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How to revitalize your recruiting strategy during the pandemic

There’s no question that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed how healthcare organizations recruit. According to a June 2020 survey by AAPPR, nearly 80% of interviews had moved online, along with 43% of site visits and countless job fairs and conferences. Additionally, nearly one in five organizations had paused recruitment efforts all together, and 28% of organizations had reduced their recruitment staff.

These environmental changes have required recruiters to find new ways to recruit effectively. During the Locumsmart 2020 Educational Conference, the team at PracticeMatch offered some advice on how to virtualize your recruitment strategies to improve outcomes. Some of their tips are provided below. 

1. Evaluate your current approach

With many organizations pausing or slowing recruitment efforts, now is the perfect time to reflect on your current recruiting strategy, says Clint Rosser, vice president of operations at PracticeMatch.

With so many recruiting tools available these days, from email campaigns and smart banners to call lists and job boards, which tool you’re using is less important than if you’re using it to its full potential, he says.

Ask yourself if your current tools support your recruiting strategy and if you’re leveraging all of your resources to be successful. What do you need to change going forward? Finding ways to adjust your strategy now, during a slower period, will help you be more successful when hiring picks back up.

2. Set goals

Review the goals you’ve already set for your recruitment team. Are they SMART goals? Are they achievable? How are you tracking them? Revise your goals if you can’t answer these questions.

Along with goals for your team, it can be helpful to set specific KPIs (key performance indicators), says Rosser. These indicators can help you demonstrate if you’re successful in your efforts and show others how your team is doing. Make sure you determine how these indicators will be monitored.

It can also be helpful to look back at historical data to figure out which goals or indicators are reasonable. Identifying how many days it takes to a fill a position or how many leads a job board posting brings in can make it easier to see future improvements.   

3. Clean up your data

You can also use down time to clean up your data and reorganize. Update or add details to your notes or database, run progress reports from your applicant tracking system (if you use one), and prioritize open jobs.

If you don’t already use an applicant tracking system, now might be a good time to research them and find which one might help you best meet your goals.

4. Work on your email strategy

There are so many ways to reach out to potential applicants these days, but it’s important to be intentional with whatever method you’re using. Not only does this save you time overall, but it also will bring in higher quality applicants.

"What we see with our clients who are extremely successful with recruitment by email, they're looking at their messaging and making sure they're sending the message they want to send. They're also sending to the correct audience. I cannot stress this enough. If your database has the ability to drill down to geographic preference or specialty, use that,” says Rosser.

He encourages organizations to be proactive with their email communications. For example, send out different messages to those who have read your emails than to those who never open them. He also recommends always including a clear call to action in the message, so the reader knows which steps to take if they’re interested.    

5. Join virtual career fairs and conferences

Many recruiting events went online in 2020, and it can difficult to pivot from a well-honed, in-person strategy to making connections virtually.

While virtual career fairs can be a great way to connect with potential applicants, it’s important to do your research first. “Make sure you select the right hosting organization,” says Madison Tarrant, director of career fair operations at PracticeMatch. “Find an organization that’s going to be able to help you from start to finish, from marketing to getting your questions answered.”

In addition to promoting your event, it can be helpful to offer an incentive – such as a chance to win a $100 gift card or headphones – for those who visit your virtual booth.

Finally, Tarrant recommends setting up your virtual booth in a way that draws people in. “Think about what you want people to see,” she says, adding that photos and testimonials by physicians can go a long way toward attracting visitors.

6. Don’t forget about social media 

Social media is a great way to engage potential applicants, and it also allows you to provide a fuller picture of your organization than a simple listing on a job board.

When a candidate is searching for information about an organization, they first go to Google and Glassdoor, and then they check out the organization’s social media feeds, says Laura Kleffner, vice president of marketing operations at PracticeMatch.

Because this is often one of the first touchpoints a candidate has with your organization, it’s crucial the information is up-to-date, cohesive, and relevant. “Social media should be a highlight reel of what makes your organization unique,” says Kleffner. “It shows a human side to the organization, not just links to jobs.”

Changing strategies for changing times

While the pandemic is expected to subside in 2021 and many aspects of recruiting will return to normal, these best practices will benefit your recruiting strategy regardless. Thoughtfully considering your recruiting strategies and making changes may be challenging, but it’ll help you create a more robust pipeline with better results.

Would you like to reduce the amount of time you spend recruiting locums providers so you can focus on improving your overall recruiting strategy? Contact support@locumsmart.net to find out how we can help.

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