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9 Factors Contributing to Healthcare Recruiter Burnout - Plus 3 Ways to Combat Them

Burnout is a vicious cycle. When it attacks an industry of workers, recruiters for that industry also feel the effects. Recruiters are currently facing a wide range of challenges connected to the changing worlds of work and technology. No industry is quite as affected by the intersection of these two worlds as healthcare.

The pandemic caused tremendous upheaval in healthcare, as well as massive healthcare worker burnout. Now, these upheavals and that burnout are affecting healthcare recruiters, who are struggling to hire effectively for an almost unrecognizable healthcare industry from a ever shrinking pool of candidates.

Burnout Isn’t Just a Buzzword - It’s Brutal

Burnout usually occurs when workers are asked to constantly go above and beyond the parameters of their job and/or are under enormous amounts of stress. For the healthcare industry, the onset of COVID-19 heralded unprecedented levels of stress, accompanied by rapidly increasing workloads in lockstep with a just as rapidly declining workforce.

In the aftermath, healthcare recruiters are experiencing their own burnout, trying to bolster the industry and address the all-too-many gaps left that desperately need to be filled by not just a candidate, but the right candidate. There are just so many challenges when it comes to recruiting and retaining talent in an industry crippled by healthcare worker burnout

Specific Challenges Currently Facing Healthcare Recruiters

Healthcare recruiters are currently experiencing multiple challenges that are significantly impacting their ability to source and hire quality healthcare professionals. These challenges include:

1. Unprecedented Demand for Healthcare Workers

The pandemic exacerbated the shortage of healthcare professionals, including nurses, doctors, and support staff. This is worsened by the fact that about 55% of all registered nurses are 50 years old or older, and approximately 52% of active physicians are 55 or older and on the cusp of retirement. 

Demand for healthcare workers has risen significantly compared to pre-pandemic levels, across numerous verticals:  

  • Nursing care: +105%
  • Community care: +164%
  • Home health: +60%

This elevated demand is projected to persist through at least 2024, and places immense pressure on recruiters to quickly find and onboard qualified candidates.

2. Savage Competition for Talent

The healthcare industry faces fierce competition for talent. Not only are hospitals and clinics vying for the same candidates, but recruiters must also contend with attractive offers from travel nurse agencies, telehealth companies, and other healthcare-related businesses. 

Healthcare workers are leaving traditional roles for healthcare jobs in the gig economy in record numbers. This can mean lower-than-normal applications and the need to cast a wider net for recruitment professionals already overloaded with demands on their time.

3. Staff Burnout and Retention

Healthcare workers are facing unprecedented levels of burnout and stress due to the pandemic. A survey of nursing and allied health professionals revealed that the exodus from the profession is likely to continue due to this burnout:

  • 20% to 30% have accelerated retirement plans
  • 50% to 60% plan to change their career in some way
  • 15% to 30% plan to pursue a career outside of healthcare all together

Finding and placing candidates who will both perform well and stay for more than a year is increasingly more difficult for recruiters as the pool of qualified candidates continues to shrink due to healthcare worker burnout.

4. Increasing Skills Shortages

Many healthcare roles require specialized skills and certifications. Healthcare recruiters have to find and compete for candidates with the right qualifications, and there's often little time to train on the employer’s side. 

At the same time, healthcare requires an array of soft skills and competencies in addition to hard skills, making finding the right candidate even more important. Whether a healthcare worker is dealing directly with patients or handling billing, people and conflict resolution skills are a must!

For recruiters, figuring out which candidates really have those skills and which are just keyword stuffing their resumes is taking more and more valuable time.

5. Insufficient or Incomplete Technology Integration

Healthcare recruiters are increasingly relying on technology for sourcing and screening candidates. However, keeping up with rapidly evolving recruitment technologies and ensuring data security and compliance can be daunting. 

There’s an increase in the use of automation and technology for every step of the recruitment pipeline, from application reviews to reference checking to interviewing candidates. Automating your hiring funnel is a must in today’s fast-paced recruitment landscape.

However, many recruiters are faced with the problem of too many tools and no time to learn how to implement them. Simple, easy-to-use and fully integratable tools and platforms are desperately needed to streamline healthcare recruitment.

6. Struggles With Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Concepts

The healthcare industry like most other industries is constantly striving for greater DEIB in its workforce. For example, while there has been an increase in racial and ethnic groups in nursing to 20% since 2010, this is still short of the 37% of the US population that are considered to be racial and ethnic minorities. 

Recruiters must actively promote diversity in their candidate pools while ensuring fair and unbiased hiring practices. This means finding ways to rate candidates based on performance and potential over name, age, education, race, place of birth, and similarities with the hiring manager or interviewer.

