Ward Alles

A fresh perspective on recruiting for healthcare

By Ward Alles on August 7, 2017

Attracting and keeping talent in the healthcare industry is a greater challenge than ever. Check out the perspective of a seasoned professional who recruits in this space every day, Kara Otto, National Healthcare Relationship Manager at Titus Talent Strategies.

We hope her answers around creating an attractive employer brand provide valuable insight that you can start applying today.

WARD: Kara, how is recruiting in the health care space similar or different from recruiting in other professions?

KARA: Healthcare is a challenging market to recruit in because there is a candidate shortage. You could have hundreds of openings and maybe only get 50 resumes. Some aren’t qualified or don’t fit you culturally to bring the best value to your patients. You need creative ways to attract the brightest candidates to leave a position to come join your organization.

WARD: So how much does the health system’s brand or reputation factor in to attracting passive candidates?

KARA: If you think of your typical job description, there’s usually no cultural definition outside of being a team player, strong leadership, the generic things. So at Titus Talent, we help our clients develop their employee value proposition on their job descriptions and in our outreach to passive candidates. We describe what the culture is like. What the training may be like. Future opportunities. How this opportunity is going to better their life as a person as well as a clinician.

WARD: Do you think healthcare systems are good or bad at describing their cultures?

KARA:  Our clients know what sets them apart, but they have so many positions to fill, they sometimes settle just for a warm body. Keeping culture part of every conversation helps address recruitment challenges for the long run. The people that you hire will stay because you’re hiring them for the right reason. You’ll have less of a revolving door.

Keeping culture part of every conversation helps address recruitment challenges for the long run.Kara Otto

WARD: So you insist as much as you possibly can on hiring quality … even when you’re dealing with large quantities of openings?

KARA: Yes. We’ll meet clients at the quantity levels that they need, but you’re not going to get a resume flung at you just because they have a license and they’re looking for a job. We still use our process; we just tailor it make sure that we’re able to meet the volume that you need.

WARD: Okay. Top three do’s or don’ts when recruiting for healthcare?

KARA:

  1. Always remember to tout your employee value proposition beyond just listing openings and job descriptions.
  2. Always remember that you’re still hiring people and they’re not just a number. (I realize it seems like common sense to treat people nicely, but when you’re so overwhelmed and just trying to get through your list of applications, you can almost turn into a robot.)
  3. Always remember how important first impressions are. You represent an organization. Treat everyone professionally. You may have something to offer them just like they may have something to offer you.

WARD: Switching gears a bit, Core loves telling life-changing stories in healthcare. Do you have something like that to share about Titus Talent?

KARA: Yes. I’m super passionate about pediatric healthcare in low income environments. We recently did some work with a non-profit organization in Chicago called Almost Home Kids. They serve as a transitional home for children and infants that have really complex medical needs. So even if a family has no insurance or if their coverage runs out, they’re able to stay for as long as they need until they can safely go home with their family or their caregiver.

We did a pro bono recruiting event and invited nurses and administrators from the area to come in and learn about the organization. We ended up making a lot of hires from that one event. But what was really cool: We got to see the kids and realize the direct impact those nurses were going to make on their lives. So it was really heartwarming to be part of that.

WARD: What do you love about your job?

KARA: It’s my true passion. I love what health systems do in their communities. At Titus, we’re able to feel really good about each placement that we make because it’s based on a cultural fit as well as experience and competency. We know that we’re making the hire’s life better … that we’re making the organization better … and ultimately that we’re making patients’ lives better.

WARD: Wonderful. What’s the future of healthcare look like, Kara?

KARA:  It’s going be more and more difficult to find people – doctors and nurses – who want to be in or stay in public healthcare. The best will likely move into private organizations. That’s why systems need a strong employer brand – to attract and retain the best professionals possible for as long as possible.

 

Core Creative helps leading brands in the healthcare industry define their purpose and passion – one that can help attract customers and employees alike. Titus Talent Strategies helps those same types of companies with their recruitment strategies by emphasizing cultural fit throughout the recruiting process.

Please contact Ward at ward@corecreative.com or Kara at kara.otto@titustalent.com if you’d like to engage in further discussion around these topics.