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3 Ways to Address Perm Staffing Challenges

In today’s healthcare market, it’s no surprise that healthcare hiring has become so challenging, especially hiring permanent staff. The shortage of nurses and allied health workers, a large percentage of contract labor, the cost to hire, the difficulty of operating a 24/7 facility with an unprecedented amount of job vacancies and the way many facilities continue to use outdated hiring practices are just a few of the struggles the industry faces. To combat these and other perm hiring challenges, here are three perm hiring solutions that can help. 

1. Shorten Time to Interview

Hiring managers are clinical professionals designated to align their units with hospital policies, manage staff scheduling, provide patient care, ensure efficiencies of unit operations, attend meetings, maintain budgets and the list goes on. Faced with short-staffed units, hiring managers are also tasked with interviewing and appropriately staffing their teams with healthcare providers possessing the adequate skill set and the right personality to fit into their culture while driving retention and team camaraderie. 

It’s a tall order, and hiring managers have minimal time to interview during busy days. With all the duties expected of hiring managers, interviewing and hiring tasks tend to get lost or pushed to the bottom of the pile. 

Healthcare institutions must prioritize hiring efficiency teams to support their hiring managers in recruiting and retaining talent. Some systems utilize executive assistants to help perform administrative work, but even this isn’t solving the problem. Enabling blocks of time each week for hiring managers to interview and safely staff their units should be a top priority. Having set time to tackle interviewing tasks helps shorten time to interview and shortening time to interview is the first step to reducing time to hire and snagging in-demand clinicians before someone else does.




2. Reduce Time to Hire Through New Technology

Time to hire nurses has historically been well over 45 to 60 days and, in many instances, over 100 days. Candidates get lost in applicant tracking systems and go cold due to a lack of engagement and the use of outdated technologies. Continued use of outdated technologies and perm hiring techniques prolong applicant turnaround time. 

Reducing time to hire can bring significant savings and improve candidate quality for health systems. One effective way to achieve this is by leveraging advanced technology

Capitalizing on technological features, such as instant matching of “right candidates” through the latest Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning technologies, chat interfaces, mobile apps and automated scheduling, can decrease response times by 2 to 3 times and engage interested candidates within minutes of submitting their applications. 

Just by utilizing chat-enabling technologies, hiring managers can greatly decrease response time and quickly capture interested candidates. Candidates get answers and feedback in real time instead of getting lost in a sea of emails or applicant tracking systems. They get the answers they deserve fast, so they can either move forward with the hiring process or express interest elsewhere. 

Health systems using updated technology solutions have significantly reduced time to hire. In some instances, the time from interest to offer has been as short as 5 days, with an average hiring time of 28 days. By reducing the time to hire, health systems can efficiently begin the onboarding and orientation process and get healthcare workers to the bedside to care for patients, reducing patient-to-staffing ratios and improving patient care and outcomes as well as staff satisfaction.


3. Increase Candidate Interest Through Transparency

Another hurdle in healthcare hiring is meeting job seekers’ demand for more transparency. When candidates have transparency of information such as pay, benefits, shifts and honest reviews of employers, they have the details they need to make educated decisions about the next step in their careers. 

Finding candidates is costly, and retaining them even more so. Healthcare recruiting with clear visibility, especially regarding pay, before a candidate even applies is a great way to be proactive. It also helps employers stand out and significantly increases their ability to attract quality talent. Disclosing accurate salary ranges early on also saves employers and candidates time because it lets job seekers know from the outset whether the position meets their expectations. 

There’s nothing worse than spending time interviewing and getting close to the end of the hiring process just to learn the position’s pay isn’t anywhere near what the candidate expected or will accept. Pay transparency along with disclosure of benefits and ancillary support services decreases the likelihood of candidates applying for jobs they wouldn’t be interested in if they’d had these details in advance. It also saves hiring managers time interviewing candidates who aren’t going to work out in the end. 



Bonus: Ensure Applicants Feel Valued 

Candidates in today’s healthcare market have options. There’s a supply shortage, which isn’t new to healthcare, but health systems have recently seen a major uptick in vacant jobs. The pandemic has further taken a toll on healthcare workers, increasing burnout and ultimately leading to many nurses and other medical professionals leaving patient care or seeking new roles. Increased patient workload results in unsafe staffing and working conditions, causing even more healthcare worker burnout and ultimately leading to risks in patient safety and an overall decrease in quality of care. 

A vicious cycle begins – healthcare positions open with limited qualified workers to fill the role and demand goes up. 

Healthcare workers are well aware of how valuable they are, and they’re demanding fast turnaround times, along with benefits, an inclusive work culture and respect, safe working conditions, safe patient ratios and great pay. One way to ensure the hiring of top-quality candidates is to act quickly. When candidates apply for jobs and don’t hear back, they assume the facility isn’t interested and take their talents elsewhere. 

The future of healthcare success depends on adequately staffing hospitals and facilities with healthcare workers who feel valued and respected and have a safe place to practice. Healthcare professionals spend years working toward obtaining their degree and license to practice in a profession in which they feel called to help. 

Overcoming healthcare hiring challenges begins with retention, which starts with the interview process. Expediting the application process and reducing the time to hire lets candidates know they’re valued, sought after and appreciated. 

Schedule a demo with Vivian Health to learn how we can help you overcome your perm hiring challenges.

Shay Hubert Nitsch BSN, RN

Shay Hubert Nitsch BSN, RN

Shay has been a Bachelors prepared RN since 2015, with experience in travel and staff roles. She serves as the Lead Clinical Advocate at Vivian, working closely with Health Systems and clinical candidates to ensure facilitation of feedback in a clinical advisory role to facilities.

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