Healthcare job searches are on the rise according to data trends we have been closely monitoring at Recruitics, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Healthcare workers are in high demand, and it seems surprising that during a crisis healthcare workers are actually searching for jobs. Since the release of our article COVID-19 and Nurse Recruitment which highlighted early trends in regards to supply and demand for nurses, many have been asking me this question: “How could there be an increase in healthcare workers searching for jobs amidst a pandemic?”
So, here are several reasons why I believe healthcare job searches are on the rise and how you can take action.
Healthcare Work with Purpose
Healthcare professionals work with a clear purpose, and they often refer to their work as their “calling.” This calling distinguishes the character of people who work in healthcare and have vowed to make a difference caring for others. It should be no surprise, then, that many healthcare professionals are searching for opportunities to do their life’s best work, even during these uncertain times. An excellent data point proving this is a recent Recruitics case study where an A/B test of registered nurse (RN) job titles showcased that job titles that included “COVID-19” had a significant lift in conversion rates and average applications per job, without significantly increasing the cost-per-applications. This highlights that nurses are currently more likely to engage with jobs that are critical in purpose to the pandemic.
In a recent address, the Queen of England meaningfully said, “I hope that in the years to come, everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge.” This admirable pride and sense of purpose is activating healthcare professionals to search for opportunities to help respond to the challenge.
ACTIONABLE TIP #1 - Be sure to include messaging that highlights purpose in your employer brand and job content to attract purpose-driven healthcare candidates.
Emerging Healthcare Talent
Professionals that were not actively working or employed previously in the healthcare sector are now emerging. They are being drawn from different industries and are coming to the call in a time of need. We are seeing that workers are answering the call and gravitating to (or back to) healthcare. Even some healthcare professionals are coming out of retirement and adjusting their current situations so they can apply their desperately-needed skills. These are people who are looking to help while they are critically needed, but may not have long-term plans to continue actively working in healthcare.
ACTIONABLE TIP #2 - Be sure to have temp jobs posted, or have a portal to activate those only looking to support the surge that may not be looking for long-term employment commitments.
Work Displacement in Healthcare
Many healthcare facilities are canceling routine or elective care, so their support staff have lost hours or even their jobs. Many healthcare workers are, in fact, displaced from their regular working commitments, making them available to search for new opportunities and for a place to apply to their skills until things return to normal. Think about the doctors offices, medspas, plastic and elective surgery centers... the list goes on of all the areas that require skilled healthcare professionals that are impacted by “shelter-in-place” measures. It’s logical they, like many others, are looking for work to supplement income loss.
ACTIONABLE TIP #3 - Displaced healthcare candidates may be looking for part-time work or flexible hours to maintain obligations with current employers. Be sure to post shift work or offer a portal that allows people to indicate their availability to help connect to your hiring needs.
Healthcare Compensation & Pay
Everyone wants to be paid fairly for their value, and with healthcare workers in high demand, it's an opportune time to explore that value. There are many companies targeting healthcare workers and offering huge sign-on bonuses and hazard pay. While compensation is likely not their only driving force, exploring the opportunity for increase in their compensation is natural and logical, especially if they feel they are currently being undervalued. Not everyone can compete in the compensation game, but it is certainly a motivating factor causing healthcare job search to rise.
ACTIONABLE TIP #4 - Consider compensation and pay changes, like sign-on bonuses, hazard pay and other options. If you can’t compete in the compensation and incentive game, then be sure you know what your value proposition is to combat that. Your message will need to be consistent from your job ads that attract talent through to the recruiters’ messages to extend an offer. Play to your strengths.
Employer Brand Matters More Now Than Ever in Healthcare
An employer brand is a promise made and delivered to your employees. It's a make-or-break employer brand moment for many during this crisis. For example, if you make the promise “we care about your safety” but don’t deliver through your actions toward your staff, then your current employees are likely among those searching for a new facility to work at. While a facility may not be in complete control of how much PPE they have available, they can certainly still manage communication and messaging that displays care and empathy. The experience that many healthcare workers are receiving at their current employers is, no doubt, a driving force as to why many healthcare workers are searching for new opportunities. Employer brand messaging matters more now than ever in healthcare.
ACTIONABLE TIP #5 - Employer brand messaging matters, and it needs to be updated frequently for healthcare organizations due to constant changes in environments internally and externally. Ensure your careers site and job content is up to date with your employer brand messaging.
These are challenging times to recruit in healthcare, but opportunity is still present. Messaging is an extremely critical part of the strategy to attract healthcare talent in these unprecedented times. Organizations that put efforts into messaging will have the advantage to attract and retain high demand healthcare talent.