Can Technology Provide a Lifeline to the Healthcare Industry in the Race for Talent?

Healthcare organizations in the US are finding it increasingly harder to hire skilled labor positions. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) reported that 46% of HR professionals have found it “very difficult” to fill full-time roles for nurses, doctors, and specialists.

Underscoring this medical staffing crisis, the Association American Medical Colleges (AAMC) predicts there to be a shortage of 40,800 to 104,900 doctors by 2030. For nurses, the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) predicts 1.2 million vacant nursing positions by 2022. The need for medical talent is there, and we are in danger of falling short.

As positions go unfilled, those working in hospitals, clinics, and assisted living facilities find themselves with heavier workloads and higher stress—leading to more turnover in an industry that already suffers from above average turnover, particularly for nurses. The BLS says that average registered nurse (RN) turnover rates have increased from 11.2% to 17.2%.

What’s Causing the Healthcare Talent Shortage?

This increasing demand for skilled labor is due to an aging population. The United States is trending older on average, with 48% of the population projected to be over 65 by 2032, compared to just 3.5% projected by 18 or younger. This shift towards an aging and retiring workforce means many industries are dealing with a talent drain, while struggling to find the next generation to fill in the gaps.

Perhaps no industry feels this pinch more than healthcare. The aging population impacts the healthcare industry two-fold—it sees employees retire, but also sees a growth in aged care patients.

That means HR professionals are left looking for replacements in an already competitive job market. However, given the immense importance of providing medical care, they have no choice but to find the required staff. 

Technology Provides an Assist

With a tight job market that leads to heavy turnover, healthcare organizations need to look to find any advantage they can to hire and, more importantly, retain skilled medical professionals. Technology can provide a solution.

Modern recruiting tools like SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting can streamline the user experience for candidates, making it easier for them to find and apply for positions. Recent innovations include SuccessFactors Candidate Relationship Management (CRM), which seeks to both increase applicant engagement and make the recruiting process easier.

With CRM, a medical recruiter can create campaigns for specific needs—such as ER nurses—through forms that directly integrate into SuccessFactors Career Site Builder. This can be done without extensive technical expertise. The same is true for building e-mail campaigns.

After putting out a job posting, medical recruiters can also build talent pools in CRM that group together specific types of candidates. This keeps the candidates warm—or easy to locate—should another need arise. So, if you put out that ER Nurse job posting, you can build a talent pool separate from the potential ICU nurses or medical-surgical nurses, for example.

Going further, CRM provides candidate pipelines—meaning you can find that potential candidate without ever creating a requisition. Additionally, the tool also unifies all information you may have on a candidate into a single view, saving the time of switching through different screens.

Finally, CRM helps track the effectiveness of your recruiting efforts through recruiting KPIs, ensuring your recruiting team can improve and become more efficient.

That’s just an example of one tool that SAP SuccessFactors provides for Recruiting, it provides a full suite that covers your recruiting process from identifying a need to hiring candidate.

Good recruiting helps you find the best candidates. Good onboarding ensures those candidates feel connected to their position, and your company. The right technology can streamline these processes and optimize the work of your HR professionals. SAP SuccessFactors Onboarding has tools for mentoring—assigning that more experience nurse or doctor as a buddy or mentor before day 1 through the first 90 days. Socialization can have a major impact on turnover and is the most critical part of onboarding.

Other onboarding processes can be streamlined through SuccessFactors, eliminating manual entry, improving integration with recruiting, tracking new employee data, and even getting that new hire paperwork out of the way as soon as possible—even before they start.

The good news is that SuccessFactors Onboarding has been getting a major upgrade recently that is set to go live very soon. This will ensure that HR professionals in the medical field have the latest, integrated, technology that makes the transition from applicant to onboarded employee seamless.

To battle turnover, healthcare companies need to effectively onboard their employees so that they are in tune with the company processes, culture, and values, as well as understand their own individual goals immediately from the point they are hired. A good onboarding system can ensure that every necessary step is taken to ensure employees are set off in the right direction more easily.

Finding Success in a Tight Labor Market

It’s imperative for healthcare organizations to find any edge they can to recruit and retain the best professionals. They will continue to be hit hard by an aging population, and great processes combined with great technology will be what the best companies do to succeed.

To learn more about the healthcare talent crisis and how your company can adapt, download our e-book.