Demand for healthcare professionals continues to grow. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the healthcare sector will add more jobs than any other group of occupations from 2016-2026. With many options available to candidates, it may come as no surprise that attracting highly qualified allied healthcare workers to rural areas is a challenge for many organizations.
To consistently attract top talent, effective recruitment tactics are imperative. According to the results of a recent , organizations must develop a deeper understanding of recruitment and retention strategies that provide workers with a more meaningful calling or purpose.
They must also highlight “extrinsic” factors, such as geographic location, diversity of work, and strong management and leadership structures. You can start incorporating these critical elements into your organization’s recruitment and retention strategies by following the tips below.
Go beyond incentives.
Many organizations offer special incentives to attract candidates to positions. It’s important that your incentives are strong enough to stand out compared to other organizations, particularly if your facility is in a rural area with less access to benefits common in urban centers. But you can go beyond monetary incentives by highlighting the importance of your facility to nearby patients (and the impact on the local community).
On average, people in rural areas have less access to healthcare than those in urban areas. That makes healthcare facilities incredibly important to rural communities. By talking about the meaning of the work, you can make positions in rural areas more appealing to candidates. The concept of social good is particularly meaningful to millennials who comprise a significant percentage of the current workforce.
Be flexible with the start date.
When it comes to filling positions in rural areas, be flexible with start dates for candidates. You’ll likely need to source from outside candidate pools, and it can take time for people to relocate, particularly if they have families. Don't pass on an interested candidate simply because they aren’t available to start working within a certain timeframe. Instead, focus on candidates who have all the main qualifications for the job and meet your organization's needs. And if you have to adhere to a strict start date, let qualified candidates know you will keep them in your database when other positions come up.
Flexibility makes positions in rural areas more appealing and helps to establish goodwill among candidates for other positions.
Be proactive with recruitment.
It's critical to keep your recruitment efforts active year-round. To successfully fill positions in rural areas, be proactive about contacting candidates to develop a network of potential applicants. You don’t want to begin your search when you’re short-staffed and in desperate need of competent staff. Proactively create your applicant pool so you’ll be in a better position when hiring needs arise.
Finding top candidates for allied healthcare positions in rural areas can be difficult, but these tips should help streamline your rural hiring process. If you're struggling to find candidates for rural positions, consider building a trusted partnership with a staffing agency or educational institution that can connect you with a pool of potential applicants from across the nation.
Published on: September 8, 2017
Updated on: September 14, 2018