The UK was experiencing a shortage of healthcare workers prior to the pandemic however this has been exacerbated by the levels of stress and burnout placed on healthcare professionals throughout this time.
There are increasing challenges when it comes to attracting and retaining talent to the healthcare sector which is leaving patients and staff at risk.
Intervention and collaboration between Government and regulator will play a critical part in helping make up the short fall in staff however, there are also things that healthcare providers can do to help attract and retain new talent to a career in healthcare.
Let’s take a more detailed look at some of them:
Despite the amount of press covering the pressures and demands out upon healthcare workers, the number of applications for nursing courses have risen by almost a third (32%) to reach 60,130 in 2021. It shows that people are inspired by a career in healthcare even when it’s in crisis and so being able to highlight the opportunities and rewarding elements of the vast roles on offer will help to build on this momentum. The Healthcare sector as a whole needs to become more savvy when it comes to marketing the industry as a career option, whether it’s utilising social media, sharing career case studies or engaging with the local community. Raising awareness around the opportunities and the route into the industries will help get the attention of a wider potential talent pool.
2. Recruitment Process
There are so many healthcare jobs boards as well as many healthcare providers advertising their roles independently so it can be a minefield for applicants when it comes to finding the right role for them. Furthermore, many application processes are lengthy and complicated which can put people off. Making the recruitment and screening process as smooth and simple as possible will help to encourage applicants to apply in the first instance. Ensuring that applicants can get a feel for the culture and expectations in the job description[JO1] will help improve the type of candidate that responds to the advert. Working with a recruitment provider who is a specialist in Healthcare Recruitment can also be beneficial as they can implement an effective hiring process as well as being able to dedicate resources to proactively source talent.
3. Offer a Robust Wellbeing Programme
Mental and physical wellbeing should be a top priority for all employers and with many healthcare roles being particularly demanding on staff, it goes without saying that they need access to support. Developing a wellbeing programme and offering additional benefits to promote health and wellbeing will enable healthcare workers to take care of themselves as well as others and should help prevent burnout in the long term. This could involve flexible working, access to councillors, free gym membership, vouchers for healthy food as well as many other benefits. Getting feedback from staff about what would really make a difference to their wellbeing is a good place to start when developing a wellbeing programme.
4. Highlight Progression Opportunities
Your current staff are your biggest asset when it comes to attracting new talent to your organisation as they can share real experiences on what it’s like to work in the industry as well as showcasing the opportunities available. Making sure they’re visible and are part of your overall marketing strategy will help to create an authentic representation of what a healthcare career can offer. A big draw for top talent is the scope for progression so highlighting examples of this on your social media and within your job descriptions can be helpful in engaging with talent initially. Are you able to offer ongoing development opportunities? Does your organisation invest in regular training and upskilling? Do you promote from within often? All these things will help to attract and retain healthcare talent within your business.
5. Reward and Recognition
We all know that a career in the healthcare sector is both highly rewarding but also very demanding. Now more than ever, healthcare professionals need to be recognised for their hard work whether that’s through higher pay or additional, meaningful benefits. Earlier this year, the Government’s offer of a 3% pay increase for NHS workers was met with huge contention and this continues to be debated. Private healthcare providers have more flexibility when it comes to offering fair levels of pay and this will be a major factor when it comes to attracting applicants. If your organisation is restricted on pay rates, ask employees how else they’d feel valued and implement their suggestions into your reward and recognition schemes. The best rewards are those that will make a meaningful impact on staff.
The healthcare sector offers a vast number of varied roles and can provide a lifelong, rewarding career. if we’re going to bridge the skills gap and reduce staff shortages the industry needs to pull together to raise awareness of the opportunities it offers as well as prioritising the health and wellbeing of all staff, in every healthcare role.
Whether you’re just starting your career in healthcare or you’re looking for your next challenge, Paterson Healthcare has a range of fantastic opportunities on offer.
Our inclusive and personal approach to recruitment makes us different from many healthcare recruiters and we’ll only ever put you forward for a role that suits you.
Visit our website to find out more: https://www.paterson-healthcare.co.uk.