZ and spoke with healthcare recruiters in the community. In this blog post, we’ll be highlighting three main focuses of healthcare recruiting right now. 

What We’re Seeing From hireEZ Users

We see the magnitude of these challenges from our customers. From February 29 to March 24, these were the top healthcare searches on our platform: 

Data of top healthcare searches on hireEZ on Feb 29 to Mar 24

Maintaining The Labor Pool

In more infected states like New York, California, and Washington, healthcare facilities are reaching their full capacity. Staffing schedules are being adjusted to mobilize employees internally and accommodate longer shifts. 

But, the longer the shifts, the longer the risk of exposure. The most pressing matter in healthcare recruiting today is finding qualified professionals to replace infected or quarantined workers.

Job postings for Coronavirus-related roles tripled in states like California and Washington. Registered nurses continue to top the list. Many of these vacancies are looking for 6-week to 13-week placements in community health centers and makeshift test sites. Healthcare recruiting efforts must leverage the flexibility of temporary positions 

We can take creative recruiting notes from New York.  Expanding the healthcare labor pool can be done by opening up the eligibility of people who can apply for roles. The state has turned to the retired workforce, private practitioners and credentialed medical students who can support staff. 

By including this talent pool, healthcare recruiting must now include efforts to provide resources that an emergency supply of candidates will need to get up to speed. Many COVID-19 training courses are being offered to volunteers and healthcare workers. 

Here are some online resources to share with healthcare candidates you’re engaging with right now:-

Online COVID-19 Training and Resources For Healthcare Candidates

[FREE] COVID-19 Nurse Training Certification

[FREE] COVID-19 & Online Learning: Tools To Meet Changing Demand

[$99] Coronavirus Workforce Preparedness Training

Connecting More Healthcare Workers To Job Opportunities

Hospitals and clinics have also been working with healthcare staffing agencies to hold virtual recruitment drives. Events like this help build urgency and employer branding. Be creative and precise with your needs to attract talents that are readily available to work. 

State-led recruitment drives have seen success in New York and England, especially when government employees are mobilized to spread information to local communities. However, announcements by smaller organizations spread on social media are easily missed. 

Social media and the Internet are immensely saturated with information right now. Recruitment marketing has to be done frequently, consistently and vigorously to ensure that target audiences are seeing content that is meant for them. 

To connect more healthcare workers to jobs, healthcare recruiting must leverage recruitment marketing for proactive outreach.

If you’re a hireEZ user, you can use our contact-finding ability to spread the word by:

1.Identifying roles you want to recruit for

2.Targeting your sample candidate pool by specifying geographic locations, minimum qualifications, expertise, skills, and availability 

3.Building a list of healthcare candidates who fit your candidate persona 

4.Giving these candidates a quick call or drop them a carefully-worded email 

5.Letting them know about open positions and having them provide a recommendation or spread the message to people they know 

Remember, it’s a stressful period for those in the healthcare space. When you come across a candidate, do your research. You should have comprehensive candidate information to decide if a call or email would work better, and when would be the right time. Be patient and understanding if candidates are too busy to respond, and keep reaching out to new people each day. 

Planning For the Future

The pandemic has alerted governments and healthcare providers about existing flaws in current crisis response protocols. All across the country, medical workers have been expressing concern about their capacity to care for a continuous increase in patients. 

This is the time for organizational leadership to take a look at existing workforce structures. Evaluate how your workforce performs under pressure and during a time of emergency. After filling current urgent positions, healthcare facilities should analyze existing teams within their organization. 

The goal of this is ensuring that workforce are prepared for an influx of patient services at all times. Determine the most understaffed roles and additional positions that must be added and created for organized action. Take a look at the additional hands-on-decks that were needed during this period and how readily available that talent was within the local area. 

When building a workforce plan for the future, hiring teams and leadership need to be transparent about new incoming vacancies. You can use hireEZ’s Market Insights to research hiring insights such as job descriptions and candidate personas. This will help you leverage data on the size and availability talent pools, locations with more candidates, healthcare employers in the area competing for the same talent pool, and more. 

Being Innovative And Proactive As A Community 

As healthcare facilities around the globe continue to save lives despite current talent shortages, the power of communities working together has brought about hope. 

Our usual hiring practices have been significantly hindered, but as a community, we should share our strategic and innovative ideas to keep recruiting the best talent even in times like this. At the end of the day, people have the power to create solutions and drive change. Adapting hiring processes to the demands of today are necessary to make a breakthrough. 

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