Hiring and recruiting the right candidate in the healthcare industry is particularly important due to the critical nature of the work and the need for specific skills and qualifications.
Here are five ways to ensure you hire the right candidate in healthcare.
- Clearly define the job requirements
- Conduct thorough interviews
- Verify credentials and licenses
- Consider cultural fit and values alignment
- Utilise reference checks and background screenings
1. Clearly Define the Job Requirements
Healthcare roles can vary significantly, so it’s crucial for organisations to clearly define the specific skills, qualifications, and experience necessary under the job descriptions before starting the recruitment process. Consider the level of education, certifications, and specialised training required. This will help attract the right candidates, who possess the essential qualifications for the role.
Job Title and Position Summary
On the job boards, clearly state the job description title and provide a brief summary of the position. This helps candidates understand the role’s level and primary responsibilities at a glance.
Key Responsibilities and Tasks
Outline the core responsibilities and tasks associated with the role. Be specific about the essential job functions and duties and job opportunities the candidate will be expected to perform on a day-to-day basis. This helps candidates gauge whether they have the relevant experience and skills.
Required Qualifications and Experience
Specify the minimum qualifications and experience required for the job. This may include educational requirements, certifications, licenses, and years of experience in a similar role or healthcare setting. Differentiate between “required” and “preferred” qualifications to clearly communicate the minimum requirements versus additional desired attributes.
Technical and Specialised Skills
Identify the technical and specialised skills necessary for the particular position above. For healthcare roles, this could include proficiency in specific medical procedures, knowledge of relevant medical software or equipment, or familiarity with electronic health records (EHR) systems. Clearly list the skills that are essential for success in the role.
Competencies and Personal Attributes
Consider the competencies and personal attributes that are important for the role and your organisation’s culture. These may include communication skills, critical thinking, problem-solving abilities, attention to detail, adaptability, empathy, and teamwork. Clearly communicate the desired behavioural and interpersonal qualities to attract qualified candidates, who possess these traits.
Physical Requirements of Healthcare Workers
In healthcare and other industries, some roles may have physical requirements that need to be considered, such as the ability to lift heavy objects or stand for extended periods. Clearly state any physical demands associated with the company or job to ensure candidates are aware and can assess their suitability.
Reporting Structure and Team Dynamics
Provide information on the reporting and human resource management structure, including who the new hire position reports to and any team members the candidate will collaborate with. This helps candidates understand their place within the organisation and the team dynamics they will be a part of.
2. Conduct Thorough Interviews
Interviews with job seekers in the healthcare industry should focus not only on technical skills but also on interpersonal skills, empathy, and problem-solving abilities. Use behavioural-based questions to gauge how candidates have handled specific situations in the past. In the healthcare field, teamwork, communication, and a patient-centred approach are critical to job performance, so assess candidates’ ability to work well with others and provide compassionate care.
Prepare an Interview Plan
Develop a structured interview plan that outlines the key areas you want to cover during the interview. Hiring managers can do this within HR’s recruitment strategy. This ensures consistency across candidates and allows you to gather the necessary information to make informed decisions. Include a mix of behavioural, situational, and technical questions relevant to the healthcare role.
Ask Behavioural-Based Questions
Behavioural-based questions are designed to elicit examples from candidates’ past experiences to assess their skills, behaviours, and abilities. Ask candidates to describe specific situations they have encountered, how they handled them, and what the outcomes were. This approach helps recruiters and potential employees evaluate their problem-solving skills, decision-making abilities, and how they handle challenging situations.
Assess Technical Competence in Healthcare Industry
In healthcare, technical competence is crucial. Depending on the role, include questions or scenarios that allow candidates to demonstrate their knowledge and expertise in relevant areas. This may involve asking about specific medical procedures, knowledge of regulations and compliance, or proficiency with medical software and equipment. Consider using case studies or role-playing exercises to assess their practical application of skills.
Allow Time for Candidate Questions
Give candidates the opportunity to ask questions about the role, the organisation, and the work environment. This provides insights into their level of interest, understanding, and preparation. It also allows you to gauge their curiosity, motivation, and potential fit within the organisation.
Consider Panel Interviews or Multiple Interview Rounds
In healthcare, it can be beneficial to involve multiple stakeholders in the interview process for quality candidates. This may include members of the hiring team, supervisors, colleagues, or representatives from other departments. Panel interviews provide different perspectives and help assess candidates from various angles, enhancing the accuracy of evaluations. Consider conducting multiple interview rounds to further assess potential candidates” fit and competencies.
Take Notes and Evaluate Objectively Through the Recruitment Process
During the interview, take detailed notes on candidates’ responses, strengths, and areas of concern. This helps in comparing candidates later and making objective assessments. Consider using a standardised scoring system or evaluation rubric to ensure consistency in evaluating candidates and screen applicants’ responses and qualifications.
