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Feeling the Pressure? Use These Tips to Recruit in a Tight Market

Wednesday, July 10, 2019 9:00 AM

BSM Products and Services, Leadership

Written by: Marla Galasso

Marla Galasso
Recruiting Support Services Manager

With the U.S. unemployment rate at an all-time low, there is definitely a limited pool of qualified talent in the health care industry. As a result, practices are challenged to find and retain skilled leaders and executives in today’s marketplace. Here are some tips we use to help our clients find the right candidates to fill their current job openings:

Get ready to market the role!

When I was looking for a new position (prior to joining BSM more than 13 years ago) the market dictated that I sell my prospective employers on why they should hire me. While that tactic is not completely without merit, today’s employers face a compelling obstacle before even getting to that point in the recruiting process — just getting qualified candidates to apply is a challenge.

Based on market research and BSM’s professional recruiting experience, we have found that enlisting a marketing slant in the job posting can help attract applicants. As you prepare to write your job posting, consider using the following tactics to pique the interest of qualified candidates:

  • Lead with an exciting line. “Dynamic career opportunity for an experienced leader” is far more enticing than the average, “Seeking qualified practice administrator” ad title.
  • Sell candidates on why they should choose your opportunity. List the top selling points of the role. Incentives might include a collegial and friendly environment, the opportunity to meet career aspirations through stretch goals and mentorship, sponsorship for educational programs, and a focus on work-life balance.
  • Avoid simply listing the dreaded “competitive compensation, medical benefits, and retirement plan.” These benefits alone are not enough to attract today’s top talent. Instead, be specific about key benefits and creative perks offered — particularly if you have a generous paid time off allowance, the ability to occasionally work remotely, a competitive match for 401(k) enrollees, fully funded medical insurance, and so on.

Grab the candidate’s attention while setting appropriate expectations.

Ads are the primary means of connecting with potential applicants, and a poorly written one can easily lose their attention within just a few sentences. It is important to strike a balance between incorporating a marketing angle and identifying the core competencies required to fill the role. If it takes someone more than three or four swipes to read the ad on a cellphone, it is too long. Consider the following when crafting your ad to ensure you are not discouraging potential applicants:

  • Use bullet points. Short, succinct snapshots are more easily digestible than long paragraphs. Keep bullet points clear and concise while maintaining an upbeat tone.
  • Avoid oversharing. Rather than listing every responsibility of the position, identify the top core competencies required to be successful in the role. For example, for a practice administrator posting, you might list something like:
    • Experience managing the operational aspects of a health care practice,
    • A background in health care practice financial management and reporting,
    • Expertise in human resources and conflict management, and
    • Extensive knowledge in accounting software (such as QuickBooks).
  • Conclude with a call to action. End your job posting with a clear, simple call to action telling candidates how to apply. To motivate those who are currently employed and may be on the fence about applying, emphasize that all applications will be handled with strict confidentiality.

When reviewing resumes, avoid simply scanning the left and right margins and then moving on.

Job titles and employer names on the left and lengths of employment on the right are traditionally the first things you look at on a resume. In the past, this was a one-minute process that easily relegated many applicants to the “No thank you” pile. While these remain important review points, before setting aside a resume that doesn’t immediately reflect what you are looking for, dig a little deeper and:

  • Consider that job titles may not tell the whole story. Sometimes job titles are monikers that do not accurately reflect the applicant’s true responsibilities. For example, while “practice manager” and “office manager” sound like very different roles, the responsibilities may not be that disparate. Therefore, take an extra minute to scan job responsibilities and look closely for the core competencies needed to fill your role.
  • Watch for experience in a relative medical space. Health care experience alone is a valuable commodity in today’s market — even if it’s within a different specialty. A great example is someone who has worked in the ’ologies (i.e., cardiology, rheumatology, oncology, pulmonology, and so on). These complex specialties require foundational business acumen and core competencies that can be adapted to many practice types.
  • Look beneath the surface. Do not immediately discount applicants because they’ve had one or two recent roles with shorter tenures. With today’s trend of mergers and acquisitions, perceived job turnover may simply be attributed to a practice’s name change or a job title revision. Additionally, when restructuring occurs, a role may be consolidated outside of the applicant’s control. Significant life changes, spouse career changes, and many other valid explanations can account for a short series of tenures, as well.
  • Prepare to review less “traditional” resumes. As modern job boards — such as Indeed and LinkedIn — have become commonplace, the days of visually polished resumes have gone by the wayside. These sites allow candidates to simply click an “Apply Now” button to submit an online version of their work history, which is generally lacking from a visual presentation perspective. While formatting, attention to detail, accurate information, and high-quality written communication are all critical skill sets, don’t lose great candidates to another employer before reaching out to request their formal resume.

Quality Candidates are Out There

Although the pool of qualified job seekers is limited, thinking differently about your approach to attracting applicants can greatly increase your chances of finding the right candidate. Use the tips outlined above when crafting your next job posting, and you may be pleasantly surprised with the results.

LEARN MORE: For more information on how BSM can help you find your next hire, visit our Recruiting Support Services page.

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