Healthcare Recruitment: Move Beyond Agencies to Save Time and Money – and Find Better Talent

Time is money. Those wise words of Benjamin Franklin are referenced often, and rightly so. They refer, of course, to the fact that often when we are wasting time, or spending more time on a task than necessary, we’re wasting money.

The high stakes of healthcare recruitment

The words carry meaning for many disciplines, including healthcare recruitment. It’s an area where big money is often spent. No wonder, because the stakes are high. The field is highly competitive, where skilled workers with the necessary experience desired by healthcare organizations in high demand. And since many healthcare organizations are also growing rapidly, recruitment is an area ripe for exploitation by recruiting agencies that understand the landscape.

It is often a frenzied environment. Healthcare organizations need lots of people with specific skills. Internally, the HR and recruitment staff is typically burdened with this high demand and a staff that is unable to handle the high volume needed. The result is a reliance – often an over-reliance – on agencies to find the people with the necessary skills.

This is a very expensive proposition. Depending on the organization and the hiring needs, the cost can easily be hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars.

Just the cost of doing business?

No, it doesn’t have to be.

The high cost of healthcare recruitment

What’s more, because of this frenzied environment, checks and balances are often overlooked or ignored. So not only are expenditures high, quality is often low. The result is that less-than-ideal candidates are often recruited. They might be less skilled than required, a poor cultural fit, or both. In either case, chances are high that the new employee does not last, resulting in an even more costly scenario – a short-time employee. The high cost of recruiting the employee is made even worse by the need to recruit a replacement – all after the cost of searching, recruiting, hiring, onboarding and training.

All told, it’s a process that is expensive, takes too much time and delivers poor results – not a combination that I would like to explain to senior management or a board.

I’m not disparaging all employment agencies.

But the reality is that the healthcare environment, with its high demand and highly competitive fight for skilled talent, lends itself to waste and inefficiencies that can often be avoided.

HR technology to improve healthcare recruitment

Forward-thinking and efficient healthcare organizations have found a way out of this dreary scenario with technology. HR technology is not a cure all nor magic. Real work still needs to be done.

Yet, the right technology implemented properly can provide real value and address the concerns expressed here. Many healthcare organizations are moving beyond the high cost of agencies for hiring, agencies that too often do not deliver promised results. Technology has the ability to give you more control over the recruiting process even while saving time and resources. The recruiting process can be transformed by:

  • eliminating many manual processes and automating the others
  • making people more accountable for their work
  • improving candidate screening time and improving the quality of candidates
  • improving communication between HR and hiring managers, and among HR staff
  • freeing up recruiters’ time
  • providing insightful reporting for faster and improved decision making
  • improved morale (of both HR and hiring managers).

While these benefits show how the implementation of the right recruiting technology can be truly transforming for a healthcare organization, there are other tangible benefits to the bottom line:

  • money saved on agency fees
  • time-to-hire cut dramatically
  • better quality hires that are a better cultural fit
  • better use of existing candidate talent pool
  • reduced overhead costs.

Less for the middle man – more for you

This is not just hyperbole. I’ve seen healthcare organizations realize these benefits through the implementation of cloud-based talent acquisition and recruitment software.  They have been able to drastically reduce payments to recruiting agencies, saving literally hundreds of thousands of dollars. And their time-to-hire has often been cut in half. Furthermore, they have more input and control over the process, so they make better hires.

Like most industries, eliminating the “middle man” is only bad for one person – the middle man. The same goes for drastically reducing the middle man’s role rather than eliminating it.

Healthcare organizations have enough challenges as they navigate through a high-growth, competitive landscape. By implementing modern recruiting technology, the challenge of finding and hiring the best people can be greatly minimized.

For healthcare recruitment, it’s time to consider moving beyond agencies – to save time and money, and hire better talent.

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