3. Verify Credentials and Licenses
It’s essential for all healthcare companies and organisations to verify the credentials and licenses of healthcare candidates before making a hiring decision. Check their educational qualifications, certifications, and licenses with the relevant institutions or regulatory bodies. This will ensure that candidates meet the necessary standards and are legally eligible to practice in their respective roles.
Understand the Requirements
Familiarise yourself with the requirements and regulations applicable to the specific role and healthcare profession. Each healthcare profession may have different educational requirements, certifications, licenses, and regulatory bodies overseeing the process. For example, physicians may need to be licensed by a state medical board, while nurses may need to be registered with a nursing board.
Request Copies of Relevant Documents
During the application or pre-employment stage, request candidates to provide copies of their credentials, certifications, licenses, and any other relevant documents. This could include diplomas, degrees, board certifications, professional licenses, or registration cards. Ensure candidates understand that providing accurate and authentic documentation is essential.
Verify with Issuing Institutions and Healthcare Professionals
Contact the relevant issuing institutions to verify the authenticity and validity of the provided documents. This may involve reaching out to educational institutions, professional associations, licensing boards, or regulatory bodies. Check their contact information from official websites or directories to ensure you’re contacting the appropriate sources.
Confirm Active and Unrestricted Status
Ensure that the licenses and certifications are active and unrestricted. Some regulatory bodies provide online databases or verification systems where you can directly check the status of top candidates’ licenses or certifications. These databases may allow you to search by the candidate’s name, license number, or other identifying information.
Consult Legal and Compliance Experts
It can be helpful to consult legal and compliance experts to ensure that your verification process complies with local laws, regulations hiring practices, and privacy considerations. They can provide guidance on the specific requirements and best practices for the process of verifying credentials and licenses in your jurisdiction.
4. Consider Cultural Fit and Values Alignment
In healthcare, cultural fit and values alignment are essential for providing patient-centred care and maintaining a positive work environment. Assess whether candidates align with the organisation’s mission, values, and ethical standards. Look for individuals who demonstrate empathy, compassion, integrity, and a commitment to patient safety and quality care.
Define your Organisation’s Values
Start by clearly defining your organisation’s values and the desired culture within your healthcare setting. Consider the key principles, behaviours, and attitudes that reflect your organisation’s mission and vision. These values will serve as a foundation for assessing cultural fit.
Communicate your Values
Clearly communicate your organisation’s values to candidates throughout the whole recruitment process and strategy hiring process. This can be done through the job description, the company website, social media platforms and during interviews. Share information about your organisation’s mission, patient care philosophy, and the importance of teamwork, collaboration, and empathy.
Assess Cultural Fit through Behavioural Questions
During interviews, ask behavioural-based questions that assess how candidates have demonstrated your organisation’s values in their previous work experiences. For example, if one of your values for healthcare companies is empathy, ask candidates to provide specific examples of work history of how they have shown empathy towards patients or colleagues in challenging situations. Look for candidates who align with your organisation’s values and can demonstrate their commitment to them.
Consider Teamwork and Collaboration
In healthcare, effective teamwork is crucial for delivering quality care and patient outcomes. Assess candidates’ ability to work well in teams by asking questions that explore their experience collaborating with colleagues, their communication style, and their willingness to support others. Look for individuals who demonstrate a collaborative mindset, good communication skills, and the ability to build positive relationships.
Involve the Team in the Hiring Process
In addition to conducting interviews, consider involving current team members in the hiring process. This can be done through panel interviews, group interviews, or informal meet-and-greet sessions. Encourage team members to ask questions and provide their perspectives on cultural fit and values alignment. Their input can provide valuable insights and help ensure that new hires will integrate well into the existing team.
Assess Alignment with Patient-Centred Care
Patient-centred care is a fundamental principle in healthcare. Assess candidates’ understanding of and commitment to patient-centred care by asking questions that explore their communication skills, ability to listen, and empathy towards patients and their families as healthcare professionals. Look for candidates who demonstrate a patient-focused mindset and a genuine passion for providing compassionate care.
Consider Diversity and Inclusion
While cultural fit is important for medical professionals you hire, it’s essential to balance it with a commitment to diversity and inclusion. Embrace recruiting a diverse workforce that reflects the diverse patient populations you serve. Assess candidates’ ability to work effectively in a diverse environment, respect differences, and contribute to an inclusive workplace culture.
5. Utilise Reference Checks and Background Screenings
Contact the references provided by the applicants, such as previous supervisors or colleagues, to gather insights into their clinical skills, education, professionalism, and work ethic. Additionally, conduct thorough background screenings to ensure candidates have a clean record and no history that could jeopardise patient safety or their suitability for the role.
In healthcare recruiting, hiring the right candidate for filling positions goes beyond technical competence. It also requires assessing their ability to provide compassionate care, work effectively in a team, and adhere to high ethical standards. Taking a comprehensive approach to evaluating candidates will help you find the right fit for open positions in your healthcare staffing and organisation. It will also help avoid high turnover rates, and increase a high volume of applicants. Likewise, if recruiters can focus on hiring talent then it would be a powerful tool in maintaining retention rates.