How do you take unconscious bias out of the equation? You need a hiring funnel that gathers hard data on skills and competencies, making the rest fade into the background.

7. Difficulties With Remote Hiring and Onboarding

The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of remote work in healthcare. Candidates must be prepared to work in remote or hybrid environments, and hiring managers, recruiters, and interviewers must be comfortable and familiar with virtual interview and onboarding processes. Recruiters are often faced with issues trying to connect people with varying levels of tech savvy. 

8. Greater Emphasis on Candidate Experience

The mental and emotional health of healthcare candidates is a growing concern. Recruiters can find it exhausting to be constantly worried about and nurturing their candidates' wellbeing while their own is at risk.

The need to be sensitive to the challenges healthcare workers face can be met by embracing processes that automate yet personalize routine parts of the hiring process. This provides for a better candidate experience and support without draining recruiters.

9. A Need for Preemptive Workforce Planning

Predicting future healthcare staffing needs is challenging, especially in the face of evolving factors associated with the industry

  • Healthcare policies
  • Population demographics
  • Healthcare trends

Recruiters must align their goals with a long-term workforce planning strategy, something that is best accomplished by assessing candidates not only on their skills for the current role on offer, but for skills gaps likely to occur in the organization after their hire. However, this too takes time and effort.

3 Ways Healthcare Recruiters Can Avoid Burnout

At Crosschq, we focus on making recruiters’ jobs easier, taking the small, important stuff off your plate so you can focus on the big important stuff. Here’s how we can help you hire faster, better, and without burnout, using 360 Reports.

1. Know Your Candidate - Like, REALLY Know Them

Crosschq 360 starts by having your candidates for each specific job perform a self assessment.

 360 Surveys are developed to generate simple, one-click answers from candidates about their attributes, and expand with detailed feedback to highlight their most pertinent healthcare skills and competencies.

Skills and competencies, which are otherwise often hard to uncover, can speak to how the candidate would actually perform in their role particularly relevant to healthcare role specifics, such as patient interactions, reporting accuracies and response under pressure. 

Crosschq 360 can rate on these HCAHPS-relevant skills and competencies so you can make hiring decisions, faster. For example, you can find out a candidate’s aptitude for:

  • Communication
  • Professionalism
  • Teamwork
  • Problem Solving
  • Work Ethic
  • People Skills
  • Response Under Pressure

Once a candidate has completed the survey, it’s sent to their hand-picked references. Scores and comments from their references can be compared with the candidate’s report and a final score arrived at for the candidate across each skill and as a whole.

Each candidate and their references complete this process using the same survey questions, and the final scores can be compared without a cloud of unconscious bias. This makes it easy and fast to surface your top candidates and complete a digital, reference-based skills verification

2. Make Interviewing Work Like Never Before

Interviews are well known for being the clog in the recruitment pipeline. Interviewers often don’t ask the same questions, focus on the same things, or even deliver the same information to each candidate.

360 Reports allow reference checking to be done early in the hiring funnel, giving you a wealth of hard data about each candidate. Interviewers can use this data to formulate a direction for each interview, filling in gaps and gaining clarity. 

The time saved by using Crosschq 360 over traditional reference checking (up to 95% less time per candidate) allows for more involved and focused group interviews that help those who will be working with and directing the new hire to get a better feel of the candidate and provide their input.

3. Hire Faster, More Accurately, and With Sooo Much More Confidence

Crosschq 360 makes it so much easier to keep up with and outpace your competition. You’ll be able to identify the best candidates quickly, match skills with open roles, and even earmark “runner-up” candidates to encourage them to apply to other current or future roles in your organization.

The data you gain from 360 Reports help you determine which candidates are most likely to raise your overall Quality of Hire, bringing performance and longevity standards up across your organization.

With Crosschq 360, you can make critical healthcare hiring decisions faster, keeping a competitor from snatching your intended hire - while reducing the risk of making a too-hasty pick and paying the cost of a bad hire.

Don’t Let Burnout Take You Out - You Deserve Better! 

Has the state of healthcare recruiting got you down? It’s time to upgrade your healthcare hiring tech stack; make your life easier and your hires better.

Crosschq 360 integrates seamlessly with your ATS and HRIS, improving hiring team experience and candidate experience.

Transform your approach to healthcare recruitment with 360 Digital References and gain time back to spend on tasks that offer higher rewards for you as a recruiter. 

Use the dashboards and easy-to-share reports to keep track of candidate pre-hire data and communicate more efficiently with hospital and healthcare hiring managers. The data provided by each report can also help you build a strong vault of active and passive candidates who can be tapped for future roles.   

Ready to learn more (and start clocking out on time?) Request a free demo today


Katie Kennedy

by Katie Kennedy

Talent Consulting Lead

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