Hiring for Healthcare: 6 Tips for Finding the Best Candidates

by CoreMedical Group

Hiring for Healthcare" 6 Tips for Finding the Best Candidates

Hiring in the medical field can be overwhelming. With patient health, safety, and satisfaction to consider, not to mention workplace culture and reputation, it’s imperative to find qualified nursing and allied health professionals quickly without wasting time, money, and resources in the process.

Without the right resources and processes in place, hiring can sometimes feel like you’re playing Russian roulette or a guessing game. We’ve put together 6 tried-and-true tips to assist you in the hiring process and help you find the right candidate for every job.

1. Read the resume, don’t just filter it.

While filtering for keywords related to a vacant healthcare position is a helpful starting point for identifying qualified candidates, it shouldn’t be the sole step when reviewing a resume. Taking time to put your own eyes as a hiring manager on a resume will prepare you for conducting subsequent steps of the hiring process.

By truly devoting time to read a resume, you’ll be able to identify potential gaps in work history, unexplained short stints at certain facilities, expected longevity of a candidate, professional accolades, reputable former employers or associations, and the like. These are specifics gleaned from a resume that are more difficult to uncover from a software filter or a quick skim, and they should dictate the types of questions you ask in the interview.

2. Tailor the interview questions.

This is your opportunity to ask about the impressive and ambiguous facets of the candidate’s resume:

  • Can you tell me more about the accolades you’ve received as a medical professional?
  • I noticed you have several short-term jobs listed. Have you taken travel contract positions as a healthcare worker?
  • Can you share a little bit about your pursuits during the gaps in your work history? 

A seasoned interviewer will have a list of prepared questions that are asked of all candidates, but also have a subset specific to every prospect. This allows you as the hiring manager to uncover aspects of a candidate’s character and competencies that may otherwise be lost in the formality of a traditional interview.

It’s also imperative that the interviewer be comfortable in his role and at ease. A lack of confidence as the leader of the conversation will cause the interviewer to focus on himself and his performance rather than the candidate. This step can be the most challenging aspect for companies when it comes to the hiring process because most businesses do not hire on a weekly, monthly, or even quarterly basis. It’s the hope that employees will have longevity with your company. This means that most interviews are conducted by HR personnel who may have the ability to screen applicants but not the expertise that comes with interviewing candidates frequently.

3. Set realistic workplace expectations.

 Another crucial aspect to the candidate screening process that can easily be overlooked is establishing workplace expectations. The hiring process is primarily focused on whether a candidate is the right fit for a healthcare facility. However, it’s often not considered if a medical facility is the right place for a prospective employee.

Every candidate should leave an interview understanding the anticipated pay range for the position, workplace culture, overtime expectations, vacation accrual, and standard work hours. If the candidate is from out of town, share a bit about the geographic location, cost of living, and tips a transplant would be interested to know about the area. Being forthcoming about these details upfront could save you time and money, giving the candidate the opportunity to make an educated decision about their fit within your organization.

A medical staffing agency helps bridge this gap between employer and applicant. With a keen ear to listen to the needs of a healthcare manager and the recruitment expertise to surface qualified candidates for every position, a medical staffing agency could be your company’s biggest asset in the hiring process to ensure every placement is the right fit for your workplace culture. 

4. Talk to former colleagues.

With so much personal data readily available on the internet, some organizations have started to skip contacting references. Don’t make that mistake, especially when it comes to the health and safety of your patients. So much can be gathered from a brief conversation with a former colleague about a healthcare professional’s temperament and competencies. And the peer and supervisor perspectives are both equally important in the candidate screening process.

If applicants provide references, compare the provided list with their work history. Are there references from more recent employers? (Note: An applicant may not include a reference from their most recent employer so as not to disclose their job search.) It is also beneficial to contact former places of employment to ensure that the candidate is in good standing and eligible for rehire.

5. Review background thoroughly.

We all know it’s standard practice to conduct background checks, drug screening, and medical licensing checks. But some companies use the most basic background screening services to benefit their bottom line. A thorough background check will include SSN validation, residence tracing, criminal record check, sex offender registry scan, as well as OIG and OFAC verification. These checks should be conducted for every alias found in the candidate’s record. In addition, prospective employers should verify all medical certifications and licenses are up-to-date and that the candidate is in good standing with no disciplinary actions on record.

When you partner with a medical staffing agency, they take on this expense for you. Comprehensive background checks instill an added layer of assurance in the people you trust to care for your patients. What’s more important than that?

6. Prioritize assessments.

Assessment software is a luxury that isn’t cost effective for most healthcare companies to purchase unless they hire on a frequent basis. Reputable medical staffing agencies, on the other hand, should be in a constant state of recruiting, so adding this type of benefit to their list of client offerings should be standard.

Healthcare assessment software allows employers to verify applicants’ skills and proficiencies during the recruitment process. Test results can then be used to assist in the hiring decision. From area-specific nursing competency exams, to testing candidates’ knowledge about patient safety practices, recognizing abuse situations, or even their basic understanding of pharmacology, assessments take your quality check standards to the next level.

Bonus: Conduct ongoing quality checks.

While these 6 tips will provide you with the breadth and depth needed to make the most informed decision possible about your future healthcare personnel, some things just cannot be fully known before the onboarding process. That’s why it is so important to perform ongoing quality checks even after orientation. Follow up with medical staff and supervisors after the first month of employment and at quarterly intervals to ensure your team is thriving.

Partnering with a Medical Staffing Agency

Hiring quality healthcare candidates takes time, resources, and expertise, which can put strain on your in-house personnel. Medical staffing agencies are entities fully devoted to recruiting and job placement, serving as an experienced liaison for all of your hiring needs. A quality staffing agency will have a robust database of potential candidates, a streamlined hiring process, well-established industry relationships, and competitive benefits for travel allied health professionals.

Want to learn more about working with a medical staffing agency? Check out our employer page today!