Healthcare Recruiting Insights During a Global Pandemic

Time to Read: 4.5 minutes

Updated: October 6, 2022

How Have Healthcare Recruiting Needs Changed as a Result of the Global Pandemic? What are Recruiters Doing to Fill the Need?

As hospitals across the world face a pandemic, the demand for healthcare recruiting and healthcare professionals to fight on the front lines is unprecedented, and assembling the care units is a logistical feat like no other. Each country in all corners of the world has been affected but they all face their own set of unique challenges. Recruitment needs are different everywhere, with hot spots in Northern Italy, the UK, Latin America, major cities across the United States, and more.

How do you recruit for and service the areas hardest hit, but also ensure that there will be coverage available for other areas in need? Healthcare talent acquisition providers and their recruiters have been working diligently to accomplish this. Fortunately, healthcare workers are cut from a particular cloth: their primary instinct is to care and run to where help is needed. However, it’s not to say that they shouldn’t be protected and rewarded with some stability for the work that they do.

As a leader in healthcare recruiting, known for quick time-to-fill assignments which are particularly important during this critical time, Pierpoint International’s team shared their best practices and planning techniques for recruiting talent, sourcing, and placing qualified healthcare workers where they are most needed.

We spoke to members of the Pierpoint International recruiting team who offered the following advice:

Rommy Romero, Sr. Recruiter at Quest Diagnostics 

While there is an increase in the need for a diverse group of medical professionals in terms of skill-set and specialty, nurses are in especially high demand. The hands-on aspect of their job and the ability to place them at a faster pace is driving that. We are also seeing an increased need for phlebotomists, professionals that work in the testing field, and medical personnel trained in respiratory therapy.

To accommodate the need, we’ve had to expand our search. You have seen it reported that there has been a call for retirees to come back into the workforce. Recruiters have had to look beyond their regular candidate pool in order to locate retired professionals, yet this candidate data is not always readily available. With some creativity and perseverance, recruiters are finding avenues.

For instance, hospitals can provide lists of former employees to reach out to. Nursing associations are a good source for their membership lists. Contacting nursing schools and medical universities is a valuable source of candidates on both ends of the spectrum: we can tap into the entry-level nurse market and new grads, as well as call out to the instructors who are often experienced, and/or retired nursing professionals. In this scenario, you can create a dynamic work environment where new nurses are placed quickly but can benefit from the experience that a seasoned nurse can share, especially if they have already cared for patients during crisis moments.

Kira Soria, Sr. Recruiter at Bali Staffing

We’ve also seen that the credentialing process has been expedited as well as the ability for medical professionals to cross over licensing into new locations. Companies have been expanding nurse licensing and reinstating licenses to recruit retired nurses and attract the largest candidate pool they can.

Alyssa Thach, President & CEO at Pierpoint International

The offers for medical professionals have also moved beyond general compensation packages. During the crisis, to attract right now, companies are considering offering a significant meaningful signing bonus – with up-front payment at the beginning and end of the contract, so that it’s a premium payment beyond a nurse’s hourly rate. This is particularly enticing to retired professionals.

One aspect to consider, however, is to be sure that you don’t alienate the current workers who have been working just as hard and did not benefit from a sign-on incentive. You could risk those workers moving to another job for a signing bonus being offered at the moment. The packages for all the nursing professionals have to be comparable based on experience, service, skill-set, etc.

In addition to signing bonuses and substantial compensation contracts, some healthcare companies are authorizing unique packages to attract nurses quickly, especially in locations with high infection and illness rates. Some recruitment companies have been advertising increased hourly pay rates for emergency room or ICU attendants, with many extras to make their high-risk and timely employment a better experience.

Benefits like daily meals while on shift and home grocery deliveries, along with housing provisions, safe transportation to and from work, and child care, offer increased safety for workers and accommodations that make it much easier for them to perform to the best of their abilities during the crisis.

Recruiter Gustavo Morales notes that wellness and health programs, as well as lucrative benefits packages, are attractive, but it’s the passion that is the true indicator.

Gustavo Morales, Talent Acquisition Specialist at Univar Solutions

Healthcare workers are risking their lives to fill our needs. They wouldn’t be doing it if they didn’t have a passion for what they do and their line of work. We have often heard that doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals are answering a calling to be part of this field of work and that couldn’t be more true today. Recruiters need to work with that thought in mind, advising the talent acquisition companies on how to best support the candidates they need.

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Kelly Graham

Kelly Graham is a marketing professional with 20 years of experience in healthcare, recruitment and IT marketing helping businesses create their brand presence and achieve their marketing and business goals.

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