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3 Ways to Attract Qualified Candidates in Today’s Market

Wednesday, March 11, 2020 9:00 AM

Leadership

Written by: Marla Galasso

Marla Galasso
Recruiting Support Services Manager

Today’s job market is very different from what it was in 2015 when I was asked to help build BSM Consulting’s Recruiting Support Services.

Back then, national unemployment was sitting firm at 5 percent1. This resulted in many candidates vying for a limited number of job openings. In that environment, BSM received hundreds of resumes on behalf of clients for one job posting ad, and our average time to fill a practice administrator role was around 60 days.

Fast forward to the current 2019-2020 recruiting market where national unemployment is down by nearly 1.4 percent2, with unemployment specifically for medical and health care managers being at about .9 percent3. This creates the opposite situation from nearly five years ago: There are more positions to fill than there are qualified candidates. Where we used to get hundreds of applications for one job ad, we now see about 30 percent less applicants. Even more significant is we receive less qualified applicants, and to find the right hire requires considerably more time and effort than before.

So, what does this all mean for your practice when seeking to fill a position nowadays? It means you must change your recruiting approach to be competitive in today’s market.

Take a New Approach

The recruiting market has dramatically shifted, and it is not just a passing phase. To successfully hire in this new environment, here are three simple, proactive ways to improve your recruiting process.

1. Shift Your Mindset

Businesses are operating in a candidate-driven job market. In such a market where job openings are plentiful and qualified labor is slim, job candidates have more power and choice. In fact, nearly 3/4 of all job seekers are proactively seeking new positions because they aspire to find a better one — not because they need to4.

Knowing this, I’ve spent the last year or so working with clients to shift their mindset on how to effectively recruit for their practice. This updated approach is less about having the candidates sell you on why they’re a good fit, but more about how you can support their career goals and why they should join your organization over others.

2. Announce You’re the Total Package

When devising your hiring strategy, start by considering what top candidates want in their next career opportunity. Then share your ability to meet those aspirations in your job posting. We recommend focusing the beginning of the ad on all the reasons why you are the best choice to be their new employer.

This can be hard when your organization is the most prominent medical specialty facility in the area, with highly talented physicians who have pioneered extremely important medical and surgical techniques, and whose patients consistently rate their quality of care with 5-star ratings. These are all great characteristics, but they don’t necessarily convey why your opening is a great career move for candidates.

We’ve found that the MOST talented and qualified candidates are only applying to high-quality organizations. To differentiate yourself from others in your area/specialty, focus your ad on what top candidates value the most such as:

  • A career advancing move (role and responsibilities).
  • Organizational leadership that focuses on transparent communications, operational strategy, and business development.
  • Highly competitive, current market-based compensation, plus incentive for achieving measurable goals.
  • Desirable geographic location and cost-of-living commensurate with compensation.
  • Robust medical, dental, vision, profit sharing/401(k), paid time off, and other benefits.

3. Showcase Why You’re the Right Choice

Effective and timely communication throughout the hiring process can be a key component in demonstrating to candidates why your organization is the right choice for them. Based on my experience as a recruiting manager, I’ve outlined a few best practices below to show candidates that you respect them and are therefore a good employer.

  • Acknowledge all applicants within 48 hours via email or text and set their expectations for next steps. For example: “Thank you so much for your interest in our [title] role! We are currently reviewing resumes and plan to get back to you within 10 business days.”
  • Follow up when you say you will. If you’re behind on reviewing resumes, or someone is still in the “maybe” category, a simple update will suffice. For example: “Due to the volume of interested candidates, the review process is taking additional time to complete. Thank you for your patience and continued interest.”
  • Start the interview process as soon as you get a qualified candidate. Do not wait until you have three, four, or five candidates lined up before interviewing. Qualified candidates are likely applying to other positions and being courted by recruiting firms, so time is of the essence.
  • Always send a no thank-you note. Sending a kind, but clear follow-up message is important. This small act reflects well on you as an organization. You never know when or how your paths may cross again; it may be to hire them in the future.

Invest in Your Recruiting Efforts

Today’s job market requires an extensive investment of time and resources to find and hire qualified candidates — both of which medical practices don’t have a lot to spare. Put your practice in the best position by understanding current employment trends and taking a more thoughtful, proactive, and hands-on approach to recruiting. You’ll be rewarded by hiring great candidates in a timely manner.  

LEARN MORE: Join us for a complimentary recruiting webinar led by Marla Galasso on Thursday, March 19 at 11 a.m. PST. Register today.

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